Influential Voices: Recruiting Members and Volunteers

I read Bill Troy’s post on recruiting members and volunteers with interest because I am not only a member and volunteer wit ASQ, I am also a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. Like many other membership organizations, the Girl Scouts have been hit with a downward trend in members and volunteers, described in a recent New York Times article. I see many parallels within these organizations and how the volunteers struggle with changing demographics. One things that I think is critical for volunteer organizations is training. Critical enough that I have involved myself with training both in ASQ, through the Technical Communities Council working on a team with Section and Divison leaders looking at how to better train members, and in Girl Scouts, participating in a team within our council that helped staff develop training for new Daisy, Brownie and Junior leaders. There is nothing that frustrates me more as a volunteer than to hear people complain about the things that they don’t have… or talk about this great idea that we should do, only it is something that is already available, and in some cases has been for years.

Training is a two-way street. As volunteers, we need to make a commitment to learn what we need to do in order to do our volunteer jobs well. My council requires some training before you can become a leader. This is not something consistent from council to council. ASQ has some of the basic training available for section and division member leaders available online, and offers training regionally, as well as through other organized events. Each position has resources and information available in the Member Leader Community of Practice as well as a position description.

Why is training so important? As a volunteer, I can’t help members access the benefits of their membership unless I am aware of them. For recruitment, I can’t begin to ask someone to join if I don’t know what we do. Have you been trained on your volunteer position? How does it affect your ability to lead?

Influential Voices: Social Media

This month, Paul wrote about social media in honor of the re-launch of he ASQ Communities. I have to be honest – I limit my social networking for work to LinkedIn for the most part. So while I’ve accepted the requests in the community and I’ve set up my profile, 99% of my effort is really on the LinkedIn side. I’ve received Facebook requests from some of the people I’ve met through ASQ, but I only accept requests there from folks I consider to be friends, and delete the rest – my Facebook activity is about my family and my hobbies, not about networking. LinkedIn keeps me busy enough, as I moderate three groups including ASQ Women Network, and most of the time, if I need an answer to something, I look up e-mail addresses on LinkedIn and then go direct to the person I want to connect with.

How do you use social media as a quality professional?