When was the last time you reviewed your association’s Code of Ethics? It might be time to revisit this crucial organizational document. Why? According to the Community Brands 2022 Association Trends Study, 49% of individuals reported their top member benefit was their organization’s Code of Ethics.
If your organization is looking to recruit new members and retain existing members, you’ll need to invest in your Code of Ethics. Read on for two transformative tips to get started.
1. How to leverage your organization’s code of ethics as a member benefit
The sooner your organization begins to treat your Code of Ethics like an important member benefit, the sooner you’ll be able to elevate the member experience. Start with understanding the power your Code of Ethics possesses:
- The Code of Ethics sets the bar. Members value their association’s Code of Ethics because they provide a legal standard for one’s profession or industry. Oftentimes, a Code of Ethics document will define the best practices within one’s field and offers a set of rules that all members must follow.
- The Code of Ethics offers compliance standards. Within the industry, the Code of Ethics document guides members, acting as a “watchdog” for the profession. Additionally, using a Code of Ethics provides a seal of approval, signifying to someone outside of the profession that a member can offer specialized services.
- The Code of Ethics makes members proud. Within the association, the Code of Ethics has the power to drive retention. When members have good reason to be proud of their Code of Ethics, they are likewise invested in their organization, choosing to remain members long into the future.
Consider adding qualified members (those with law backgrounds or experience with ethical issues, or public policy specialists) to the Code of Ethics Committee or task force so they can serve in a greater capacity. These committee members would represent the document and its contents to new and current association members. They would also have a say in adding new content to the Code of Ethics, perhaps reevaluating the document every few years. Doing so ensures your Code of Ethics is a living document, able to adapt to meet member needs and shifting trends.
Adding members to a Code of Ethics Committee is a fantastic way to keep them invested in your association, and when your association views your Code of Ethics as a living document you’re more likely to understand what your members value, increasing your chances of retaining members far into the future.
2. How to promote your code of ethics for member recruitment and retention
Now that your organization understands the importance of your Code of Ethics, it’s time to begin investing in the document to boost member recruitment and retention. Here’s how to get started:
- Online community: Promote your Code of Ethics in your online community to ensure all members know what your organization stands for. In your online member community, consider posting relevant sections of your association’s Code in different member chats or channels. Ask for your members’ perspectives to ensure the Code of Ethics is a relevant member benefit.
- Website: Ensure your Code of Ethics is easy to find on your association website. If possible, have a dedicated Code of Ethics landing page for both non-members and members to locate. Also, guarantee the FAQ section of your website redirects to the Code of Ethics landing page. Because your Code of Ethics drives member recruitment and retention, you’ll want both non-members and members to easily find this important information.
TECH TIP: Nimble AMS features the highly configurable Community Hub, empowering you to match your association’s brand and support your members as they seek to personalize the membership experience.
- Committee members: The members of the Code of Ethics Committee are an important part of promoting the document itself. Guarantee all members are role models within your organization, as they will embody the Code of Ethics’ standards. Additionally, give the Code of Ethics Committee members time to report on their progress at town halls or association events. If the Committee is updating the Code of Ethics, ensure they explain what has changed, why it has changed, and where members can find the Code of Ethics.
TECH TIP: In Nimble AMS you can use the Committee function to organize and track constituent groups like the Code of Ethics Committee at your association. Committee management allows you to document member participation and all term information necessary for easy committee membership.
- Social Media: Because an association’s Code of Ethics is a top-ranking member benefit, you’ll want to promote yours on all your social media platforms. Post images of your Code of Ethics Committee members at work for your members to see. Consider adding visual representations of a line or two of text from an important section of your Code of Ethics. Linking these examples across your social media platforms will increase awareness of your Code of Ethics for both non-members and members, furthering the conversation.
TECH TIP: Did you know that younger members prefer networking opportunities on social media platforms? Ensure your association doesn’t miss out on recruiting Gen Z members by establishing a presence on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
You now understand the value of your association’s Code of Ethics and why it’s the top member benefit for 2022. Take steps to review your Code of Ethics today and begin promoting it to both non-members and members as soon as possible.
Learn more top reasons members join associations
Learn eleven more reasons members join organizations, and leverage the knowledge for your association, by reading the Community Brands 2022 Association Trends Study.