Acknowledge people for their contributions to club and culture. Acknowledgement gives us a sense of validation and belonging. The club acknowledging us makes us feel connected to it, more invested in it, and like we want to work harder for it.
We’ll be more likely to keep contributing positively, others will see the reward and decide to get on board.
Through the grapevine, people catch wind that at this club, people are recognised for their contributions and they feel valued. Membership and your volunteer pool swell.
Recognising people for actioning club values and helping to improve club culture, is in itself, an act that helps to improve club culture. Giving credit where credit is due is vital to morale, and to looking after your people. It’s a win-win.
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:
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.
Step 1 – Create opportunities for people to give their 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:
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:
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.
Clubs which prioritise creating respectful culture also are more likely to achieve the on-field success sought by every club. Why?
They become a ‘destination club’; a place well known for connection, belonging, collaboration, safety, enjoyment and respect. One where people, including high-quality players, coaches, and volunteers, want to be. To translate this idea of success into reality:
Step 1 – Identify and articulate your club’s measures of success
Make sure that they sit comfortably with your club’s mission and values.
Step 2 – Promote them
Step 3 – Celebrate and reward success
When members achieve success, individually or as teams, celebrate and reward them!
Everyone connected to the club needs to commit to creating and maintaining a deep culture of respect, through ongoing positive action.
Reminders as to why the commitment that we made is so important, serve us well in keeping going with it.
Club Respect Pledge
A pledge is a simple and powerful tool that binds each person to the club and one another. Everyone connected to the club gets to make the pledge, no matter who they are or what they do around the club.
Club Wide Positive Behaviour Matrix
A matrix helps you to identify, communicate and maintain the positive behaviours that are expected in specific areas of your club.
A storyboard expresses members ideas about the club’s direction; the journey so far and the future that lay ahead.
It’s a way to visualise your story. As such, it needs to align with your core mission and club values, and revolve around the pledge.
Make sure that creating and adding to the storyboard is an ongoing, collaborative thing. Encourage everyone connected to the club to contribute to it if they wish to.
Annual Club Event
Hold at least one event (at the start of the season) to:
There are so many achievements for clubs to celebrate that extend beyond simply winning the game. Do an audit of all the activities in the club that could be celebrated, and how they could be celebrated.
Awards are always a great place to start. Once you know what areas of success your club wants to recognise, develop simple criteria for selecting the winner(s). Make sure you also decide on a fair, democratic system for choosing winners. Below is a list to help you get the ball rolling.
They might be weekly, monthly, annually – whatever your club can manage. Just keep in mind that consistency is key.