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Culminating Your Chapter Value with an Exit Interview

Recognizing that sometimes a member has gained all they can from your chapter and affording them the opportunity to move on to the next phase of their professional life is the culminating chapter value you can provide them.            

This value rests in the exit interview, a process aimed at parting ways with respect and appreciation. The benefit of which is two-fold. First, offering your soon-to-be former member the opportunity to honestly express their views about your chapter gives significance to their voice. Hopefully, this means they will leave your chapter on good terms, with only positive things to say with referrals to future potential members. Second, it provides your chapter leadership with key insight into how the chapter has benefited a member through their lifecycle within the chapter. If conducted correctly, it also offers real knowledge aimed at the betterment of your chapter, which will provide value to your remaining and future members for years to come.

To successfully accomplish the exit interview, follow these guidelines:

  1. Provide a comprehensive exit survey that asks about their journey with your chapter from beginning to end.
  •  Ask when they joined and about what brought them to the chapter in the first place. While you may have that data in their member record, allowing them to provide their own narrative adds to their story within your chapter.
  • Provide space for them to report the best and worst experiences through their tenure.
  • Solicit advise to make the chapter experience stronger for remaining and future members.
  • Seek information about why they have chosen to part ways from your chapter. Make sure to allow them the option not to provide detail if they wish to keep things to themselves.

 

  1. Follow up the survey with a personal call by a member of your leadership team. Focus on different aspects based on their role in your chapter.
  • No matter the membership level, for best results, call only once, leaving a specific message to ensure your intentions are clear without leaving a feeling that you are trying to recruit them to come back to your chapter.
  • For members of less than 3 years, specifically address any concerns they have that lead them to leave your chapter. Let them know that their feedback helps the leadership team improve the chapter.
  • Longer tenure members also want to hear that their feedback benefits the chapter and that their participation left an impact on the chapter. Refer to specifics about their activities with the chapter.
  • Retiring leaders want to hear a simple thank you for their service. 

 

  1. Show your lasting appreciation.
  • Send a Thank You card along with a certificate honoring your exiting member’s time in the chapter. If they served in a leadership role, provide them a separate certificate for that.
  • If funds allow, send a small gift as a token of your appreciation to members that had an especially active role in the chapter. It will brighten up their day and place your chapter in an extra positive light.
  • Consider all active members, even now former members, for awards at the end of the year. As long as a member participated during the award consideration time, they should be on the list.
  • Honoring members, past and present, with praise will continue to shine on the legacy of your chapter.   

Making the decision to move on from your chapter likely involved more than a spur of the moment decision. By offering a space for real feedback and treating an exiting member with the utmost respect and appreciation your chapter will gain a reputation of high regard. One that attracts new members and reminds all members that they have value, no matter the path they take.

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