The first time my fraternity had a parents’ event, someone asked if either of my parents were Greek. Over-confident freshman me scoffed and said, “Why would they be? I’m not Greek.” After I realized he was talking about affiliation, not heritage, I smiled like it was an intentional joke and took a victory sip of apple juice from my cafeteria drinking glass. I learned a lot from my fraternity, but at that point, Greek life vernacular was not one of them.
While I never thought Greek life would be an Animal House, I didn’t realize all of the roles, rules, sanctions, and processes until I became an officer, an executive committee member, and an editor of our bylaws. Learning the depth and breadth of fraternity operations from the undergraduate perspective made me realize that all members, staff, advisors, and consultants might be as confused as I am.
The times are a-changin’
To be candid, I don’t know how every chapter of every fraternity works, or even how my fraternity operates nationally. Sometimes I didn’t even know how my fraternity chapter was supposed to operate locally. The caveats and classifications of updated and previous by-laws, constitutions, and SOPs at a national-level versus a chapter-level was something only our pre-law majors could keep straight.
It seemed like every year we were either overhauling chapter by-laws, sending people to a national conference to vote on national policies, or altering officer operations. Eventually, people would end up in a state of purgatory without knowing what policies were the old ones and what policies were new.
Fraternities are great at recruiting recent graduates to come work for their headquarters. It makes sense – a person has spent four years learning about our operations, now they can spend years contributing to the creation, maintenance, and audit of those policies. Unfortunately, and occasionally, fortunately, not every chapter operates identically. So, for a consultant to step into a fraternity ignorant of their policies and procedures and are expected to turn around suggestions and assessments in 48 hours, is impressive and potentially stressful.
So, let’s take the stress out of the equation and find a solution to this madness. Imagine a web-based training software that could serve as a resource for undergraduate chapters across the nation, consultants and advisors, and even fraternity staff. Understandably, I’m most familiar with Lessonly, so I’ll lay out how I would do this if I were overseeing a transition toward a web training software.
There are three groups of people that are lacking the resources necessary to be the most effective in their roles: undergraduate members, consultants, and employees.
Most undergraduate members don’t need logins, so I would use resource lessons to update them on changing policies and give them the opportunity to give feedback on said policy changes. Another use is providing them with repository resources where they could search through their lessons and find what bylaws and constitution policies apply to the relevant scenario. You may need one designated person at each chapter to update their chapter policies if they differ from national ones.
Consultants should be set up as managers of their designated regions with access to lessons and feedback from each of their assigned chapters. They will easily be able to pop into lessons and see how chapters are currently operating, what is different from national standards, and understand the chapter before even stepping onto the campus. They will be able to answer questions quickly from their advisees.
Some employees will be admins of the entire system. They will be responsible for updating national standards and policies and making sure the managers have everything they need to get their jobs done. This might also require onboarding and ongoing skills for employees and consultants alike.
When you have an online training software set-up and working effectively, your onboarding and ongoing training efficiency increases drastically. When you have an intuitive training software where users can jump in and create rather than struggle, your efficiency increases even more. Transitions are seamless and updates are effective. Get a head start with your new training software with this tour.
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