As one might expect, a significant amount of my time is spent explaining what a chamber of commerce is and how potential and even current members can derive maximum benefit from their membership. The members who are most positive about their chamber experience are the ones with whom we have co-created a transformational, rather than a transactional relationship.
In our daily lives, many of our tasks are negotiated on the web or on an app. We do so much of our communication digitally, people are becoming less comfortable relating face to face. IRL, as they say. Online dating platforms have capitalized on the human communication divide. It is technology that insidiously facilitates serial transactional relationships. Swipe left. In business, we celebrate those who shrewdly negotiate to exchange as little as possible for their own highest financial benefit. Although some transactional commerce is necessary for sustainability, as humans, in business and life generally, we are stronger and lead more fulfilling lives when we work to create the highest good for all.
A key volunteer attraction and retention tool is for the volunteer to experience how their generous gift of time is positively impacting people. Fortunately for us, the volunteers who have worked in our Info Centre for years, receive feedback each and every shift from the visitors they assist. They wouldn’t keep showing up if they didn’t appreciate that the information they share has the potential to transform the visitor’s experience The trade-off is not different for employees. Staff members exchanging labour for pay are more fulfilled in their jobs when they understand how their work contributes to a transformational experience for clients.
Bringing it back to the membership relationship, it truly can be transformational. We have the testimonials to prove it. We offer the opportunity, benefits, and shine the light and you bring your willingness to engage. Together, shift happens.