One of the most important things a Sacco should do to succeed is to focus on elaborate flow of information. Sacco leaders should ask themselves the extent to which members have access to necessary information about their Sacco.
It is important for members to know everything about their Sacco right from their savings, loans eligibility, credit performance, investments and their obligations as well as privileges as members.
When members are informed, they’re more likely to stay engaged and motivated in their responsibilities. They will most likely save more, be good ambassadors of the Sacco, create a friendly atmosphere for the overall success of the Sacco, have or feel a sense of purpose and belonging in the Sacco, foster a transparent Sacco culture and create accountability in the Sacco.
As the saying goes information is power. Empowered members will always support all the activities undertaken by their Saccos.
Giving your members the big picture of what happen in the Sacco and helping them to understand when something isn’t working will help them to feel more involved and become part of the Sacco.
Proper communication boosts members’ morale to be associated with the Sacco. It raises members’ satisfaction even when the Sacco is facing any operational challenges. It improves productivity as members will be encouraged to increase their transactions with the Sacco through consuming most of the Sacco’s products and services.
Communication to members is only effective when the right channels are engaged hence Saccos should identify the best channels of communication depending on their members.
The richest communication channel can range from one-on-one educational meetings often hailed as the most effective way of communication to personalized short messages sent to individuals.
There exist many digital communication channels like email, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram.
These platforms are very accessible hence Saccos have no choice other than ensuring they employ effective communication to their members.
Saccos should note that the rising competition among Saccos currently is how well placed a Sacco is in terms of keeping members informed through the social media. The more the information disseminated the more popular the Sacco is.
Member education fora allow members to learn the policies, bylaws and their Sacco constitutions. Through this forum, we not only grow Saccos but also a stronger cooperative movement in the country.
Lack of communication or giving members half-baked information is dangerous and can do more harm than good. Every time people are denied access to information, they feel cheated on and unsatisfied. Miscommunication raises avenues for Saccos to operate illegal businesses. Ineffective communication leads to many misunderstandings or disagreements and invites a lot of unnecessary politicking of important matters.
Poor communication can ruin a Sacco’s reputation publicly. As a result of poor communication, members will misunderstand the operations of theirs Sacco and work on assumptions which will eventually lead to the downfall of the Sacco.
Cooperative members know why they are members, they know what they want in these Saccos, and what they require is constant information of their Saccos. They want to be updated about everything ranging from the operations of the Sacco, any new products, any changes in policies, any amendment of their bylaws as well as any challenges, if any, in the Sacco.
In conclusion, Saccos being generous in effective communication will keep our Sacco members alert and confident on their Sacco of choice. Empower your Sacco members with necessary information and they will be good ambassadors. Information is power.
By CCOP Dorcas Nyambura Ndegwa
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