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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Does Employer Culture, Personal & Peer Experiences, Shape Engagement?

It is important to understand that while employing organizations influence decisions (see Part 2 of our blog series), it is people that decide whether or not to engage with an association.

Association Laboratory's analysis of engagement indicates that engagement decisions are influenced by industry, professional, and peer experiences related to association engagement. When attempting to develop engagement strategy is it important to review the following:

Industry and Professional Culture

What is the historical pattern of engagement within your industry? For example, engagement in the technology industry may be very different than engagement patterns in the commercial construction industry.

People working in a particular industry are likely to model the engagement behaviors of their industry.

What is the historical pattern of engagement within the professions you represent?

In some professions, such as academia, conference attendance is very common as a form of engagement but within other professions, distance learning may be the norm.

Company and Coworker Culture

The employer's support of engagement heavily influences engagement. For example, if the company president is heavily involved in the association it is logical to conclude that others in the company may also be supportive or interested in association engagement.

Association engagement may be used as an employee incentive, for example, a person who is showing potential as a good leader may receive more support to interact with the association.

Earlier blogs discussed the rising influence of the employer so engagement strategy must take this influence into account.

In addition, people talk with their coworkers about their engagement experiences. If these are positive, the person is more likely to adopt similar behaviors. For example, if the online education is well reviewed by peers, then a person is more likely to investigate this engagement channel.

Personal and Peer Experiences

Personal and peer experiences influence engagement.

If a person attempts to engage with an association and has a positive (or negative experience) it creates an expectation of future engagement. For example, if a person attends a popular and informative chapter program, they are more likely to attend future chapter programs.

In addition, prior to and during engagement, individuals seek peer reinforcement or advice on engagement decisions. When a conference attendee texts their friends at a conference to see if they prefer another speaker, this is an example of this behavior.

The following chart from a recent presentation to the ASAE Membership Summit highlights how these factors interrelate.

Successful engagement strategy will monitor these influences and have specific, intentional strategies to shape these behaviors.

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