Ideas for Tips of the Week

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birdld-p40
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Ideas for Tips of the Week

Postby birdld-p40 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:21 am

Tips are messages sent to units in US and Canada on a weekly basis and can be found under the "Messages" link from the main page of MLS. Great efforts are made to try and provide useful information in the tips to help clerks. The Local Unit Support group frequently receives calls from clerks seeking answers that had already been provided in the tips. Many clerks either do not know the tips are there or simply do not read them. We would love some ideas on how we can get more clerks to read and refer to the Tips of the Week.

Also, Local Unit Support needs feedback on what you would love to see addressed in the tips. What information do you feel would be helpful to yourself or to clerks you work with?

This is an opportunity for you to share ideas or thoughts that could potentially influence many clerks. Please provide any feedback you have. I know there are a lot of innovative thinkers out there. Please share your thoughts.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:45 am

I'm not real close to the situation, but here what I've seen:

Make sure that the subject line makes it clear to whom the tip is aimed at. Is it for the Membership Clerk, or the Finance Clerk? One issue with the Messages area is it's common to all users. If anyone reads it, then it's marked as read. So you may run into issues where no one will read it so that the person it's for can see it's unread, or someone reads it and everyone else thinks it's been taken care of.

Likewise the "You have new messages" pop-up is only seen by the person doing the send-receive even if the message is not for them.

Bottom line, I think the real problem is that MLS's messaging system is not effective. People are used to personal email. MLS's system is something that everyone is responsible for and as a result of group behavior, it ends up as something that no one is responsible for.
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:04 am

RussellHltn wrote:I'm not real close to the situation, but here what I've seen:

Make sure that the subject line makes it clear to whom the tip is aimed at. Is it for the Membership Clerk, or the Finance Clerk? One issue with the Messages area is it's common to all users. If anyone reads it, then it's marked as read. So you may run into issues where no one will read it so that the person it's for can see it's unread, or someone reads it and everyone else thinks it's been taken care of.

Likewise the "You have new messages" pop-up is only seen by the person doing the send-receive even if the message is not for them.

Bottom line, I think the real problem is that MLS's messaging system is not effective. People are used to personal email. MLS's system is something that everyone is responsible for and as a result of group behavior, it ends up as something that no one is responsible for.

I've actually developed the habit of printing out the new messages (even if they are already marked as "read" by someone else) and putting the hard copies in the boxes of those the message is addressed to.

This is about the only way I can think of to combat the problem of messages not getting to the right people.
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:50 pm

I agree with Russell. If the messaging system for MLS provided a way to get messages to the desired recipient more effectively then the probability that the targeted audience(s) would read it goes up. Sharing the message inbox with all other users is what I think contributes to the problem. We will never be able to get users to read messages if they don't want to. But I think that if there are reminders that do not go away until the appropriate person opens the message (still can't force them to read it) then the chances are better that the targeted audience would at least be more likely to read the information.

Here are some of my thoughts that can be implemented to up the read probability of messages.

Message folders in MLS could be expanded upon. Undeletable inbox folders for specific users, or for specific callings, could be created . For example, there could be folders for Bishop, Clerk, Finance Clerk, Membership Clerk, Technology Specialist, or any others expected to be targeted for MLS messages. Messages could then be routed to the inbox of those callings. The messages already identify the calling that should read it in the 'To' portion of the message. Use that to 'place' the message in the appropriate inbox. A single tip-of-the-day message could then be placed in all the inboxes that would apply.

Allowing the 'read' flag to be modified to allow a user that reads a message to set the flag to 'no/false' for others to see the message still needs to be read. When a message is not read then others will be more likely to read it.

Expand the "You have new messages" pop-up to be tied to the user permissions (logon) or even a calling (additional modifications to MLS required to tie users to callings). If a message is intended for membership clerks, or someone with membership permissions, then the 'read' flag would only be set to read (yes/true) only if a user with those permissions has opened the message.

Combining most of the suggestions above would be better than if only one was implemented.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:15 pm

birdld wrote: Also, Local Unit Support needs feedback on what you would love to see addressed in the tips. What information do you feel would be helpful to yourself or to clerks you work with?


I often receive questions from clerks in my stake, and also on this forum, regarding the proper way to record nonmember spouses in MLS households. They wonder if a female member with a nonmember husband should be the HoH, and sometimes through their attempts to make the husband the HoH, the member wife ends up being listed as Other rather than Spouse.

A tip of the week on this topic might help reduce the confusion.


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