How can we gain new members, and encourage existing members to stay? The Legion has developed the following Key Principles of Hospitality – S.E.R.V.I.C.E. – to create a more welcoming and hospitable Legion environment.
Legion Branches are the cornerstone of communities across Canada, and provide one of the largest volunteer bases in the country. With more than 1400 Branches from coast to coast to coast, our members provide local services and supports to build a stronger Canada. Whether helping local Veterans, supporting seniors, providing youth sports programs, raising funds, volunteering to help those in need, or simply offering a place to gather for fun and celebration, Legionnaires provide essential services in their communities.
We need to remember and recognize these core values cannot be achieved without active participation from thousands of Legion volunteers who subscribe to these founding principles.
S is for SMILE. Each person (member or visitor) who enters your local branch should be greeted with a smile. Ensure the local branch key personnel are aware of the importance of greeting all with a smile. A smile provides a degree of comfort for anyone entering your branch. Always attempt to reach out to the guest before they reach out to you.
E is for ENQUIRE. Attempt to take time to enquire about all present in your branch. Get their name. How have you been? What are your plans for this weekend? Engaging your membership base automatically creates a more welcoming environment by creating a personal connection.
R is for REMEMBER. Not only is this one of our core Legion values but it also is important to remember your members and follow up on any previous conversations you have had. Did your plans for the weekend work out? Did you speak with your wife about attending our Friday night dinner? Remember important dates. Reach out on special birthdays or anniversaries to show recognition of these accomplishments. Again, a key component of creating a personal connection.
V is for VERY NICE TO SEE YOU. This statement goes hand in hand with a smile to create a more welcoming environment. When followed up with remembering a previous encounter it further demonstrates a welcoming environment. Treat everyone with the same level of engagement and courtesy.
I is for INTRODUCE. Make an effort to introduce your members to other people in your branch. The more people one has met the more comfortable they will be on returning, as they will feel part of a larger organization.
C is for CONNECT. Aside from the initial conversations it is important that your branch stays connected to your members when they are not at your establishment. This can be accomplished by having a branch website promoting upcoming events and a regular email newsletter, which are highly cost efficient and proactively keep your members updated on upcoming events.
E is for ENTICE TO JOIN. The chances of attracting new members to join are greatly enhanced once all of the above have been accomplished. If you have created a welcoming environment, your chances will be much higher of signing up new members and retaining current members. Do not be afraid to ask members to join, as it is through our members that we are able to achieve our core values as an organization.