A goal of your Chapter should always be to keep your Members and Initiates engaged. Engaged Members are crucial to your Chapter’s success and are most likely to become lifelong Members. Similarly, engaged Initiates are most likely to continue in the joining process to becoming Members. So let’s talk about disengagement!
Disengagement can be difficult to spot, especially if your Chapter is large. However, there are a few signs that can warn of a disengaged Member or Initiate:
- Low attendance at mandatory or optional events
- Little to no interaction with other Members
- Being distracted during Chapter Meetings with little to no participation
- Not taking on a leadership role within the Chapter like being on E-Board or a committee, being a Big or Facilitating Leadership in Action Modules
- Not representing Phi Sigma Pi, such as wearing letters or pin, outside of Chapter events
If you spot any of these warning signs, schedule a time to meet with the disengaged Member in a casual atmosphere, like at the local coffeeshop. Have a conversation about Phi Sigma Pi, and ask the Member questions to identify what is causing them to feel disengaged. Consider asking:
“What’s your favorite part of being a Member?”
“What would you change?”
“What sort of events would you be interested in attending?”
Try to avoid an accusatory or offended tone and respond, rather, with empathy and understanding. Take what the Member said back to the Executive Board and see what can be changed to get them more engaged. It may be creating new and different events or finding a spot for the Member on a committee that would utilize their skills and interests.
You can’t please everyone, but it’s important to address the needs and wants of disengaged Members to create life-long Members. You can even prevent disengagement by following these tips:
- Survey your Members often or take votes on what sort of events your Chapter should hold.
- Hold end-of-year evaluations where Members can anonymously offer constructive criticism on the past year and suggestions for the next year.
- Allow a comfortable space for Members to speak if they are feeling disengaged
- Avoid too many requirements. Requirements are great at getting Members to participate, but we want to avoid Members participating solely for the fact that they HAVE to. We want them to WANT to.
- Listen to your Members and encourage their ideas and passions within the Chapter. They should feel valued!
Want to learn more about how to motivate those around you (including your Members)? Request the First-Time Officer – Rally The Troops Module! With this Module, you will:
- Explore the different types of motivation
- Learn to praise others effectively
- Discuss informal and formal rewards