It seems like apathy is a very common theme that revolves around community association boards. Even in small amounts, it can easily affect even the best functioning communities. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the people involved in your community inherently care. The only thing to remember is that it is ultimately up to the board when it comes to increasing motivation and the opportunity to move past apathy.
The board needs to take initiative in order to overcome any apathy lingering around the community. If they don’t, it leads down a slippery slope that can result in burnout and overall negative community associations. That’s why we’ve put together a few ways to steer the attitude away from apathy.
Communication is the key to any effective and positive relationship. Whether it’s between members or throughout the community, make sure that you’re engaging with everyone. Even though getting a quorum is always difficult, it can go more smoothly when you think outside of the box. Try online surveys, email blasts, social media, or other convenient sites. People like to know that you’re interested in their opinions.
2. Keep Records
When you ask for input, you need to make sure that you are recording people’s output. If you don’t, it does nothing but shows that you don’t care. While some responses will be more helpful than others, every reasonable request should be considered. It’s also important to thank participants so that they know their voice was heard.
3. Make Decisions
After communicating and seeding through the responses, it comes time for the board to make a decision. They need to pick what they will be focusing on for the community and how to handle all of the logistics. Everyone involved in the final decision needs to understand their purpose, limitations, and goals in order to be successful.
4. Follow Up
Follow-up should be done at a reasonable length of time in order to keep the momentum going. About 2-3 weeks post-results is a great time frame. Make sure that when you provide committees, approved projects, and the need for volunteers (if applicable). In addition, take the time to thank them and let them know the efforts that were put into the decision.
5. Dig In
Now it’s time to take action. Electing a chairperson is a great way to establish a clear line of communication with the board and volunteers are essential to make sure things get done. From there, building a committee of dedicated and respected volunteers is a huge factor in the end's success. Make everyone feel important and encourage people in their efforts.
6. Take Notice
In order to foster a positive community, you need to appreciate and recognize the work that people put into the job. You could hold an annual meeting or dinner where you recognize the volunteers or create certificates to pass out. Whatever you do, this step is important for the long-term success of your community.
These steps may seem like a lot, but they are truly an effective way to combat apathy in your community.