People in clubs need to feel confident that they can have their say and know that they’re being heard and respected.

 

Members become frustrated if:
  • they aren’t listened to
  • club officials react defensively
  • constructive feedback isn’t acted upon.

Sometimes clubs don’t even bother to provide decent feedback mechanisms.

Some people think it’s okay to air their opinions in aggressive and destructive ways, which doesn’t help either.

A club aspiring to be a place of respect, safety, fun, fairness and success will make sure that it has good processes for hearing what it’s supporters and members have to say.

These clubs act on feedback in ways which are transparent and meaningful.

They see listening to their members as opportunities for growth.

 

Some golden rules for dealing with feedback

  • Step 1 - Create opportunities for people to give their feedback 
    Informally
    • Ask some members and supporters during a game their opinion on aspects of the club.
    • Put an anonymous suggestion box in the clubrooms.
    • Think about nominating a member of your committee who might take this on as one of their roles.

     

    Formally
    • Have a clear and well publicised process in place that allows people to bring that issue to the club in a constructive and safe manner.
    • When new people come to the club, make sure they’re aware that the club values their opinions and point to the processes the club has in place for giving feedback.

    If your club has the capacity, nominate someone who you feel people in and around the club would feel comfortable talking with.

    Their role would be:

    • Acting as another point of contact for members to provide valuable feedback
    • Helping people deal with issues as they arise
    • Helping with members’ well-being and club culture generally
    • Helping the committee devise and enact solutions that are relevant and practical to members.

    Most people don’t talk just to listen to their own voice.

    People want to connect.

    By all means be discerning, but trust people when they’re talking about their own feelings and experiences.
  • Step 2 - Act on it

    When someone listens and acts constructively on the feedback, everyone wins.

    It could be as simple as:

    • Saying to someone that you will take the matter up with the committee
    • Doing so
    • Then reporting back the outcome.

    If the outcome is a reasonable response to the feedback, it will usually be accepted in good faith.

  • Step 3 - Point people in the right direction

    Direct people to the most appropriate person to talk to if it isn’t yourself.

    This ties in with the need to have known processes in place for people around the club to give feedback.