To start 2013, I want to take a look back at 2012 and the incredible job you and your local members did recruiting new members to IAAP during the 70/70 membership drive. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate. As of Dec. 31, you brought in 3,980 members with even more being added as the membership department processes those applications postmarked in December that came in over the holiday. That’s something to celebrate!
However, at nearly the same rate we are gaining members, we are losing members. Why? It’s my hope that one of the outcomes of the Futures Conference in March will be a clearer understanding of not only what we are doing right—and we are doing a lot that’s right—but also what we are lacking that is causing us to lose members. This is a good time to remind the leadership about our Retention Rewards program.
Until we get the results of the work yet to be done at the Futures Conference, I’d like you to take a few moments and read a blog post on the web community from one of our newer and younger members, Jennifer Garcia. It’s a sobering post concerning her experience at EFAM and what we’re not doing too well right now.
EFAM is a time to learn and get energized about our profession. It’s a time to connect and network, grown and learn. Jennifer, thank you for posting your personal and unpleasant experience. It took great courage. Your “not so positive” experience contributed to your willingness to be sure that your generation has a voice at the Futures Conference. We are seeking younger professional members and want to understand what you need and want in an association.
We all have control to change our attitudes. Please take a moment and look at yours. How are we welcoming new and/or younger members? Are we welcoming them or are we vested in keeping our “club” exclusive? What about offering them help? In particular, the younger members and those who are new to the profession; they could use a mentor. January is National Mentoring Month. This month is meant to encourage adults to mentor youth. How about if we use Mentoring Month as a springboard to create local programs that encourage the mentoring of our younger, newer members?
After all, we joined IAAP as a way to advance our careers and to learn new skills. Let’s be that resource for new administrative professionals entering the market.
We didn’t evaporate on December 21, 2012 and 2013 is still fresh. We’re only two weeks in. What will you do this year to Be The One to Ignite Change? Even if you are not attending the Futures Conference, look around you. Is there anyone you can take under your wing and mentor? Do you have a co-worker who is struggling that you can introduce to IAAP?
It’s going to be a great 12 months. On behalf of the international board, I wish you success in your professional path in 2013.