The Importance Of ‘Check-In’s’ For Member Retention

Why are regular check-ins important for HBA retention? 

Member engagement and consistent interaction lead to greater fulfillment and commitment to your local HBA. Retention is critical to maintaining and building a successful organization. So, you want to keep your members highly satisfied and your turnover to a minimum. 
What’s your first step? By identifying the problems that your membership is facing through having consistent check-ins. This will also help you get ahead of issues that are affecting silent members to make changes that benefit the entire HBA. In our last article, we talked about crafting a recruitment & retention plan. Check-ins are a critical step to get feedback to help determine exactly what value points your members are looking for in your local HBA.
Remember, It’s 7 times more expensive to acquire a new member versus retaining one. Member retention not only saves you time and money, but improves HBA engagement and solidifies your local as a valuable community of information for builders and associate members alike. Ultimately, placing a focus on member retention means investing in member satisfaction.

Meeting member expectations and monitoring satisfaction

Once you’ve on-boarded a new member, you have to continue to ensure their satisfaction within your local HBA. One great way to monitor member satisfaction is through regular check-ins or 1:1 meetings. 
In addition to creating space to air out potential problems, it is also a forum to give feedback, encouragement, and praise the success of your members. Here are just a few reasons why quality check-ins lead to greater retention:
  • Helps to set expectations
  • Members feel seen, heard, and valued
  • Check-ins create a sense of trust with HBA leadership
  • Members feel part of a greater whole
  • Create opportunities to resolve conflicts early on
  • Members are engaged and connected
  • Ongoing communication and direction
  • Promotes continuous learning
Communicating directly with your members through HBA leadership can also help you quickly identify and resolve issues to ensure higher member satisfaction.  
In addition to feeling valued, members also want to know that they are a part of a mutually beneficial organization. With regular check-ins, they can identify the value points that they are looking for with their membership. Check-ins allow you to get direct feedback on the changes that need to be made to improve your HBA while giving you the opportunity to educate members on the benefits of your local they may not know about.
Note:  The #1 Reason someone stops doing business with a organization is Perceived Indifference.
Clear and transparent communication is often overlooked in organizational planning and policy. What happens in the leadership meetings is not always disclosed to members. Therefore, giving members an honest look at the goals and creating transparency leads to a sense of belonging and trust. Regular check-ins offer opportunities for any member to ask questions, establish a regular expectation of honest communication, creating an open-door policy that will make members feel valued and heard. Ideally, you should have a 1:1 once a quarter with your members. 
You might be thinking, inviting members to participate in 1:1 meetings seems like a LOT of work!  Don’t worry.  Only a small percentage of your members will take advantage of the invite (at first) so it won’t be a big time committment on your end.  We recommend to do it annually with members from their anniversary date of joining your Local HBA.  This way, you can stagger the meetings, and set up the annual check-in at the time of on-boarding.  You might even want to set the meeting a month before their anniversary date, so you can address any concerns they have if the member isn’t sure if they would like to renew.  For many, just the thought of knowing you are willing to meet with each member annually will should your level of committment and trust of the value that your Local HBA brings it’s members. 

 What is the long-term value of 1:1s?

Regular check-ins can improve member satisfaction and dramatically increase local HBA retention. Studies show that member satisfaction is deeply tied to feelings of contribution, usefulness, growth, and personal development. In addition to member satisfaction, you will also be aware of any potential conflicts, so that you can make adjustments or change course when necessary.
Allowing members to present challenges, ask for support, and better understand how they fit into your local’s bigger picture can be highly engaging and fulfilling. While every local HBA may have its own approach to 1:1 meetings, establishing trust and open communication is guaranteed to increase member retention, and thus, organizational success.