Since organizations typically don’t pay members anything, at least not monetarily, you walk a fine line when it comes to making demands of any kind, particularly regarding attendance. However, if you don’t have some type of attendance policy in place, your members are less likely to attend on a regular basis, especially if the meetings themselves don’t offer them anything of value.
As it is with most organizations, members are quick to attend a social outing or other fun activities, but are sometimes lax when it comes to regular meetings, and you really want them to attend both. Good attendance at the regular meetings has a lot to do with those being fun as well. There is more interaction between members. Therefore they get to know each other better, which in turn adds to the overall enjoyment of every time you get together, regardless of the reason. A good attendance policy should address this concern.
Of first importance, your meetings should be well planned, so that they include interesting sessions that will help draw them to the meetings. Depending on where you meet, and how long your meetings generally last, you can always plan some type of fun activity at each of your regular meetings, or at least have a guest speaker that you know would be of interest to those in attendance. With a little creative brainstorming, this really isn’t too difficult to accomplish.
Once you’ve done all you can to create interest and even excitement about coming to your regular meetings, your attendance policy needs to include something that incentivizes them to become active contributors to your organization, not merely show up for the social life. One of the ways that has been proven to work well for many organizations is to require that they attend a minimum of 75% of the regular meetings in order to be eligible to participate in all the fun stuff.
Through the use of Best Attendance’s online tools, you’ll find this is easy to set up and keep track of. You simply create under “event type” an event for “weekly meetings”, and another one for “fun activities”. It’s quick and easy to keep updated, and with one look you know exactly where every member stands, and whether or not they qualify to participate in the social activities. That way you can notify those who are at risk of failing to stay qualified, and give them an opportunity to correct that in a timely manner.
Your attendance policy does matter, and if you’ve found one that is working for you, you may want to stick with it. But if you feel it’s not all that helpful, maybe it’s time to make some changes. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to go online to www.bestattendance.com and take a look at some of the advanced reporting features that are available to you during your free trial period. If you have any questions whatsoever, don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.
In our next message we will be discussing mentorship programs, and how this can have a positive impact on your organization.
This post is part of our series: The Ultimate Online Guide to Recruiting Volunteers.
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