June 8 2016

Could your enrollment team benefit from a higher level of motivation, focus, and success?

Admissions team working from Credo Higher Education

Many teams we talk to seem frustrated because they aren't clear about their roles, or because they have no real direction or metrics to define success.

Based on our experiences partnering with over 300 independent campuses across the country, we have identified three simple ways to dispel the doubt and frustration, and motivate your admissions team to enrollment success:

Get The Right People in the Right Seats

It’s not uncommon for colleges and universities to have the right people working in roles that don’t necessarily best fit their skillset. Your admissions team members have the ability to mesh together in very productive ways, but knowing their strengths and weaknesses is imperative to making that happen. 

Particularly for institutions with smaller enrollment teams, it’s crucial to work with people who can excel at wearing a variety of hats in their roles. Having strong utility players on your admissions team can make a huge impact on enrollment efforts.

When it comes to filling seats with the right people, the process starts within the hiring process. Let's say you're hiring for an enrollment-data position: Start by imagining what success looks like for that position at your institution and use that vision as a guide. Think about what the candidate should be ready to tackle and what strengths might be needed to accomplish those goals, and explore those tasks and strengths in the interview process. Make sure to formulate questions that are directly connected to what that specific role will entail.

Give Your Team Laser-Focused Assignments

It's natural for certain roles on an admissions team to "fit" certain people. For example, a member of your team may have grown up in a particular region, which would make it sensible to assign that same area to them for enrollment. After all, they can relate to the area and they’ll feel comfortable and confident talking to students who live there.  

It’s also beneficial to seek out admissions team members who have a background in a specific student segment. For example: professionals who transferred during their college experience are able to relate to potential transfer students, making them a perfect fit for working with that segment. Anytime a team member has a very specific experience -- whether it’s professionally or during their time as a student -- your institution can benefit from assigning them to tasks that are closely related to their background.

How do these focused assignments motivate your admissions team? When people aren’t vying for the same roles but are instead focused on specific, rewarding tasks, they’re more likely to stay positive and motivated. Keeping your team unified and fulfilled through role clarity can be a key factor in moving everyone toward the same enrollment goals.

Make Their Importance to Student Enrollment Clear

Remember that your strategic enrollment plan is an integral key to fully unlocking your institution's success, and that plan should be transparent to your team. Without that context, they can lose sight of the big picture and begin feeling like cogs in a wheel. It’s important that your admissions team be exposed to the overall goals their roles play a part in.

For example, watching students graduate can have a profound impact on your admissions team. So too can spending time in the campus dining area where students are having meals. This engagement with students reinforces the positivity behind the end result of their day to day work: “This is why we’re recruiting new students.”

It’s also important for every member of your admissions team to understand the university’s strategic plan and what’s at the heart of their role. Being aware of the big picture positively impacts your admission team buy-in in the college or university at large, and helps remind them why they do what they do.

In the end, your team members will be at their most productive and efficient when leadership has a focus on:  

  • Clarifying what success looks like - As a whole and also for each specific team member, make sure it’s very clear what success looks like. Having defined, measurable goals your team can work toward helps them stay motivated and pushes them to succeed.
  • Holding people accountable - In addition to setting clear goals, make sure people are held accountable for success. Make sure they understand that feedback is desired and communication as a team is encouraged.
  • Figuring out ways to have fun - Make the work as enjoyable as possible. After all, fun and humor can help with keeping a team together and motivated. Celebrate successes, allow for humorous breaks even during serious meetings, and take time to do small things to show appreciation for the hard work everyone is doing.

Keeping your admissions team motivated, focused, and empowered for success is incredibly important in reaching enrollment goals. How does your team stay motivated? Comment below to share ideas.

If you liked this blog, check out the follow-up, "8 MORE TIPS TO MOTIVATE ADMISSIONS TEAMS FOR ENROLLMENT SUCCESS."

Still looking for some direction? Contact Credo today to find out how we can empower your admissions team for success. 


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