The goal of every group is to grow both financially and in membership. Most groups start with only a handful founders, and in the course of time new members are added, until the group reaches desired size. A steady growth in membership is a good indicator that the group is performing well, and will most likely translate to improved financial standing of the group.
There are times, however, when a group loses members. Whether its one or two members that have left or a steady out flux of members, such a scenario can send worrying signals to the rest of the group. It’s possible that a member leaves a chama out of personal and unavoidable reasons, but, more often than not, it is because of unfavorable conditions within the group.
A member may also be made to leave the group as a form of disciplinary action against him/her.
What can cause members to quit a group?
Ineffective Group Policies
Members may feel that the policies governing group operation are not favorable for them. The right action to take in such a case would be to raise concerns with the group leadership;however,in the case that those concerns are not considered,the member will be compelled to leave the group. To avoid such, its important to continually revise group policy based on members’ views.
Some policies that members may find unfavorable include fine and penalties guidelines, meeting schedules and investment policies.
To avoid such, every new member should be fully informed of all group policy at the time of joining to assert that he/she is able to work with them or not. Vigorous vetting and onboarding of new members will help to mitigate against future conflicts.
Poor conflict Resolution within the group
Chamas, like any other social groups, are bound to experience friction from time to time. Whether it is due to personal differences or group interest, members may find themselves conflicting at various levels. That is unavoidable.
What really matters is how group members handle these conflicts when they occur. Poorly resolved, these conflicts could tear a group apart, and frustrate all the effort that has been put in to build it.
Group members should be patient and understanding with each other. But that alone will not resolve all conflict. Group by-laws should be upheld above personal interests, and they should include guidelines for resolving various conflicts. In the case that group members are unable to resolve conflicts among themselves, they can involve an external arbitrator such as a lawyer to help them come to an understanding.
Poorly defined goals or unachieved goals
When people join a group, it is in the hope that by working towards the group’s goals, their own personal financial goals will also be achieved. When a member feels that the group is not helping him/her achieve these goals, then it will be right for them to leave and find a group that does so.
A group will fail to achieve goals when members, and more so leaders, become complacent and fail to focus on the visions set when the group was started. It could also be due to broken policy and poor decision making pertaining investment, saving and other financial issues.
It is human nature to want to feel recognized and appreciated. This is true for members in a chama. A group that focuses on some members and leaves out others is bound to lose them.
This commonly happens due to personality differences. Some members are naturally domineering and spoken while others will be quiet and reserved. It lies upon the group leader to ensure that each member is recognized regardless of their natural dispositions.
Even more importantly, every member has unique talents and ideas to bring to the group, and they should all be captured for the benefit of the chama.
Process of leaving a group.
If a member feels that he is not comfortable as member of a group, then he should approach the group leadership to see if anything can be done about the issue. However, if the member has made the decision to leave, it is good to have the leader inform the other members so that the member is send off in peace. The member can also be given a chance during a group meeting to say his/her farewells to the other members.
There may be also some legal processes to be followed depending on the Chama’s legal registration status.
It will then be the duty of the other members to deal with the issues that made the member to vacate the group, so that it does not affect other members and make them to follow suit.
Categorised in: General
This post was written by Victor Makau
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