By Shanna Gordon
Member, Communications Committee
As a vibrant community, Riderwood is filled with unique people whose interests, hobbies, and activities vary greatly on a daily basis. To encourage an active lifestyle, Riderwood offers a myriad of shows, town halls, presentations, discussions, classes, and club meetings throughout each month. Riderwood also values greatly its ability to keep the campus and buildings in fine working order, and will often have repair and construction events happening that may impact some aspects of daily living. Integral to these events’ success is an effective process of communication. With much self-reflection, residents and staff came together and agreed that there was much to be done to improve the communications process. Therefore, in August of 2018, the Communications Committee of Riderwood met for the first of many times to nail down what exactly was needed to make sure people received information.
The Communications Committee is a 14-member group, featuring equal parts staff and residents, and representation from every staff department. Our full committee meets every month to discuss strategy and current events that need to be addressed while working toward the development of a standard process into which all communications fall. Our goal is to ensure that communications are accessible, timely, accurate, and delivered in an appropriate method. These apply to staff efforts as well as items developed by residents. More so than any other issue, we want a system in place to reflect the need for two-way communication, because everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.
You may be thinking that “discussion is all well and good, but how will that change anything?” We at the communications committee could not agree more and believe that action is the first step to change. Already we have three subcommittees working to enact change within Riderwood. One is creating definable outlines for our methods of communications and how they should be publicized based on the severity of importance. Another subcommittee works cooperatively with Administration and RAC members to develop a communications plan for emergent issues. Finally, we have a subcommittee dedicated to assessing and surveying people’s opinions for communications at Riderwood.
From their efforts, we have already developed a series of focus groups happening very soon! Stratified by clubhouse residence, we will be holding multiple groups every day, throughout the week of January 14. These focus groups are by invitation only, and selection is fully randomized to ensure equal opportunity to hear thoughts and ideas on how to communicate effectively. If you are not in the sample group, do not fret! From focus group data, we will develop a survey that will be given to a greater sample within the population.
We hope from this article you have a better sense of who we are as a committee and how we are working to improve the communications process at Riderwood. While our group is still in our infancy, we are hard at work to make systematic improvements to communications. We look forward to resident involvement in future events and thank you in advance for your support.
Communications Committee Members
Staff members: Mickey Thaxton (Chair), Jill Owens, Chris Taydus, Shanna Gordon,
Emily Scott, Fiona Divecha, Heather Hicks-Mello, Anthony Sineni.
Resident members: John Dold (Chair) Angus MacInnes, Bette Martin, Elenora Giddings-Ivory, Lew Rhodes, Shirley Dearfield