Thinking you're better off getting your chapter ready for recruitment yourself? If you're currently believing that you can't trust anyone else but yourself to get recruitment preparation done "the right way," you are on a guaranteed path to burnout. Our intern, Darby, wrote this for you to reset your mindset about delegation and how sisterhood can flourish when sisters are entrusted to contribute to their sorority:
Before coming to college and joining a sorority, I enjoyed working individually. Whether it be on a school project or at my part-time job, I preferred to get my tasks done alone. When I got my first officer position in my chapter, I quickly realized working with others was the best – and most efficient – way to work. Taking on any position in your chapter may be challenging at times, but utilizing assistants, committees, and sisters who are willing to help is a great way to reduce some of the stress and grow relationships with your sisters. Working alongside sisters in my chapter and my Panhellenic community has allowed me to meet some amazing women and form lifelong friendships with them.
Sisters who take on officer roles deserve a lot more credit than they get. Behind the scenes of every recruitment round, sisterhood event, or chapter meeting, sisters are making sure everything runs smoothly. Last year, I served my chapter as Ritual Chairwoman, which entailed making sure ritual ceremonies were set up correctly. I was given a Ritual Assistant and Ritual Committee which consisted of about four sisters who were willing to help with set up and clean up for ceremonial events. For my first ritual ceremony as Chairwoman, I was extremely nervous- I did not want anything to go wrong. I reached out to the committee to let them know my plans and see where they could help, but I struggled with getting assistance. So, I went to our chapter’s storage unit myself, went to the store to get supplies myself, and got there two hours early to begin setting up. I did not want to put the stress or extra work on my sisters, so I kept it to myself. After that first event, I knew I did not want to do it all alone again, so I had to come up with a new way to lead my committee.
At our next committee meeting, I reviewed expectations, with an emphasis on helping fellow officers. To implement this idea, I created a spreadsheet that would be sent out two weeks before each event we managed. Committee members could go into the spreadsheet and put their names next to tasks that needed to be completed. This way I could see how everyone was pitching in and could make sure all of the work was not falling onto one person. Once I applied this to our committee, I was less stressed and was able to work with my sisters rather than feel like I was working for my sisters.
Currently, I am serving my chapter as Membership Director, and I am so incredibly thankful to have Lilly and Linda, my Recruitment Data Chairwoman and Membership Assistant, to help me. They both play crucial roles leading up to and during recruitment and- as they know – I have utilized them to the fullest. Their roles are somewhat different, but a lot of what we work on, we do together or delegate to each other and members of our Recruitment Committee.
So, what’s delegating, and how does it work? To delegate is to give out smaller tasks or assignments in a bigger project. Delegating assigns ownership which makes people feel accountable for the outcome, therefore they are more likely to put forth the effort. To put it blatantly, people are more likely to care about something once they have a stake in it. As Membership Director it is my job to teach, lead, and support my chapter throughout recruitment; it is a lot more about my chapter than it is about me. To get my sisters more involved in recruitment, I have tried to make sure everyone feels like they have a part in the process- because they do!
Sometimes you must let go of “being in charge” and pass along some of your responsibility. A sister elected as a Chairwoman or an Executive Council officer should be encouraging their assistants, committees, and fellow chapter members to be involved and prepare them for future positions. For existing officers, I try to make sure their role in recruitment pertains to their position. Gracie, our Alumnae Relations Chairwoman, for example, helps me and the rest of the chapter tremendously when it comes to gathering alumnae donations for work week and making sure our alumnae know dates and times for attending Preference Round and Bid Day.
Here are some other ways to make sure you are including sisters and their positions in recruitment:
Some chapters may have a Chairwoman residing over each round of recruitment. They assist in planning the décor, setting up, cleaning up, and the ins and outs of that round. If you do not have sisters in charge of those rounds, reach out to your Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Ritual Chairwomen to see if they would be interested in helping!
If your chapter is wearing matching shirts for any of the rounds, see if your T-Shirt Chairwoman or Committee has any ideas for a Philanthropy or Open House shirt.
I am not an artistic person in the slightest and these upcoming work week banners seem terrifying to take on, so I’ve reached out to our Decorations Chairwoman to see if she and her committee could help!
Our Sisterhood Chairwoman always has the best games/activities for the chapter at sisterhood events and retreats, and a big part of work week for me is making sure my chapter grows closer. I’m asking for her suggestions for games she thinks the chapter would like.
I work extremely closely with our Public Relations Chairwoman to ensure that we are posting content based on PNMs and Recruitment throughout the summer.
For sisters you want to bring out in the chapter and help get more involved, start by asking their opinions. Chapter members want to be involved, but some may not know how or where to start. I began this by sending out feedback forms after each recruitment practice I held for my chapter. In the forms, there were questions based on recruiting and how the individual feels about recruitment so far. I also included questions that allowed my sisters to give me feedback. Myself, Lilly, and Linda looked over the feedback and we made changes accordingly. Making small changes, like outfits, are minor details that, in the grand scheme of it all, do not truly matter, so why not make adjustments and have happy recruiters?
Making sure every sister has had a voice in recruitment planning and decisions has already strengthened our relationships. Involving sisters and their officer positions in the planning process has allowed me to get closer to women I have not had the chance to yet. Recruitment can be stressful, and it is way more stressful as a one-person job. Know that there are sisters who are willing to lend a helping hand if you just delegate. I cannot say recruitment planning has been easy or that it is always smooth sailing, but there has been some weight lifted from my shoulders knowing that there are other sisters working alongside me.