Automation is part of our everyday lives, from self-service checkouts in the supermarket to satellite navigation whilst we drive.
When 42% of leaders agree that workflow automation speeds up the completion of repetitive tasks, it’s no surprise that some angling clubs are beginning to recognise its importance.
On paper, implementing automation at your angling club seems like a no brainer: it reduces the time spent on membership admin so that you can spend more time on the bank, the angler experience becomes more streamlined and it helps to generate revenue that can be reinvested back into the club.
However, getting your committee on board with automating repetitive tasks is one of the barriers we encounter the most. It’s understandable, particularly if the committee is composed of long-standing secretaries and treasurers that have been running the club using the same processes for years. Humans are creatures of habit, so some resistance to change is normal.
So how can you persuade your angling committee to give automation a chance?
Understand how your committee operates on an individual basis.
To help your committee transition to a more modern and less labour-intensive process, take the time to understand the way they work as individuals. We all know what Treasurers are responsible for and what tasks the Membership Secretary takes care of, but what are they like as people? Is the treasurer motivated by numbers and projections? Does the secretary find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of admin they have to do?
Processes need to be made for humans first and foremost so once you’ve understood the pain points of their role on a deeper level, you can start to address how automation can help them on a role-by-role basis.
Cut through the noise.
As touched on above, it’s time to drill down how automation will be beneficial in context to their priorities. Does the chairman want to increase membership numbers? Perhaps the Membership Secretary is fed up with manually filling and posting envelopes? Or the Treasurer has had enough of queuing in the bank to pay in cheques? Highlight the key benefits of automation specifically for their responsibilities. You don’t need to divulge the technicalities of the process (unless they ask, of course). Focus on their priorities and how automating some of that workflow can make their lives easier.
Then, tell them about it. Constantly and consistently. Don’t let up!
Take advantage of committee meetings to share the key takeaways on how automation can help your angling club achieve its goals. You might feel like a broken record after a while, but it’s the best way to make yourself heard. In providing context to the solution, you’re creating an overall understanding of how automation can help.
Connect with the right people.
You may know one or two members of your organisation that have been on the committee for many years or even long-standing members of the club. Plead your case for automation to them, and see what they think. There’s a chance they’ll be on board from the beginning.
Speak to other anglers in the community, other committee members of clubs that have adopted automation at their club and get their take. In our experience, angling committees are more open to an idea if they’ve seen it in practice at another angling club. Even more so if they can see that it gets results!
These key influencers are the people that will make it more straightforward to convince the rest of the team, so use them to your advantage.
Keep it simple.
Automation has become more accessible in recent years, especially with the introduction of cloud-based systems like Clubmate to the angling community. But, just because it’s available doesn’t mean that you need to overcomplicate things. There’s no need to rip everything up and start again. Focus on automating processes that will help achieve the goals set by your committee; keep in mind that the purpose of automation is to make things easier, not harder.
By targeting a handful of specific tasks at a time, you’ll prevent the committee from getting overwhelmed at the possibility of so much change. Plus, if you select the right automation software for your club, you should have access to a support team that will help you transition at your own pace.
If you successfully win over your committee, it can be easy to get carried away with this exciting new change at your club. Empathise with those who will still be getting used to the transition, especially if they’re not tech-savvy individuals and working with automation is new to them. As the automation expert at your club, take the time to answer any questions that your committee might have about the new process and listen to any concerns they might have. Remember, not everything should be automated and there’s always going to be a need for committee members to be involved to some degree – so try not to scare committee members into thinking their roles will no longer be required, automation is here to help them – not remove them.
Clubmate works with angling clubs across the UK daily, so we understand that a large number of clubs are yet to move their membership management into the 21st century. However, if you spot an opportunity to drive growth and delight your members using automation, it is possible to overcome these potential barriers. Be respectful of their existing operations, appreciate the fact that they’ve probably been in place for years and remember that humans are at the centre of every automation.
Are you ready to bring your club into the 21st century using automation? Speak to Clubmate. We help hundreds of angling clubs save hours on admin and drive membership growth.