Listening is key to attracting younger generations
For any organization, member involvement and engagement is crucial to success. Attracting younger employees from your member firms should be a key priority. According to HiringThing, by 2030, millennials will be as much as 75 percent of the workforce; they also reported that 56 percent of associations are having trouble engaging young professionals. These statistics make it even more necessary for associations to appeal to younger audiences. With most member experiences structured around boomers, reconstruction is required to keep up with the changes in the generational dynamics of the workforce.
The following tips allow associations to appeal more broadly to Millennials and Gen Z to examine their membership offerings and engagement.
Providing opportunities for growth, connectedness and community: Younger professionals always seek opportunities to advance their careers and connect with others in their field. Creating specific networking activities, leadership academies, and mentorship programs are great ways to provide members with opportunities to connect while advancing their career paths. Gen Z and millennials also want to see options for community service to understand the value of brands and organizations that are supportive. Service gives professionals another opportunity to network and foster loyalty to the association while giving back to the community.
Encourage Membership with Flexibility and Options, Segment for Relative communications: Any form of communication --whether via email, mail, or even phone – should be segmented for age groups in your association. Make an effort to send valuable and pertinent information highlighting the members' career-stage accomplishments. Typically, publications meant for a wider demographic are unlikely to attract Millennial and Gen Z members. The standard membership tiers also may be less enticing to the younger generation. Associations should consider monthly or a la carte membership options that require less commitment while meeting needs for education, community and service.
Let them be heard and find them: Ask. Younger members may need more information or direction, so ask about challenges in their work and discover where they need more information and guidance. Listening can also teach associations how to guide and be a resource to members. Listening efforts allow associations to understand the needs of younger members leading to new or refined programs, products and services for the organization.
Extra effort and creativity when connecting with younger members and providing meaningful experiences is essential for associations to succeed. Fostering a sense of community by creating opportunities will go a long way in engaging millennial and Gen Z members. Associations that take this approach with trustworthy interactions and genuine interest will see the benefits and be rewarded with loyal membership with strong leaders in the organization for years to come.
Not sure what the next steps are for engaging or connecting with your younger membership audience? AOE can help. Reach out today.