Member retention and engagement are always top of mind for association professionals. However, many find it difficult to be proactive in terms of identifying and developing a plan to address member satisfaction … before it’s too late. There are a multitude of reasons members join a professional organization, but according to our recent Member Loyalty Study, there are specific benefits that keep them coming back for more.

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Not surprisingly, job opportunities ranks as one of the top benefits an association can offer its members, specifically Millennials. However, this is not always a key area of focus for organizations. As we shared in last year’s Member Engagement Study, there’s a divergence between what these early career members want and what associations prioritize. For example, associations tend to prioritize conferences, networking,  and advocacy over job opportunities, despite the fact that those opportunities are highly valued by early careerists. Ultimately, this misalignment may lead to member attrition.

As the fastest growing segment in the workforce, focusing on Millennials and ensuring their engagement from day one creates greater opportunity for sustained growth and a brighter future for your association. Remember, 62 percent of members join within the first five years of their careers. This means the stakes are both high and urgent. It’s important to ask yourself if your areas of focus are in line with current trends. Are you looking at early careerists as a unique segment? Do you know what benefits and programs they find most engaging? And, most importantly, are you growing your population of younger members?

Job board software is fundamental in recruiting and retaining Millennials. A career center with job alerts, personalized searches and recommendations, plus the ability for members to import their resumes from LinkedIn, and log in through existing social accounts such as Facebook, Google,  and LinkedIn will go a long way in boosting engagement and member satisfaction among this segment. Of course, an additional benefit is your organization will be more competitive, and members will spend more time interacting on your association site, which translates into increased event participation, networking, and ultimately renewals.

While association membership continues to advance in innovative ways, the core of a professional organization continues to be its relationship with its members. Learn more about keeping members of all segments (Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and Matures) loyal to your organization and much more, by downloading the complete Member Loyalty Study.