Staff & Member Happiness Coincide: 4 Keys for Talent Retention

Categories: Association Leadership, Association Operations, Chambers of Commerce, Finance and Operational Efficiency

Turnover is a burden on any workplace – and even more so on organizations whose resources are already limited. While it’s impossible to please everyone 100% of the time, there are plenty of little things you can do to repeatedly assure employees that their time and input are valuable.


Kicking this off with the most obvious suggestion but my goodness is it a big one. I mean, who doesn’t love some freebies? Think of what you can do beyond the typical office coffee:

  • Do you have health-conscious coworkers that would appreciate other options?
  • Perhaps you’re seeing a drop in productivity in the afternoon – stock the kitchen with some mid-day snacks!
  • Consider providing breakfast or lunch for any regular, organization-wide meetings.
  • Heck – just ask! Put together a survey and see what kind of goodies staff would enjoy having around the office.


We work better when we work together! What are you currently doing to make sure everyone’s voice is being heard? Start by having daily, face-to-face updates. I know, I know – too many meetings are the worst, but hear me out. Taking 15 minutes every morning to touch base with your team keeps everyone on the same page. From the bottom of the totem pole up, each person deserves visibility into how their day-to-day activity impacts the team, your membership base and the organization. Give it a shot for a few weeks and see how it goes! What do you have to lose?


I’ve worked in a position where I felt chained to my desk for 8 hours a day, and another where my coworkers placed trust in me and my ability to get my work done while doing the work-life balance dance. Any guesses on where I was ultimately happier? Levels of flexibility will vary org to org, but here are some thought starters:

  • For some, a change in environment is key. Allowing employees to work remotely occasionally (or even regularly) can benefit productivity.
  • What about half-days in the summer months? Knowing a half-day is on the horizon encourages staff to be more focused all week.
  • Go all out! Allow your employees to determine their own weekly schedule (within reason). If it’s roughly during normal business hours, who’s it hurting?


Carve out time to celebrate both professional and personal wins. The professional side not only affects everyone in the organization, but your members too! When you talk wins, individuals feel good about the work they did and everyone else has insight into what is working. As for personal wins – let’s be honest, we spend almost just as many of our waking hours a week as we do at home. Allow your staff to be a part of each other’s support system!

Bottom line – your employees’ happiness influences your organization’s performance, which in turn influences your members’ satisfaction and engagement. When you have your employee morale in a good place, membership management becomes that much easier. Keep that domino effect in check!

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