A colleague recently wrote about not taking employee engagement for granted based on his experience working for nonprofit associations.
Here’s another reason to be concerned with staff engagement – loyal members who have strong ties to their professional associations, particularly those who are strongly committed to and passionate about their participation. These members tend to work closely with the association’s professional staff and develop strong collegial relationships with them. As a result, they become concerned with – even protective of – how staff are treated in the organization.
For association management, the staff-volunteer relationship can be tricky, especially in instances where volunteers overstep their bounds to interfere with personnel issues. The relationship works both way, however, as many professional staff enjoy working with the members and volunteer leaders; it’s one of the perks that compensates for working in a professional association at nonprofit wages.
For association management, the bottom line is that internal issues regarding staff engagement can also impact (and be impacted by) member engagement.