When it comes to member retention, ‘member experience’ is everything. It impacts how the people who use your space feel about your brand and services.
A multitude of factors contributes to the member experience: from how satisfied members are about their physical desk space and the perks on offer, to whether or not they think your membership plans and resources are priced correctly.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘employee experience management’.
It’s a big deal in today’s HR landscape.
A quick online search will bring up a list of employee experience manager vacancies. This role is about having a positive impact on each team member’s day-to-day and overall experience through policies, processes, benefits and events.
When you think about it, this isn't dissimilar to a coworking manager or community manager’s role. Like an employee experience manager in a company, a coworking manager’s job is often to oversee every aspect of the ‘member experience’, from the moment an individual makes an enquiry to when they decide to leave.
It’s not easy, though.
There’s a lot to think about and implement, making it an incredibly busy – albeit rewarding – job. To help, we’ve compiled a list of five things coworking managers (and other leaders in the coworking field) can do to boost the member experience in 2023.
Credit: Tim Mossholder
Is your coworking software working for you?
Allocate some time in your diary this year to really get to grips with your coworking software. At Nexudus, we’re constantly adding new features and updating existing ones. Last year, for example, we added Trends & Insights to the Admin Panel.
Trends & Insights comprises a range of AI-driven features that leverage data to help you make informed decisions on how best to run your workspace. We’ve got lots of new Nexudus features in the pipeline for 2023 too.
As the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown lingers, you might be finding that your members still aren’t interacting as much as they did in 2019. Your coworking software is a tool that can not only help you to manage your space from an operational perspective but encourage collaboration too. A big part of Nexudus is designed to support communication between the individuals within your coworking community.
Members can see other members' profiles, filter profiles by skills or location and communicate through the message board. Thanks to Nexudus Virtual Rooms and our Zoom and Jitsi integrations, they can even add video conferencing links to their conversations.
But are members actually utilising this resource?
Now could be the perfect time to remind them of what it can do!
Inclusivity should be an ongoing priority.
Without it, the member experience is always going to fall short of the mark. The aim for any coworking operator should be to create a space in which members, employees and visitors feel comfortable bringing their whole selves.
An inclusive workplace is one where everyone feels valued. This can often translate into brand loyalty and repeat bookings.
One way to boost inclusively in your coworking space is to audit the diversity of the panels and speakers you invite into your workspace. What do you do to ensure all your guests feel comfortable, happy and valued within your space?
In terms of facilities, here are a few things to prioritise this year:
Nursing mothers’ rooms
Noise-reducing working pods
Non-alcoholic drinks options
Halal, Kosher, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free food options
It’s crucial to give everybody a voice. This is where anonymous comment boxes (or email inboxes) can prove useful; having a place where individuals can voice their concerns or ideas without having to raise them in person can be very powerful.
Pulse surveys are another HR trend that coworking spaces can leverage to optimise the member experience. Unlike an engagement survey, which is often conducted yearly, pulse surveys enable you to track how members are feeling.
You could send pulse surveys quarterly or monthly.
There are no set questions to ask in a pulse survey – what you ask your members will depend on your coworking space’s own unique goals.
However, the main point of a pulse survey is to track certain responses to see how they evolve over time. This means asking some of the same questions in each consecutive survey, and adding some new ones into the mix as your priorities change.
We’re not suggesting that you copy and paste specific questions from one survey to another: you could reframe them. For example, you might say, “...since our last member pulse survey, how have your feelings towards XYZ changed…?”
Members are more likely to respond to short, snappy pulse surveys. Provide multiple choice answers (e.g. ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’), while providing space for individuals to leave comments and suggestions if they want to.
Here are some example questions:
Do you feel like you have opportunities to learn and develop new skills?
To what extent do you feel valued in the coworking space?
How likely are you to recommend us to friends and family?
Members won’t want to complete pulse surveys if you don’t act on the feedback. Take note of responses and think about how you could remedy any pain points.
For instance, if your members don’t feel that they are presented with opportunities to develop and learn new skills, you could consider partnering with a skills provider to run discounted workshops and seminars.
Opening these up to non-members could be a way of increasing your revenue too.
It’s important to recognise employee success: doing so can make those who work for you feel more valued, and they are more likely to be engaged at work. It’s no secret that recognition makes us feel more motivated and inspired.
If it works for employees, why not apply the same logic to your members?
Some of your members – e.g. freelancers – might work in isolation and not receive recognition for their work from a manager or client. That’s where you could step in.
Ask members how their work is going; have they completed any interesting projects recently, or projects that they’re particularly proud of?
Shine the spotlight on individual members in your newsletter and blog
Post about members’ projects on social media (with their permission)
Reshare members’ success stories on your own social media channels
Lots of people are feeling squeezed and overwhelmed at work right now – and this might include you. According to Gartner’s Future of Work Trends For 2023, ‘the demands of today’s working environment have left managers completely out of their depth.’
It’s going to be hard to optimise the member experience if your own experience is lacking. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and underskilled, ask for help and training.
Gartner says that in 2023 the best organisations will ‘provide fresh support and training to mitigate the widening managerial skills gap’, and ‘make it clear how managers should allocate their time and redesign their roles where necessary.’
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