Results from our recent member survey has prompted the Society to create a new staff role that will focus specifically on member engagement.
The electronic survey was completed by 1,651 members – approximately 19% of the total membership – during December 2016/January 2017.
Many of the questions were aimed at learning more about the Society’s membership profile and measuring the extent to which various RSS services are used and valued by members. This results will help to improve our services in the future.
When asked why they were an RSS member, more than 1,000 respondents (nearly two thirds) said they liked being part of the community, wished to support the discipline and appreciated being able to keep in touch with the profession. Other popular reasons included the networking, professional development and career development opportunities presented by the RSS.
Services most valued by respondents included the Society’s Journals, Significance magazine, the regular email newsletters and our section and local group meetings.
Members were also asked to rate the RSS out of ten in three areas – how influential they consider the organisation to be, how welcoming we are and how professional they find the organisation as a whole. Mean scores were 7 for influence, 7.45 for openness and 8.32 for professionalism.
In terms of communications, questions regarding the Society’s Significance and StatsLife websites found that both were visited regularly by around half of the survey participants. Social media was less well-visited, however, with only around 10% of respondents visiting these pages regularly.
While finding the headline results heartening, the RSS is concerned that only 164 respondents – around 10% - said they volunteered with the organisation, while fewer still attended any of the Society’s regular events. In order to address this issue, the RSS Council has approved the creation of a ‘member engagement manager’ on a fixed term contract to encourage and enable more members to get actively involved.
'It was really interesting to analyse the data from this survey and heartening to see how members valued being part of the community, said Rob Mastrodomenico, RSS honorary officer for membership, who analysed the survey responses. 'Hopefully next time we run this we will get even more respondents, as the responses they give do have an impact on what the Society does.'
The RSS ran a prize draw for those taking part in the survey and we are pleased to announce that RSS fellow Alison Eastwood is the winner of free membership for the 2018 subscription year.
Many thanks to all those who took the time to participate; we greatly value your answers and feedback.
The new member engagement manager position is currently being advertised at www.rss.org.uk/jobs. The deadline for applications is Friday 19 May.