Rules of Engagement: A New World of Work

Workforce shifts demand membership evolution.

All over the world and across professions, work is changing. Some jobs are being automated. Others are increasingly outsourced to freelancers. And still others are being reshaped to accommodate millennial workstyles.

What’s an association to do when the ground of the industry it serves is shifting beneath its feet? As one business catchphrase goes, “adapt or die.” Here are three strategies for engaging a new-look membership base.

1. Create new membership opportunities. Whether that means adding categories for new types of members or entry-level tiers for emerging professional roles, a broader variety of membership options will draw a more diverse crowd to your doors.

2. Collaborate with members to envision the future. Convene a range of professionals and stakeholders to design your industry’s future, and the benefits will be twofold: strategic direction for the industry and a clearer understanding of future member needs for you.

3. Train members on how to adapt. Plenty of your members will fret their changing environment, too, and they’ll turn to their association to learn the skills they need for continued career success. For an example to follow, consider the National Association of Realtors, which has guided its members in evolving from gatekeepers to expert advisors after the internet revolutionized how people shop for homes.


Joe Rominiecki

By Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications at the Entomological Society of America, is a former senior editor at Associations Now. MORE

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