How to keep your community engaged and high performing
06 Sep, 2022

As a community manager, you can increase your alumni’s feelings of value and appreciation by celebrating them. Create a way for your alumni to submit their awards, education, finished projects, or promotions. Reach out to them personally to learn what they are up to and generate content recognizing their triumphs.

Building an online community of corporate alumni is no small task. It requires consistent and focused efforts to create engaging content and conversation to attract new members and get former employees interested in staying loyal.

But it doesn’t stop there once you have a solid community built. The next step is keeping your members engaged and coming back for more. As a community manager, you want to generate discussions and spark activity to keep your corporate alumni engaged with your brand without being excessive or overbearing. The key? Personal and authentic connections.

Building authentic connections with your community

 

Relatedness is one of the three most significant aspects of psychological fulfillment that all people long for. If your members can have personal relationships with one another, they will keep coming back and, in turn, grow stronger in their respect for your community and, ultimately, your company.

 

There are three main ways to build authentic connections with your community to keep them engaged and high performing as corporate alumni. Follow these general tips, and you will be well on your way to managing a successful and engaged alumni community.

 

Discuss non-work topics

 

While work-related discussions always feel most productive within a corporate platform, non-work-related topics often bring about deeper bonds and connections between individuals. They already share one thing in common: formerly working for you. Allowing members to use your platform to engage in conversations about last night’s game or the newest restaurant in town gives them the chance to build upon their common interests and create a sense of kinship with their fellow alumni.

 

Of course, you don’t want to allow any and every topic of conversation. Your job as the community manager would be to help initiate the discussions and steer them away from anything that may become inappropriate. Ways to influence the conversations without forcing them could include hosting polls, asking “get to know you” questions, providing local recommendations and asking for feedback, or even engaging in already established conversations as a representative of your company.

 

Provide appreciation and recognition

 

Even though your members are former employees, it’s still important to celebrate their accomplishments. When people feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to engage with you. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, members of high-performing teams received 72% more appreciation from their coworkers than members of average teams received.

 

As a community manager, you can increase your alumni’s feelings of value and appreciation by celebrating them. Create a way for your alumni to submit their awards, education, finished projects, or promotions. Reach out to them personally to learn what they are up to and generate content recognizing their triumphs.

 

 Allow authentic emotions

 

While you might want to foster a formal corporate environment for your alumni to engage with, the truth is that individuals who feel like they can express themselves more authentically will actually be more productive and engaging. Research from the University of Waikato in New Zealand has shown that authenticity contributes to individual performance. What’s more, if individuals are constantly suppressing their emotions, it doesn’t leave much cognitive room for anything else — emotional burnout is a real thing.

 

This does not mean you have to allow for excessive complaints or foul language, but it does mean you should recognize your alumni as individuals and support them via the network through their highs and lows. Do not limit discussion to positive sentiments. Rather, allow your alumni to share their frustrations from time to time and let them participate in conversations as their authentic selves.

Building meaningful connections with others is hard work, but it will pay off in the end when you have a strong network of alumni who respect and engage with your company. Keep these three tips in mind as you build your network and watch your engagement grow.

 

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