The Strauss Blog

Association Role Transition Strategies: Making Sure Nothing Falls Through the Cracks

The ink is still drying on your employment agreement, but the day to day tasks of the association must go on. Transitioning smoothly into a new role with a new association is crucial to gaining an association board’s trust and to establishing a strong working relationship with association members. This blog will cover aspects that were imperative to a recent transition project from an administrative perspective. For other tips on association role transitions, please also review my colleague’s article.

When looking at association transition projects, it can be beneficial to break it down into manageable pieces to track its progress; this can be achieved by using a checklist.

Transition Checklists

Associations should have transition checklists for each role within the organization; these will outline all the key tasks and components that staff will be required to take on and the documents required to understand and execute the role. For the purpose of this blog, we will be focusing on the transition of an administrative role.  Keys tasks and duties will vary for each association, but they will likely fall within the scope of my colleague’s administrative article. In order to learn how to do these tasks and understand how the association operates, consult your transition checklist to start learning.

Key checklist items should include receiving and understanding the following:

  • Financial and membership records
  • Board documents
  • Administrative access
  • Communication & event schedule
  • Association FAQs

Once you have received all documents, you must ensure that historical data is properly being preserved for the association. Always ensure that electronic and paper files are properly labeled and stored to facilitate the retrieval of vital information throughout the transition process.

Defining Responsibilities

Creating or reviewing a standard operating procedure (SOPs) document can eliminate confusion regarding who is responsible for what tasks in relation to the association’s annual project calendar. This ensures the continuity of process for the association. For more information about SOP’s, read my colleague’s article on the importance of having this document.

Members have the expectation that their services will continue uninterrupted throughout a transition. Reviewing the existing procedural documents to ensure that deadlines are met for key annual milestones is integral to the process. Ensuring that tasks such as membership renewals, professional learning credits, event bookings, and meeting calendars are set in place to facilitate the planning of critical paths for all upcoming projects.

Administrative Access

The following items on the checklist for transferring association management responsibilities are equally as important to the process.

  • Account names
  • Login credentials
  • Codes, passwords and keys
  • Financial signing authority

Without these items, you would be stuck re-establishing the vehicle that allows the association to move ahead. Upon transitioning, ensure that all administrative access and authorities are transferred to avoid substantial roadblocks in day-to-day tasks for the association.

Communicate with Members

Another crucial transition aspect is association membership communication. Ensure that association emails, phone numbers, mailing address and digital association management system accounts are all transferred to new staff. Maintaining contact with the membership during a transition process is important and in order to gain the trust of a new membership base, they must be integrated and considered throughout the transition process.

Attending association events during this period can be another way of meeting members and answering questions to reassure them that their association is in good hands. For more information about the advantages of meeting members in person, see my colleague’s article. Establishing a level of social currency with members can go a long way towards solidifying your new working relationship.

To Conclude

In conclusion, working your way through systematic checklists of key components can ensure nothing slips through the cracks during an association management transition. A smooth transition facilitates any associations ability to achieve their vision and mission moving forward for their membership.