Once the chapter board agrees to review 100% chapter status, establish a timeline for the research and create a robust communication plan that will be inclusive and ensure transparency. And, then, stick to it. Below, you'll find a variety of ideas that have been used by other chapters in their transition efforts.
Your communication plan should include delivery of information using multiple methods such as:
- hard copy mail
- social media
As part of your plan, the initial announcement could be made at a chapter meeting with an immediate follow up employing other methods to ensure all members are aware.
A survey of your membership about the concept of 100% chapter status will allow you to solicit feedback and collect input from your membership. Using a survey tool that ensures anonymity of the repondents should encourage responses from your members. That feedback -- including perceived impact -- will help set the direction of your research and future messaging.
Encourage your members to ask questions. Remove the barriers.
Set up a virtual "hotline" to an e-mail address for questions specific to the 100% chapter concept. Responses could be handled by the task force leader or chapter president. Having one or two members responsible for responding will ensure consistency and timeliness.
Provide updates at your regular chapter meetings as part of the business portion of the meeting. Not all members are able to attend all chapter meetings during the year. To ensure your members are part of the ongoing discussion, use multiple methods of distributing the udpates as well.
Enlist the aid of your board members in reaching out to your non-SHRM members through personal telephone calls to ensure they continue to be part of the conversation. Understand their concerns, if any.
Use the "Members Only" area of your web site and social media sites to post periodic updates.
E-mail is an effective and inexpensive way to communicate with your members. However, it is best not to rely on e-mail as the only tool. Not all members may have e-mail nor are all e-mail messages delivered. Perhaps specific messages should be delivered via hard copy or at specific points in the plan, a hard-copy update could be planned.
When the all-important step of voting on the proposal is scheduled, be sure to advise your members in the most effective means available -- and in accordance with your chapter's bylaws. As mentioned earlier, all members will be impacted and, as a result, all members should be part of the final decision.
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