Membership

Monday Buzz: Fostering New Generations of Members

By / May 2, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Check out these three tips to keep your membership thriving as more and more millennials enter the workforce. Plus: How are associations using email these days, anyway?

College seniors across the country will be graduating soon, which means associations will have the opportunity to welcome a new generation of professionals and industry leaders into their ranks.

New blood also means new engagement strategies, as countless studies have shown how millennials are approaching work and membership benefits differently from those of earlier generations.

Luckily, Association Success contributor Jamie Notter has some tips to make the transition easier for both associations and their future members.

When approaching a problem, knowledge is power, and so gathering information, like behavior trends, about the group you are trying to recruit will be incredibly helpful. But it’s crucial to approach your research with an open mind and not with already formed plans, according to Notter.

“[L]earn with curiosity in mind,” Notter writes. “Learn and read and explore without knowing ahead of time how you’re going to apply what you have learned.”

Knowing how your new membership thinks will help you make appropriate changes to your association’s culture and align yours with a new generation of values.

As associations begin to make these improvements, Notter explains, they should remember that the goal isn’t a complete overhaul of the customs and behaviors of the organization: “Your job is not to create the one, perfect culture. Your job is to create a culture that works, and, because your employee base (and soon your member base) is changing, your culture needs to change too.”

While rigidly imitating what millennials find appealing is not a good approach, organizations can learn from the ways members of generation Y are interacting in the workplace and society, to help create more enticing and effective management styles, Notter says.

Above all else, he adds, remember that accommodating millennials is not about appealing to one generation but creating an environment that incorporates the ideas of many generations.

Tweet of the Day

There has been much debate recently over the future of email. To give perspective on the veteran communication method, MemberClicks highlights the results of a study by email-testing platform Email on Acid on how organizations across the country are using email in 2016. To put it simply: We’ll be spending more time and money attempting to build more effective email messages.

Other Good Reads

Forward thinking is the future. Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt finishes his four-part series on future-focused planning with a look at the benefits of forward thinking.

Thinking of taking the Certified Association Executive exam? Bruce Hammond, CAE, the director for governance and operations at the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, has suggestions on the best ways to approach the test.

Find out what people want to know about their association leaders. MarketingProfs contributor Ayaz Nanji shares an infographic revealing what the public expects to see from CEOs on social media.

Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. More »

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