I felt like I was back at a Jr. High School dance where each group of friends circled up to form an impenetrable wall to block outsiders from getting in.
But I wasn’t in Jr. High anymore; I was an adult at a parent mixer with my wife for our daughter’s school.
We had just moved to town and were looking to make new friends, so we thought attending the parent mixer would be the perfect opportunity.
When we arrived at the mixer, we noticed the parents huddled in smaller groups facing each other and talking. They all seemed to know each other, and we were the only new ones in town.
Unfortunately, there was no one there to greet us and facilitate some introductions, so we tried to break into a few circled wagons on our own but fell short.
Not only did we not make any new adult friends within our new school community, but we also left feeling more deflated than before.
This experience helped me realize how important it is for community leaders to build a strong Culture of Connection™ during the onboarding process to ensure their new members feel welcomed and accepted immediately. It’s no secret that having a sense of connection within your community is essential for member engagement, retention, and overall satisfaction. With the right approach, you can create a space where everyone feels welcome, connected, and engaged.
8 Quick Tips for Making Sure New Members Feel Welcomed
- Take the time to welcome each new member personally. Introduce them to the community and let them know that they are welcome.
- Create an onboarding process that introduces new members to the community, its values, and its goals.
- Offer a platform for new members to ask questions and get support.
- Encourage members to interact with each other and foster meaningful relationships.
- Offer resources and tools that help new members get up to speed quickly.
- Make sure your new members feel like they belong by introducing them to the other members and showing them how they can contribute.
- Send personal messages to each new member, and address any questions or concerns they might have.
- Celebrate the successes of new members and recognize their contributions.
In Dance Floor Theory, we talk about how leaders need to break up entrenched circles on their dance floor to allow more people to interact and connect. We call these people Circle Busters. You and your leaders need to be Circle Busters at all your events.
Building a Culture of Connection™ is essential for any community. By ensuring that your new members feel welcomed, you can create a safe and supportive environment that encourages members to participate. Even if you only follow a few tips outlined above, you’ll improve the chances of your new members feeling welcomed and accepted into your community.