Sunday, August 10, 2014

Do You Welcome Your Association Members (by Name)?

I went inside the bank (yes, they still have an inside) the other day and the tellers welcomed me by name.

The same thing happens at our golf course. From the bag drop to the pro shop to the starter, I am welcomed with a cheerful, “Hello, Mr. Drake.”

I see the same thing when I’m flying. The flight attendants of some airlines (say Southwest) are far more friendly and personable than those of the legacy airlines (say Delta or United).

As I think about it, part of this is the attitude within the people at the bank or golf course. Which gets back to the people they hire, the expectations of their performance and the culture within the organization. It’s hard to be genuinely friendly if you don’t like your job or the company for whom you work! (If you want to read more on corporate culture, I suggest you follow Jamie Notter’s blog at or grab the book Humanize that he co-authored with Maddie Grant.)

As I was driving home from the bank, I tried to remember how many members I welcomed by name? (Keep in mind that as an AMC owner I was attending 8-10 conventions a year.)

Before staffing conventions, I gave my staff a sheet titled “It’s Our Time to Shine” ... that shared with them my expectations about our role in making conventions a positive, memorable experience for participants.

And, I tried to think about how often at the conventions I attend (ASAE, etc.) I get a “Welcome Steve” or “Welcome Mr. Drake” from the staff.

What about you? Is your staff trained to provide a friendly welcome (by name) to your members as they arrive at a conference or meeting?

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