Are You an “Employer of Choice?”

attendees with name tags at a business meeting

Does your association’s employer brand – its reputation as a place to work – live up to its promise? Are you prepared for a deluge of résumés? Do you have strategies for retaining four generations working side-by-side in the workplace?

Continuing a discussion started at ASAE’s Great Ideas! Conference in Orlando, FL and ASAE’s FHRBOC in Washington, DC, I led a spirited discussion on those questions and workplace culture at ASAE’s Annual Meeting in Detroit.

Addressing a standing-room-only crowd, I, along with Arlene Pietranton, PhD, FASAE, CAE, CEO, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Addy Kujawa, CAE, Executive Director, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; and Susan Avery, CAE, CEO, International Association of Plastics Distribution discussed the challenges and solutions regarding candidate identification and staff retention.

Susan created a positive culture out of necessity. Based in Kansas City, she found that while she could not compete for talent on compensation – she certainly could on culture. Therefore every day at IAPD is business casual, pet dogs are allowed in the office, and she certainly doesn’t “manage by the timecard.”

Addy engages her largely Millennial team with strategies such as inviting her entire staff to board meetings. She finds that such a simple action results in increased retention since her team feels important, is part of the conversation, and gains further understanding as to how AAOE operates.

Arlene, who has seen ASHA honored with numerous “Best Places to Work” media accolades and awards during her time as its CEO, said it well: “One cannot over acknowledge the role that culture plays in all business decisions. Culture trumps all.  Your culture is your brand.”

Content for the session was inspired by The 2015 Employer Branding Report. The seven-page PDF report is available for free at


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