How you induct a new member is absolutely crucial to the long-term success not only of that member, but also of your club. Too often, clubs stop once the member has signed up and then assume the member will be okay if left to their own devices. What happens? They leave. This is where the new member needs support to get started.
Work the member through the key stages of new member induction:
- Accountability – make the new member accountable to someone who will notice if they’re coming to the club or not
- Frequency – help the new member set realistic participation targets and gradually develop regular playing habits over time
- Intensity – once they’ve got into a healthy routine you can then focus on challenging members appropriately
To prevent your new member from leaving you need to create a club culture (as a result of repeat behaviour patterns) where your members actually want members to fall in love with sport so they choose to play it. This means your focus should be shifted away from the sign-up and towards building relationships – because relationships are what keeps members loyal, happy and playing regularly.
Understand why – It’s important to understand why the new member is joining. What has been the tipping point – the event – that has caused this sudden determination to act?
Personal welcome – Your club may like to send a welcome email with great ways to start at sport (e.g. technique tips videos, welcome pack, club information etc.) full of advice for the new member
Help the member start well – Encourage the new member to take one step at a time. Beginner programmes are there to build relationships between members while giving them the skills they need to grow in confidence – so they feel good about the experience rather than being put off forever
Build communities – Once you’ve got them in the door you need a group of people to take the member on a journey
If you do everything you can to help new members develop friendships within the club, this will not only make the experience more fun – and therefore something they’re more likely to repeat – but it will make their sport journey last a lot longer.
For more ideas about how you can what is valuable for your community click here.