June 30, 2016
It’s no secret that millennials have made their way into the association space - at a rapid pace. All we ever hear is how millennials have altered the state of the association world and what we need to do to appease them. It’s clear that millennials are a different breed of members, but what makes them tick? Associations must understand what benefits benefit these younger members. Unfortunately, people don’t need associations today like they used to. With the rise of social media, networking is a breeze - and free. For associations to attract and keep millennials, it’s important to understand what benefits they value the most.
It’s obvious: Millennials are different than other members. They simply value different things than previously before. Technology, efficiency, and flexibility are some of the key components that make up what millennials value. If associations can’t keep up with the demand, they won’t survive in the eyes of millennials.
Let’s be real, millennials are entering the workforce during a difficult time. With the economy recovering from the 2008 crash, millennials are in a tricky spot. To be successful, many are looking at professional associations to give them an edge in the workplace.
At the end of the day, people join associations to have an experience they can’t get anywhere else. Millennials who join associations want to gain knowledge about specific items through member-only resources. Whether it’s embarking in webinars, attending a roundtable event or completing continuing education courses for credit, millennials will do various extracurriculars to build their resumes.
Everyone wants to become an expert at different things - and millennials are no different. In order to gain value from their memberships, millennials want to gain new skills to use in practical situations. Millennials can do this by joining various committees, participating in speaking engagements, or taking advantage of volunteer opportunities. Associations are a great avenue for people who want to learn new things. It’s important for associations to understand what members want to learn, and to offer various opportunities to obtain these skills.
With the dismal economic landscape, many millennials look near and far for potential career opportunities. Joining an association is a great way to expand one’s professional inner circle. Many associations showcase career opportunities to members with relevant skills - making it easy for these members to apply. This is a great way for members to seek possible employment; additionally, networking with like-minds is easy when one joins a relevant association.
Volunteering is a vital part of the membership experience - for all members. Millennials have been brought up to be well-rounded individuals. This specific demographic enjoys getting their hands dirty and helping the community. Associations should provide millennials with various, flexible volunteer opportunities to broaden their horizons. An easy way to do this is to list corresponding opportunities with members within their member portal. This will allow members to register for specific opportunities when they deem appropriate.
Millennials are in a league of their own. They know what they want, when they want it, and how to get it. Associations have been told time and time again to appease this group of members. It’s important for associations to provide millennials with the benefits that they want. Times are a-changin’ and associations need to keep up. For associations to not become an extinct breed, they will need to give millennials the benefits that will benefit them.
To learn more about millennials in the association space, checkout our blog post,Engaging Millennials - Your Association's Future.