Improving Lodge Officer and Member Satisfaction

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by My Freemasonry, Feb 8, 2019.

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    John Loayza, Grand Chancellor
    Grand Lodge of Illinois, A.F. & A.M.
    February 2019

    Lodges and businesses are more successful when they can improve productivity through teamwork, decrease member/officer losses but increase their overall participation. Therefore, it’s important to focus on lodge satisfaction. In various business studies, happiness is a factor that has increased productivity in any organization (fraternal, business, clubs). Furthermore, happiness produces a better organization culture, and it helps a lodge maintain its top talented officers by nurturing them for the long term and keeps membership growing.

    What is lodge satisfaction? Satisfaction is a feeling of pleasure and achievement that is experienced when one knows that his lodge officer work or lodge member attendance is worthwhile. Linkedin did a global study which found that 75% of employees want a job where they feel that wherever they work, whatever group participation they are in, psychologically it really matters. This is no difference within a lodge situation. There are many factors leading to lodge satisfaction including lodge officer autonomy, flexibility, innovation, recognition, and a sense of belonging to an organization that fulfills a member’s wants and desires. Lodge methods/activities that meet both the lodge officer and general member satisfactions are contributing elements of a successful lodge which also reduces challenges of member retention. Let’s look at several ways to improve lodge officer and member satisfaction:


    Unfortunately, many lodges don’t give enough praise to all their officers, committee members or members in general. However, if we “consistently” tell our lodge officers or members when they have done good work (ritual, floor, educational or social activities, etc.), we will make them feel proud of their work which develops a stronger esprit de corps, and incentives to work harder in the future. Besides, it also develops a more active and successful lodge.

    Everyone needs to feel that his work truly matters. We need to go beyond just saying thank you for doing a good job. It’s important to explain “how” the work made a difference to the lodge team, and to the lodge in general. This will then contribute to a feeling of being indispensable if we emphasize on how the work related to long term lodge goals which should be part of a 3-5 year lodge business plan developed, worked, and adjusted periodically by mutual agreement between the Worshipful Master, Senior/Junior Wardens and Deacons. Example-Thank you Brother for all the work you put into the last membership project which increased our qualified lodge potential candidate group by 20% for this quarter which was fantastic. The same format can be done for any dinner or other social, community activity or charity project. There is no limit to what can be done but show the positive impact that the activity accomplished. Also, this is building a lodge brand. By recognizing the accomplishments of either specific lodge officers or committee members, and making it known to the entire lodge, we will have demonstrated that the officer’s or member’s work really was important and contributed to the success of the team/lodge.


    With the younger generation of lodge members, going through the lodge officer line is more than being appointed or elected to an office. There are more time constraints placed on everyone’s life. Lodge members and lodge officers would be more active and attend more activities if proper lodge attention was paid to investing in the membership. Lodges should be doing their own and/or district business management development or training of current and future lodge officers or committee members. They should be seeking opportunities to help develop a stronger officer corps. By business training of current or future potential officers, the lodge demonstrates that it cares about officer and lodge long term success.

    In the 21st Century, it’s no longer business as usual, our lodges need to help develop officer/committee member skillsets. Not only will new business type of skillsets make more professional and innovative lodge officers but those same officers can use the skillsets in their everyday lives outside of lodge. This is an opportunity to develop good business type of team leaders, reduce retention challenges, and strengthen our lodges. All of these factors contribute to member satisfaction.


    To Increase lodge satisfaction, it’s essential to look for methods to help lodge members connect with one another and to form friendships. Although lodge ritual/floor work is very important, lodge officers also need to be more innovative with their lodge activities to make fraternal bonding connections. This is not only true for the members at a lodge meeting but also for their families at other events.

    It’s important that lodge officers constantly plan and participate in meaningful events for the members and their families. This means more than just once or twice a year. When there is consistency in planning events outside of regular lodge meetings, this is when we see more authentic bonding or friendships develop. Another factor is to recognize important membership events such as major milestones in member’s lives. How many lodges even make mention of a member’s birthday at a lodge meeting? Unfortunately, not many. We need to make our members feel more appreciated or satisfied.


    No lodge will ever know if its strategies are working if it doesn’t conduct “regular surveys” to determine if its members are truly satisfied with whatever the lodge is doing. Satisfaction surveys help a lodge improve on what it might have otherwise missed. Example-meal menus at lodge might have to be changed, lodge visitations as a group within or outside of a specific district or state might be of interest, going to sports activities as a group and then going out for dinner might be of interest, having speakers on different non-Masonic topics could be interesting/helpful, doing a community project. No matter what, “if the lodge doesn’t become more pro-active by surveying its members, it dies from within.”

    Moreover, by periodic surveys of lodge members, the lodge demonstrates that it cares about member opinions. It also proves to the members that the lodge officers consider them important to the lodge, and not just a lodge number. Thus, we need to always remember that a lodge is a team or extended family united by common bonds. Periodic surveys can be anonymous but the lodge has to do something with the surveys, and make the results known.


    Businesses, lodges or organizations are very similar because it is essential to understand the differences of satisfaction that can produce a successful business, lodge or organization. According to a variety of organizational and community studies, engaged members of any group usually outperform those groups that do not have true and consistent member engagements. A study by ReportLinker found that over 80% of engaged members of any group when offered to take on new challenges are more likely to stay with their group. This is a factor in member retention.

    Another study of millennials reported that learning and development are the most important benefits when and where to join any organization or business. As Freemasons, this indicates that esoterica, historic, philosophical teachings, and ritual need to be balanced within administering good lodge business plans and practices. None of them are more important than the others because they are all component parts of a successful lodge, and Freemasonry in general. Therefore, the responsibilities of a successful lodge truly depend on how well lodge officers improve and engage member satisfaction. How well are your local lodges or lodge officers doing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2019
    • RM, Bill Lins, dfreybur and 3 others like this.
  2. BroCaution

    BroCaution Registered User

    This is amazing Brother. Great read.
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Very interesting article!
  4. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

    I wish grand lodge was more worried about lodges closing, than how much more money they can grab.
    Blake Bowden likes this.
  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    Not a word about spiritual growth being central to Freemasonry.

    Surely we can skip the ritual and go straight to eating and drinking.
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    It will seem strange to many but I'm not worried about that. Lodges should be allowed to live and die. I wish grand lodges were more about encouraging Masonic clubs in areas with no lodge as a long term plan to have new lodges were there is interest.
    jermy Bell likes this.

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