When thinking about a broad term such as ‘engaged groups’, words like community, collaboration, vibrance, and others will probably appear at some point. Now, while throwing buzz words inside a blog post is relatively easy to do, you should fear not my friend. These are the 5 fundamentals to convert those lingual entities into actual human behavior (i.e group engagement).
1. Empower your people
Truly involving your people in the way you run things is crucial. Turning them into active participants in the decision-making process will not only boost engagement, but it’ll help you in building relationships based on trust. Additionally, getting feedback from those closest to the issues at hand is particularly beneficial as it can provide some extremely valuable insights. So don’t hesitate, create polls, votes, thinking coalitions, seminars, etc. Give them power, enjoy their wisdom.
2. Communicate constantly, wherever your people are
“The key to every successful relationship is communication,” said every therapist ever, and we agree. Engagement can only work when communication is done properly. How properly? Contacting your people wherever they might be and never forcing them into changing their habits just to stay updated is basic. Whether it’s text messages, WhatsApp, Telegram, Email, or even informational sessions, communicating with every member on their preferred platform is the ultimate engagement booster. Oh yeah.
3. Measure everything
(The silenced truth: having a CRM is not enough, shh). As much as we value your efforts collecting data, the ability to make efficient use of the data accumulated in your CRM or knowing how to ask the right questions is a completely different ball game. Smart measurements, an accurate choice of criteria and segmentation, and valuable analysis are necessary steps in the process of understanding your people better. The next step is to utilize this information and convert it into engagement using precise targeting and a knowledge base.
4. Nurture ideas and enable bottom-up initiatives
Allowing your people not only ‘talk the talk’ but also ‘walk the walk’. People formulating their own solutions and bringing their ideas is extremely important and empowering to begin with. Then, giving them the tools to also realize those solutions is the highway to record-breaking group engagements. The case of Tel-Aviv is a great example of this:
A resident found herself wondering why tree planting initiatives are always focused on planting in public spaces. Soon enough, she shared this thought via a suitable platform. What happened next was that the city began involving residents in those initiatives by providing them with trees and help in planting on private property. This single idea quickly became a massive project in which thousands of trees were planted all across gardens of private buildings and houses in the city(!)
Having the ability to let people lead projects is mandatory for any kind of engaged group. In fact, it is so basic that without it your group is just umm..a top-down organization?
5. Provide an Easy-to-Use platform for engagement, participation, and innovation
At the end of the day, the interface your people use needs to be appealing, helpful and designed with a ‘group perspective’ in mind. Specifically, it should consist of the tools that make groups move. Therefore, it should have the 4 fundamentals discussed above but should also be adjustable (tailored to the groups’ character), include a payment system, option to submit forms and docs, multiple views, can be integrated, etc. Will that be enough? Probably not. Having the right tools is just a good starting point. Next, you have to start learning what motivates your group, what moves it. Sadly, this process might take a while.
On second thought, perhaps it’s not that tragic. There is a platform that is able to provide both the tools and all the essential know-how you need. It’s called ‘with’. You might wanna check it out.