KEEPING ALL OF OUR MEMBERS, SOME THOUGHTS
Once in a while, we are asked to make remarks or give a planned talk about Daughters of the Nile in our own words. We can all do that quite willingly and often do. But how often do we think about the words that we say and how they might be perceived by our audience? For example, an innocent remark might be to refer to ladies as “old members.” This might be interpreted to mean a lady who has belonged for a long time. However, it could also sound like a reference to the age of the lady and might be offensive. This is especially the case when the comment comes from a “younger” person. A better adjective might be “long time” members.
This same logic applies the other way, as well. Long time members can refer to newer ladies as “young” members. Sometimes young members are overlooked or discounted because they are “new” to the Temple. The tried and true, “We’ve always done it that way” attitude seems to prevail. Members can be lost because of hurt feelings on both sides.
Both of these scenarios can be distressing to our ladies. Neither is helpful in retaining members or creating an inclusive relationship. Considering the words we speak and taking care in how we refer to one another is an uncomplicated way to make everyone feel welcome and included.
All of us have talents, things that we excel at. Every member wants to feel that she is contributing to the Temple and to our charitable work. Overlooking a lady’s talent because she isn’t a part of the “group” is just as distressing as overlooking her as a person. Discover what the ladies of your household are capable of and then make use of those talents. People will stay where they are needed and given a job to do.
It’s not as easy as just making a new member feel welcome. We all need to feel included and necessary. Although we don’t want to push our new member (or the long time one, either) into committees, officers’ positions, or up the line too soon; we don’t want to let them slip through a crack, either. Keeping ladies interested and informed will keep them involved.
Sometimes there are financial obstacles for our ladies. Don’t let a good member be lost for a monetary reason. Perhaps find a sponsor, establish a special fund to pay per capita, or find other creative ways to help. Everyone has those down times once in a while. Let’s be charitable with one another.
Retention is key! It’s so important to retain the members we have while working to increase membership. Happy, involved, productive members are going to be there for the long haul. Everyone has useful ideas and plans, share them.