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  • Writer's pictureTravis Stanley

ASTC’s 10 Steps to Onboarding potential Members/Volunteers/Clients/Interns to your Organization.

  1. Once a person decides to look into your organization, the Website or Social Media platform must allow the viewer to see how to get more connected within 30 seconds. Anything longer than that and they may move on.

Having a calendar page that is easy to get to is important. Be as exact as possible with your next event (links).

Clean up the events page. Seeing events from 2 years ago is a red flag that the organization is no longer around.

At the Event

2. Have enough parking. Have a guest parking sign/s with your organization's name. The President or Board does not take the best parking spots.

3. Have a greeter at the door with a smile and who offers a firm handshake with eye contact. Invite guests to sign in and explain the reason behind the sign in sheet.

4. Have a 2nd person walk guests to a seat. Give them a 30-60 second run down of what will happen at the event. Stand by to answer their questions. There will be another person at the door waiting for the next guest, so no rush.

5. Have enough seats. This is the most crucial of the first 5. Onboarding begins with no barriers or constraints. Anyone should come in and feel welcomed. Lack of seating creates the image that the Organization is full and fine without new folks joining.

The Door Crew should make sure there are seats near the door for late folk to sneak in and take a seat.

The Door Crew should request fit members to stand in the back so a new person can have a seat. A guest might have a handicap that prevents them from standing for minutes at a time, which means they may need to leave early.

6. Have the Board introduce themselves with their titles and full responsibilities and duties. Also, include how long they have been in the organization, where they are from, how long they have been in this position, and when they must/plan on stepping down. This lets the guest get their bearings very quickly.

7. Do not use jargon around guests. Use words, not letters in sentences. This is not the office. This is a public meeting and we want the guests to understand the latest events and issues quickly to get them with the program. Slow is smooth and smooth is how to onboard.

8. When conducting the meeting, offer an opportunity for all to comment. Always pay attention and do not try to hurry things along when a guest is trying to suggest something.

9. At the conclusion of the event, have at least one person (President/CEO or Board Member) go up to the guest and introduce themselves and thank them for visiting and create a dialogue where they each learn an interest or value of the guest/s. This person/s should produce their contact information to the guest/s.

Step 9 is the most important of the second 5 of this list. Be sure that every guest is received like this. It’s simple, if they are a stranger, then approach them.

10. Remind guest/s of the next meeting or outing where they can participate. Also talk about benefits of membership with the Organization. If they create constraints (social/interpersonal/intrapersonal) then look for ways to resolve this without being too pushy.

Note: If pressed for time, logistical issues, and personnel support, steps 5 and 9 are the minimum.

Please comment on this 10 step Onboarding process and provide constructive feedback in our stakeholder sub-forum.

Thank you for reading.

Travis Stanley


Appalachia Sustainable Tourism Collaboration, LLC

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