Millennials

To Make Gains, You Must Entertain!

January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

When we are in search of entertainment, much of it is right at our fingertips. Streaming services, on-demand programming, social media, and a laundry list of apps have made it easier than ever to achieve instant gratification in real-time. For many of you (including myself!), this hasn’t always been the case. You may have grown up with black and white television, where programming was limited by today’s standards. I arrived on the scene during the dawn of technicolor TV (MTV, anyone?) and the advent of remote controls and the worldwide web.   We also find ourselves in an era of customization where everything is moving faster and with more efficiency – and we can tailor it all to our liking. Technology has adapted to the changing needs of society to prepare for the future, and your organization isn’t different. Now is the time to plan ahead because a backward focus isn’t an option, we can only move forward.   Long before the pandemic, membership organizations were struggling with planning for the future and finding ways to connect with young professionals. There has been a major shift in the member engagement cycle, and continuing to utilize old membership tactics has triggered membership decline and disengagement.   It’s crucial for leaders like you to better understand the different values, traits, and membership demographics so you can accurately target young professionals and student members.   Membership, much like television, used to be a spectator sport. Historically, people would join organizations…and then sit back and wait for the board to engage them and entertain them. This no longer works. Similar to the changing trends in technology, younger generations of members expect to participate differently as members. They seek interactive experiences and are looking for opportunities to be more involved.  We have to understand that modern skillsets and values differ from those of previous generations. Instead of having one generation dominate your leadership, it’s time to transition to a variety of perspectives and collaborate…

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A Prescription for Your Mission

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January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

When you’re feeling unhealthy, oftentimes you will seek the advice of a physician or medical professional. You share your symptoms, receive a prognosis, and are given a prescription to remedy what is making you feel ill. This same process can be applied to your organization – and doesn’t require a trip to a doctor’s office!   How do you know if your organization is truly healthy?   To start your organizational health “checkup,” I recommend looking at your membership succession plan. If one doesn’t exist, now is the time to put one in place! An effective membership succession plan and a NextGen membership pipeline are integral to your organization’s survival.   I encourage you to think about where you would like to see your organization in five years (or even ten or twenty!). What services and experiences do you envision providing your members and how will you continue to engage younger generations?   We no longer live in an era where knowledge and wisdom are solely passed down from elders to young people.   Today, our society has more access to education, information, and technology. As a result, every generation now has a wealth of skill sets and experiences to share and absorb with one another. Never before has so much teaching and learning happened simultaneously, and it is important to identify whether that is taking place in your organization or not.  “Aging out” is a common condition that ultimately means younger generations of members are not being engaged and little to no membership succession planning has taken place. I have had firsthand experience with organizations that had to close their doors because they “aged out.” All too often, it is because they were unwilling to let go of traditions or accept and implement new ideas.   If you want a future for your organization, you must engage those who will carry you into the future. Regularly conducting temperature checks to gauge the average age of your members, board members, and overall community within your organization can help you identify how diverse your organization really is. A lack of diversity typically results in…

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scary employee retention stats - female employee holding head down at desk

Scary Employee Retention Stats 2021

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January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

The costumes have been put away. The haunted houses have closed. Attention has shifted from watching horror movies to watching for Black Friday deals. Halloween has ended, but there’s still much to fear. Since 2013, our firm has celebrated Halloween with its Scary Stats campaign, reporting on the scariest workforce stats of the year. This year was no exception — but this year we’re not in a rush to turn our attention elsewhere. Why? Because the frightening fact is, in the eight years since we started publishing Scary Stats, there’s been no improvement. And this year, scary stats took on a whole new meaning when a record-breaking 4.3 million people quit their jobs within a 30-day time span, and 10.4 million job openings remained unfilled. Even before we started publishing Scary Stats, we knew this moment was coming. In the year 2000, Gallup reported employee disengagement hit an all-time high. Companies started throwing money at research and perks and created new office spaces in an attempt to improve employee engagement, yet the stat remained unchanged. For 21 years, we raised a restless, unhappy workforce. Now, our creation is a full-fledged adult. And like a negligent parent, we’re reflecting on the last two decades with awe and regret, wondering what we created and kicking ourselves for not paying closer attention. These two stats help to tell the story behind the making of this frightful mess commonly referred to as the Great Resignation: The difference between executive and median employee pay continues to increase. CEOs now make 299 times more than the average worker. In 1965, executive pay was 24 times worker pay. In 2017, it was 275 times. Flexibility emerged as a workplace value when Millennials started entering the workforce in 2000. Consistently, 92% of this generation has said they expect employers to provide flexible work environments. In 2021, Deloitte reported 82% of companies now see flexible work arrangements as critical to employee retention, but only 47%…

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gen z, generation z,

How Cancel Culture Will Change Your Organization

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January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

Given the opportunity to time travel, would you choose to visit the past or the future? I was participating in a virtual happy hour when this question popped up. Some experienced professionals jumped in, sharing moments in history they wanted to visit. The conversation was bubbly; people were happily caught up in their imaginations of what it would be like to experience a bygone era. Then a student from Georgetown University spoke up, and just like that, the mood shifted. “I want to visit the future”, she said. “I want to visit the future to see how much damage has been done by the actions of our society today.” Gen Z (1996-2009) are the teens and early 20-somethings who have become largely renowned for holding up the mirror to society, forcing us all to take a closer look. Under  their watch, the concept of cancel culture has been trending for most of the past year, which has become a polarizing topic of debate. Regardless of age or experience, feeling ignored drives  people to disengage, quit, protest, and cancel. The process of ‘canceling’ usually goes like this: A public figure or organization does or says something offensive. A public backlash, often fueled by political views and social media, ensues. Then there’s call to take away their cultural cachet, whether through boycotts or disciplinary action. Cancel culture has been referred to as a mob mentality, encouraging lawlessness, censorship, and the erasing of history. It’s also been referred to as a long overdue way of holding people accountable for propagating racist and sexist ideas, toxic behaviors, and making unethical, immoral decisions without any regard for others. Although it started as more of a political debate, cancel culture has now moved into the arena of generational debate. In 2019, the OK boomer meme and videos were an attempt by Gen Z to ‘cancel’ the generations that came before them. OK boomer was meant to be cutting and dismissive; a snarky…

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Why They Quit: How To Retain Young Talent

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January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

As vaccines are being distributed, there is hope the worst of the pandemic is nearing an end. But if research is any indication, another kind of crisis may just be heating up. As SHRM defines it, a “turnover tsunami” is brewing, with more than half of employees surveyed planning to look for a new job this year. Employers were experiencing high rates of turnover prior to the pandemic. In fact, voluntary turnover had been steadily rising since 2010, and was cited as a chief global concern by both the UN and World Economic Forum. When the pandemic hit, quit rates reached their lowest level in nine years – and now they’re bouncing back. Just this week, I’ve heard from three executives lamenting the loss of young talent. The fact remains that professionals under the age of 39 account for more than half of all voluntary separations. Why? Increased employee turnover is the outcome of a shift in workforce needs and values, and it’s a shift that is here to stay. This is a topic I’ve researched a great detail and the answer is quite complex. In brief, here are two reasons why young professionals are three times more likely than other generations to quit: Inclusion We’re observing an ever-widening gap between twentieth century managed organizations and twenty-first century raised workers. Young professionals don’t understand the management processes and hierarchies common throughout the past century. These generations have only known a world powered by innovation, collaboration, globalization, instant gratification, knowledge, acceptance, and access. They struggle to comprehend why decisions can’t be made on the fly, why they can’t have a seat at the decision-making table, and why it’s always been done ‘that way.’ Stability Millennials came of age during the Great Recession-the worst economic decline our country had experienced in 70 years. Gen Z has come of age during the most disruptive         decade in history. These experiences have shaped the career trajectories of young professionals in more…

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Recruiting Members: Reach Them Where They Are

January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

This blog was written to help organizations better understand why they are challenged with differing generational demographics.  Our studies show that the significant disruptions and societal shifts of the past 20+ years have influenced younger members’ behaviors. This has affected the reasons why joining and engaging with your organization is different today. The research findings do not apply to every single member of each generation. However, our 20 years of ongoing research findings continue to hold true – making the information valuable when drafting membership engagement and growth strategies to target younger members.  I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and have been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members. I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and have been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members. Unfortunately, with the shift in generational demographics, that is no longer the case. I remember joining the alumni association of my sorority immediately after graduation because I thought it would be a great networking vehicle and provide a way for me to engage civilly with my community. Every meeting I went to I was referred to as a “younger sister.” It appeared to be a true hierarchy in the chapter and the standard operating procedure was for “younger sisters” to simply do what they were told. I felt as if I had no true value as a member of the chapter and I shared that opinion with friends that asked me about joining other alumni chapters of my sorority. THE NEW WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING When looking to involve, recruit and showcase value to young members of your association, reach them where they are. And if you don’t know where they are? Find…

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Show Z the Money

Show Z the Money: A Generation Pursuing Financial Strength

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January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

This blog was written to help organizations better understand why they are challenged with differing generational traits.  Our studies show that the significant disruptions and societal shifts of the past 20+ years have influenced younger members behaviors. This has affected the reasons why joining and engaging with your organization is different today. The research findings do not apply to every single member of each generation. However, our 20 years of ongoing research findings continue to hold true – making the information valuable when drafting membership engagement and growth strategies to target younger members.  Generation Z’s views on money and financial status are distinctly different from Millennials. This is shaping their decisions and behavior from salary levels to homeownership and leaves ample opportunity for financial institutions to get in front of and work with this generation. The dot-com bubble burst the year I was born. When the Great Recession began, I was six. I was seven years old when the housing bubble finally popped. And today, many still live in fragile economic times. While the United States is currently experiencing a period of economic growth, there continues to be a sense of worry. There is unrest in the political sphere that can throw financial markets off. We are reminiscent of past events and recall family members struggling during the recession. Because of some of those factors, Gen Z places a premium on the value of financial status. We are a materialistic generation and one’s social status can depend on their socioeconomic status. Research from a case study done by start-up company FLAME shows over 75% of Gen Zs say they are motivated by money. The value we place on money will also translate to the recruiting world. When asked what is more important in a job, 66% of Gen Z survey respondents said that finding a job with financial stability is more important than finding a job you enjoy, and a good salary is the most important…

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A Generational Approach to Talent Planning

January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

Sarah Sladek joins the National Center for The Middle Market podcast. Retaining employees as well as attracting them. One big opportunity, making Millenials feel like they are part of your future. Listen to the complete podcast here.

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Workforce

Millennials and Gen Z – The New Workforce

January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

Sarah Sladek joins the Dynasty Leadership Consulting podcast. Sarah Sladek is the CEO of XYZ University, an organization that helps equip worldwide companies with valuable tools and information to engage Generations X, Y, and Z as executives, employees, members, leaders, and volunteers. She singles out the greatest areas of dissatisfaction in the workplace as well as how the new millennial leadership is reshaping the culture as they go.  Sarah is also the author of several books including, Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success, which she discusses further in today’s episode! Listen to the complete podcast here.

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talking

Here’s why you should be talking to millennials

January 17 @ 10:01 pm CST

Sarah Sladek contributed to this article by Think Advisor. How many of you are marketing to millennials right now?” the moderator asked the audience at the “Getting Gen Y to Buy” presentation by Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University (photo, below), at NAILBA 34 in Orlando, Florida. There were about 50 to 60 people in the room at the time and only four, which he counted out loud, raised their hands. While this isn’t necessarily surprising, the fact that advisors and marketers aren’t focusing on this generation — which, as of this year, has a buying power of $600 billion, according to Sladek — is worrying. As soon as she hit the stage, Sladek played a video that captured three generations, from boomers through millennials. Read the complete article here.

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