4 Easy Ways Your Professional Association Can (and Should) Rock Member Recognition

Do you belong to a professional association? 

Are you active? Do you get involved when there are opportunities to rave about other members doing AMAZING work?

Association membership is declining. The Great Resignation isn’t only impacting organizations; when people leave their company, they may also leave their sector. And that includes leaving their association.

This is the era of The Great Member Resignation too. 

We’re All In This Together

Wait! Before you cancel that membership, you might be inadvertently beelining for FOMO (fear of missing out.) Even if you’re not fully maximizing membership benefits like you once did, consider what you could get from being ‘in community’ with others; isn’t it invaluable to be connected to people who walk a mile in your (work) shoes every day?

Remaining active as a member of your association is a fantastic way to grow your network, learn new skills, and find better opportunities. Your profession is creating new roles, innovations, and opportunities all the time, and your association may be able to bring you the “you’ve heard it here first, folks” preview. For many, this is the only way to bridge the connection across organizations and geographic distances.

image of a brain and heart balanced on a see sawThose are “head” reasons. Let logic prevail! Here are “heart” reasons:

Members are the people who care as much about your work as you do. They share your gifts and understand what it is like to do the work every day. They also know strains and stresses, as yours are theirs too. It’s empathy personified and connection on steroids, that is, if you stay a member and keep your hand in.

In other words, rather than look at the time commitment in relation to how much is on your plate already, consider how it feeds your professional soul. Refrain from thinking about what else you could use your membership dues for and look for ways to make it worth it (and more). Ditch the guilt about taking time from work and family to spend just a few days (sometimes an hour online) to re-energize and learn through professional development opportunities and conferences.

There isn’t a single place where you will find more people “like me.” And aren’t you need more awesome people who know exactly what it’s like to be you?

  • Now is the time to get more involved.
  • Now is the time to leverage association connections.
  • Now might even be the time to amp up your leadership in your association.

Reconnection in Five Minutes (Or Less)

Here are four things you could consider doing right now:

  1. Visit your association’s website to see what professional development opportunities are available 
  2. Pitch to your boss or look at your budget for funds to attend the conference (aren’t you missing your peers?)
  3. Look up what association recognition activities exist and do one thing on the list (e.g., nominate a peer)
  4. Find out when your professional group’s appreciation day/week/month is and make a point of doing a shout-out by text, email or on social to your peers at work or even more broadly

Pick one and dedicate the next five minutes to the task. Which one will you do? Feel free to share below.

Up Next…

image of Sarah McVanel on stage filming a short thank you video for RTsJoin us for the next two weeks as we continue to learn how to amplify associations’ role in a thriving career and, for association leaders, how you can add unwavering value to members. Prefer video?

We need to leverage every opportunity for professional recognition, including through our associations, to help insulate against unprecedented levels of burnout, disconnection, and strain. Associations can help to do just that. Check out how the Canadian Association of Call Management #camx leveraged their conference to help the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists celebrate RTs for RT Week 2022. How can your association spread recognition?

Want more recognition inspiration?

We love working together here at Greatness Magnified! This article was a co-creation between Mallory Dunbar, Learning Specialist and Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

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