3/5/2012Advisor Newsletters - AEM Advisor
We recently announced the results of our first comprehensive “all member” survey in several years. Overall, the results were quite positive, which gives everyone on the AEM staff a sense of pride and accomplishment.
More importantly, the survey results gave us clear direction on what services need to be improved and an understanding of the rising expectations from members. The members have made clear: “We have done well, now we have to do better.”
While the information from the survey on “what works” is helpful, the real value is the identification of the areas that need improvement. And, we are ready to respond.
Your input to the survey will help guide us as we examine all current activities to revamp as needed (or eliminate if they no longer serve a purpose) and as we develop future programs.
We are at near-record membership levels and have become much more active in recent years in scope of services provided. While we are generally happy with the survey results and the high level of member support those results indicate, we are not satisfied that AEM is doing all it can to achieve its full potential as a valued member business resource.
The survey identified several opportunities for improvement, and we are already taking specific steps to respond. Here are three areas I want to address in today's column.
1. The survey revealed that while services are improving, particularly in advocacy efforts, our members’ expectations for AEM to make a difference are also increasing. We have been making more noise, especially in areas such as advocacy for production agriculture and public policy advocacy in areas such as our I Make America grassroots campaign.
Action Item: To help ensure future activities and services meet member needs, the goals in our Strategic Plan’s Key Results Areas (KRAs) will measure benefit and effectiveness and not just level of activity.
2. Survey results identify a number of services that are underused by the membership.
Action Item: We are examining why so we can take corrective steps. We’ll communicate more on the benefits of services and how to make full use of them. We’ll take a critical look at services to discover if they no longer serve a purpose in our members’ businesses today. If that’s the case, we’ll redirect resources to more relevant value-added member programs.
3. Our members want AEM employees to have a better understanding of their businesses and how legislative actions and economic issues affect them.
Action Item: It all starts with the capabilities and knowledge of our team. We have made it a priority to make a greater investment in training our employees to improve their skills and make them more knowledgeable about the industry they serve. We have reinstated the training dropped during the recession and are establishing a mandatory industry training program for employees.
These are just our initial steps to respond to the member survey results. I’ll be sharing updates in these columns throughout the year and welcome your comments and suggestions. Continuous improvement to remain relevant to member needs is our goal – and our promise – to you.
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