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Jenny Baker
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2021 Exit Survey

SIOP Survey Subcommittee: Richard Vosburgh, Victoria Stage, Victoria Hendrickson, Harry Kohn, Stephen King, Brett Guidry, and Erik Zito

SIOP members who did not renew during the June 2020 call for membership renewal (N = 3,000) were surveyed by the SIOP Survey Subcommittee March 8–29, 2021, to better understand why they chose not to renew their membership with SIOP. One hundred thirty-eight people renewed their membership as a result of sending the Exit Survey. Of those who chose not to renew, 100 responded to the survey. The online survey was sent by email and consisted of seven quantitative questions, eight open-ended questions, and two demographic questions. Mercer|Sirota conducted the analysis and generated the full report, which can be found on the SIOP Survey website.

Our focus in this article is to share an executive summary of the results. Upcoming articles will focus on actions that are planned and underway. Caution is warranted when interpreting these results due to the small sample size (n = 100).

Overall Findings

  • Most members who decided not to renew cited the cost of membership (20%), whereas 15% indicated that the impacts of COVID-19 were the primary reason.

  • Of the respondents, 1,231 (43%) were SIOP Members and 1,088 (38%) were Student Affiliates.

  • The majority of respondents (57%) had been members of SIOP for 5 years or less when they chose not to renew their membership.

  • Open-ended responses revealed that many respondents had multiple reasons for terminating their memberships.

  • Unlike previous years, the absence of an in-person SIOP annual meeting affected many respondents’ decisions to renew.

  • Over half of respondents either indicated renewing within a year or intended to consider rejoining in the future.

Comment Analysis

There were 140 comments across all of the eight open-text questions. These comments were analyzed and categorized as follows.





I am under a salary reduction. I would have stayed if SIOP reduced the fees for those of us with reduced salaries.


Engagement and inclusion

I find the community and network insular.



Once the in-person conferences start back up, I will likely rejoin.


Resources and research

SIOP has increasingly focused on practitioner issues…I go elsewhere for high-quality research now.


Politics and environment

SIOP messages drag in their personal politics… We should stick to the science.



Actions Based on the Survey

The annual Exit Survey is one way we garner insights for retaining SIOP members. In concert with the many other SIOP committees, we continue to look for ways to serve the field of I-O psychology and the members of SIOP. Here are just a few of the things we are working on based on Exit Survey results.


Dues continue to be a primary reason expressed for not renewing a SIOP membership. Roughly half of the respondents had been student members and many of the comments were from them as they faced the higher dues when upgrading to Associate or Member. They may not have been aware that they can continue at the student rate for 1 year beyond graduation, so that has been added to the Dues webpage. Although the dues structure for SIOP is consistent with or lower than comparable professional organizations, we sympathize with members who find dues to be too expensive, particularly members who are currently experiencing a hardship. Therefore, we are recommending that SIOP consider allowing dues to be paid in quarterly installments or a monthly subscription rather than as a lump sum to ease the burden on certain members.


SIOP is committed to championing diversity and inclusion efforts within our Society. The volunteer committee members within SIOP are dedicated to including all members. As of 2020, a Diversity and Inclusion Portfolio Officer was added to the Executive Board. This portfolio is comprised of the Committee on Ethnic and Minority Affairs (CEMA); Disability, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DIAC); International Affairs (IAC); Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN); LGBTQIA+; and Military and Veteran’s Inclusion Committees.

In addition, the Membership Committee has been working to support SIOP’s strategic goal 2.3, Improve the visible/invisible diversity of our membership and encourage more diversity within our profession, by developing an action plan to be implemented during the ‘21 –’22 SIOP year.

Similar themes have emerged between the Exit Survey and the research done with the D&I Portfolio Committee Chairs to begin this work, such as lack of inclusion, representation, and respect for MA/MS members as compared to PhD members; lack of support for financial issues; and lack of consistency and transparency in award criteria and decisions. Additionally, we continue to look for ways to create a sense of “belonging” in SIOP. A future TIP article will detail the action items to be taken once they have been established.

SIOP Conference

There have been many unfortunate effects of the pandemic that have affected our members in a variety of ways. The financial impact is addressed above in the discussion of dues. In addition, we are optimistic about a return to an in-person conference in 2022, with the potential of keeping some virtual aspects that went well in 2021 in order to expand our reach. We hope that this will have positive impact on SIOP members in the coming years.

The SIOP Membership Committee seeks to create an inclusive membership for all I-O-related professionals and focuses on the attraction, selection, and retention of all SIOP members. For additional feedback or questions, please contact Victoria Stage at vstage31@gmail.com.

We would like to thank Jayne Tegge in the SIOP Administrative Office and SIOP leaders who reviewed and contributed to this article.



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