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4 Top Tips on Retaining Generation Z Members for Associations

Attracting Generation Z to your association is only half of the work. You need to study their every move in order to figure out a good retention strategy, ‍utilize this research in your association’s Gen Z retention plan.

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You’ve done it! You’ve attracted a Gen Z audience to your association. Now, do you know how to keep them there? We know that Generation Z is slowly making its way into the business world. In fact, we know that Gen Z will see the most college attendees out of any other generation. HR Voice reports that by the year 2020, 20% of Generation Z will make up the entire workforce.

With a generation this invested in education and work experience, they’ll want an association that can help them every step of the way. But, how do you keep them coming back to yours? While recruiting Generation Z to your association is one battle for associations, retaining Gen Z members can be just as challenging. Your member retention plan needs to include a strategy specifically for its younger membership.

If your association is struggling to keep its Gen Z members on board, or if you’re looking to plan ahead for Gen Z retention, here’s what you should know about this group.

They revolve around technology.

It’s no secret that Gen Z has a deeper understanding of the technological world. According to a study done by Collaborata, called “Generation Nation”, there are three factors that influence a generation: age, societal norms, and technology. For Gen Z, technology is a huge part of their everyday lives. This is a generation who hasn’t known a time without the internet.

On top of that, they prefer consuming media in shorter spurts than other generations. Generation Z’s content focus is mainly on YouTube and other forms of social content with little focus on mainstream media. Mainly, this media is consumed on a mobile device. However, unlike millennials who paved the road for Gen Z, they don’t take to social media as willingly. In fact, only 49% of Gen Z audiences agree that social media is an important part of their life. Many Gen Z participants felt social media was too public, turning to platforms like Snapchat for maximum privacy settings. If you want to keep your Gen Z members interested in your association, you need to meet them on their own playing field. Marketing on traditional media platforms will be ineffective for this group.

Create content Gen Z members can use, but do it in a way they connect with. One great way to do this is to create a YouTube series. You can also create short videos and put them on other social sites like Snapchat or even Twitter. Create an online presence for your association, but don’t invade your members’ personal space. If you can stay on top of Generation Z’s technology style, you can assure to reach them the best way possible.

They also want personal communication.

When surveyed by David Stillman, a generation researcher, there was a surprising find that no one could have predicted. The survey showed that 84% of Gen Z respondents claimed face to face was their preferred mode of communication. On top of that, they want an honest and transparent workplace with the option to look their company leaders in the eye. It’s not enough to know their workplace mission statement, they want to know it’s executives are backing that statement as well. Don’t miss any opportunity to find a direct contact point with your Gen Z membership.

If you know your Gen Z member attendance at an event, go out of your way to introduce yourself to them. Have your association’s team stay in contact with them as intimately as possible. Find an appropriate balance between media communication and face to face contact. If you can show Gen Z members you’re both tech savvy and ready for close communication, you can gain their trust and their retention.

They value job security.

Generation Z values hard work and understands what it can do for their finances. However, Gen Z isn’t looking to invest much time in their first job. According to a recent report done by Adecco Staffing USA, 83% of students today believe three years or under is the optimal time to spend at a first job. If that’s not scary, over a quarter of these students believe in staying at a job for a year or less is appropriate.

While this can seem intimidating to association, it’s good to know that Gen Z strongly values their finances. Think about it: what major financial crashes has Generation Z seen? Well, they’ve lived through the financial crash following 9/11. They’ve also seen the Great Recession follow shortly after. They’ve seen what financial struggle can do, and they want to avoid that struggle at all costs. So, Generation Z doesn’t want to take long to develop their career skills. However, they also want to secure finances as soon as they can. How can your association provide offers to help them on their career journey?

Offering career development programs and workshops can appeal to your younger generation members. For example, host events that provide networking opportunities for young members. You want to make sure younger members are able to speak to professionals in every level of their career. Make your networking opportunities diverse to  maximize value. Another valuable career service for Gen Z members is a resume workshop.

Right now, Generation Z is slowly making their way through their education. This is a prime opportunity for your association to offer help with their resume. You can provide templates, offer sessions with writing coaches, or even hold workshops on how to create a resume. Any way you do it, Gen Z members will want to come back to your association for help.

They prefer a flexible schedule.

When it comes to Gen Z members, they do not want to be stuck in an everyday routine. Many of today’s students worry about things like fulfilling work (19%), friendly work environment (10%), and flexibility (7%) when it comes to finding a job.

It seems that Generation Z has high hopes for their future, which your association can help them achieve. You’ll have a much easier time getting Gen Z members to engage with your meetings if you can convert them into virtual meetings. Much like they do with YouTube tutorials, this young generation can treat your virtual meeting as an online lesson.

Furthermore, don’t box your Gen Z members into a schedule. You don’t want them to feel like being a member of your association is a chore. Provide them with the right tools, but allow them to access on their own time. A great way to do this is to provide evergreen content- like a webinar. You can also provide blog content to members. Any content that can be accessed at any time is great for younger members looking to participate in your association on their own terms. Another idea is to livestream events or guest speakers via social media. If you give members the option to tune in on a mobile device (for a small fee), you may see an increase in engagement for your events. Plus, Gen Z members will appreciate both the convenience and the tech savvy option.

Attracting Generation Z to your association is only half of the work. You need to study their every move in order to figure out a good retention strategy.

Utilize this research in your association’s Gen Z retention plan. Generation Z for associations doesn’t have to be a guessing game if you focus on making the right moves.