Are you engaged with engagement?
- Cognitive (intellect): what we want people to know and/or think
- Psychomotor (physical activity): what we want learners to be able to do
- Affective (heart and emotion): how we want participants to feel
- A member could attend a lot of association events, but still feel outside the community or experience other forms of disconnect that might cause her to report a low level of engagement.
- Another member might be the classic "mailbox member" who never attends events or buys any products, but self-reports deep engagement because he reads your magazine cover to cover.
- Or imagine the customer who infrequently buys your product but for whatever reason self-identifies as a brand loyalist deeply engaged with all that you offer.
If we are serious about using engagement as a success indicator in our organizations, we need to embrace both its qualitative and quantitative indicators. We need to move beyond the activity that is easy to track to the feelings that individuals may hold toward the organization and its offerings. We need to discover the measures that customers and members themselves would use as indicators of their engagement level.
Joe Rominiecki, who keeps an eye on all things membership for ASAE's Associations Now, was kind enough to point folks to this post. In doing so he rightly noted I had not suggested how to measure the affective part of engagement, so let me correct that.
I would suggest experimenting with asking members a simple question: How engaged do you feel with our association? Since we're talking about how engaged a member feels, a self-reported assessment is really the only option.
I might then consider including either or both of the following additional questions:
- For the engagement rating you selected, please describe your experience(s) with the association that most influenced your choice.
- How does your current engagement level match with your overall desired engagement level?