Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Exit Interviews Upon Resignation

I was reading the Q4 Communications Report of the Board of General Purposes and was struck by this passage:

"[...]London and many Provinces now operate a system of ‘exit interviews’ with the aim of ascertaining whether a resignation is owing to a general disillusionment with Freemasonry, or is related to the particular lodge of which he is a member. In the latter case it is often possible for the Metropolitan or Provincial authorities to find a more convenient or congenial lodge for the Brother to join so that his masonic career is not interrupted[...]"

 This is pretty interesting. The idea of an exit interview to ascertain why an employee is leaving a job is very common. However, I've never heard it used in a Masonic context. I think it's pretty genius.

We all know brothers that joined and left within a couple years. However, I've never seen any lodge ask why. I didn't during my year. And now that I see this, I really wished that I had.

We fail a lot on this front and blame the brother who is leaving. This is a two way street. We may be able to find something better for him. Or find out what we, in general, need to do to make Masonry relevant. And this could even be expanded from the lodge level to all Masonic organizations.

I'm going to be recommending this to the Worshipful Master of my lodge and maybe even the Grand Master. I think it's the right thing to do.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we need to conduct exit interviews for the brothers that seek to demit? Leave a comment below.


Tom Accuosti said...

We've kicked the idea around in Connecticut, but I like the idea of having someone perhaps not from the lodge itself doing the interview. If the person wasn't comfortable in the lodge, itself, because of some aspect of the lodge culture (or personalities), then an outside party might be a good way to redirect the brother into something more fitting.

Magpie Mason said...

The larger demographic group by far is that of the dues-paying member who never shows up, so I'd rather see a resource like this employed to gauge that dissatisfaction.

The quitters? Free will and accord is paramount to the Masonic identity, and any effort that may even appear to second guess one's choice to leave would be unseemly. Freemasonry is not for everyone, and we know that. Whoever brought the departing Mason to the lodge in the first place should be the one who consults him, assuming they actually know each other.

Beware of marketing initiatives emanating from the United Grand Lodge of England. It is panicking over declining membership, and is going to make the mistake of aping customer satisfaction strategies.

M. West said...

I think this is pretty much common sense. The ability to keep track of how many have left and for what reasons it would be a good tool for retention.

I will say this, if you do not know why a brother is dimiting from your lodge, thats an issue. Granted if these are brothers that have not shown up in months/years then its probably a good idea to reach out to them.

Bob David said...

It is a good idea, and from experience it works, but not when the resignation is first received. Let the dust settle for a few months, then call in for coffee. By then the hurt has dulled, the issue no longer carries the importance it carried before, and hopefully the Brother will be missing going to Lodge. Some years ago, my Lodge contacted anyone who had resigned in the last two years. All were shocked that someone cared and bothered to visit them. There were 8 in total, and 5 returned to Lodge. Two are still members unfortunately the other 3 passed to the Grand Lodge above, but all were subscibing members at that time.
If you decide to do this, be very careful you do not heap so much attention on the returning Brethren, that current Brethren feel neglected. If you do, this will be a never ending process.
And do everything face to face after makinh initial contact. Good Luck