A Note From the President

Feeling Engaged?

Published in April Issue             

We hear a lot about employee “engagement” these days. In fact, many administrators and clinical leaders are held accountable for how engaged their employees are in their job and their workplace.

What does it mean to be engaged in your job or to a professional society? To me, it means caring enough about an organization to give your opinion, good or bad, about important issues and to pitch in when you can to
make it a better place.

My sense over the last few years is that if we had an engagement survey for ASMBS members (and we should), it would tell us that some of our members have become disinterested or indifferent about what their society is doing for them (i.e. disengaged).

Some of the reasons members drift away from professional societies are obvious: Members don’t feel the leadership is addressing the issues that are important to them, they aren’t invited to participate in the work of the society, or they see the leadership as only academic types who don’t really understand the issues of the busy practicing surgeon. These are but a few of the themes I’ve noticed over the last few years when I talk to ASMBS members.

My primary mission this year is to re-engage as many surgeons as we can with ASMBS activities. We’ve added a lot of committee members and I won’t say no if someone wants to join a committee and do some work. The people who get involved are the people who move up in the society and make an impact, so we have to mentor surgeons from all practice types into these roles.

More importantly, though, I want the members to feel like their voices are being heard by the leadership of the society. Unless you vote or respond to a survey or contact us directly, the Executive Council really can’t get a clear picture of what the membership is thinking. For that reason, we’re redesigning how we engage our members to get their feedback. Rachel Moore, our State Chapter Committee Chair, has developed a great strategy to make sure voices are heard by utilizing our state chapters more effectively.

From now on when you receive a survey or are asked to vote on something important from the society, it will be routed to your state chapter president and he or she will be asked to rally the vote in their state or region. Rather than the fairly sad 10-15% response rate we have historically received, we expect that state chapter presidents will help us get close to a 100% response rate. By engaging the state leadership in this way, we hope to engage you as well in the business of the ASMBS.

As always, let me know if you have ideas or problems the executive leadership should know about. If you feel you have something unique to offer the society or to our meetings, let us know that too. We are always looking for ways to improve our programs and
educational activities. Please email me at Stacy.Brethauer@asmbs.org.

I look forward to seeing you at the ASMBS Weekend in San Diego June 8-10 and at the ASMBS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek in Washington D.C. this fall.

Have a great month!