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Guest Posts

Internal Culture: Attracting young talent through workplace culture

American Traffic Safety Services Association – Save the Associations Vol. 3

Read more

Listening for Success: Knowing what young professionals want

Minnesota Optometric Association – Save the Associations Vol. 2

Read more

Undeniable Success: The positive impact of engaging young leaders

MCA of Chicago - Save The Associations Vol. 1

Read more

5 Ways You’ll Have Better Luck Recruiting Gen Z into the Trades

Retirements and lack of enthusiasm to enter the trades by Millennials means labor shortages. Tapping into traits of Generation Z can reverse that trend.

Read more

If a monarchy can modernize, why can’t your association?

There is something association leadership can learn from the British monarchy about shedding the fear of change and taking action to save their association.

Read more

Improving Employee Retention in a Talent Economy

Many companies would like to travel back in time to better prepare for tomorrow. Doing business under an industrial age model probably means you are focusing on the wrong things in a Talent Economy.

Read more

The Generational Fear Factor and a Simple Way to Overcome It

Failure. Being overlooked. Change. Three fears held by different generations that damage, and often lead to inaccurate stereotypes. There’s a easy way for all of us to come together, break some stereotypes, and help each other work through our fears.

Read more

How Businesses Can Better Appeal to and Recruit Generation Z

Help wanted signs are abundant. Worker and talent shortages are prevalent. If you’re hiring Gen Z for a summer job or appealing to them as a career aspiration, here are tips to get them in the door.

Read more

Three Steps to Combat Generational Stereotypes

Ridding the workplace of unhelpful generational stereotypes will create a more cohesive, efficient, and happier environment, but with four generations now in the workforce opportunity abounds for negativity.

Read more

Show Z the Money: A Generation Pursuing Financial Strength

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.

Read more

Why The Y’s TV Ad Hits the Mark and Dodge Ram Misses with Gen Z

Two commercials, both promoting a message of community and service. One hits the mark while the other tarnishes its brand. Why it’s important for organizations to promote and convey an authentic voice about serving the community to attract Generation Z.

Read more

Breaking above the noise: How to turn Gen Z into an asset for your organization

Growing up in a world surrounded by organizations vying for our attention, many organizations and nonprofits seem to blend together for Gen Z. How can your organization break through all the noise and turn Gen Z into an asset for your cause?

Read more

YouthQuake: Think adults are in charge? Think again.

Older adults often dismiss the youth voice and the power they yield –just ask Snapchat, the NRA, or Hosni Mubarak. Bringing younger generations to the table to make it more about collaboration, and less about power, will result in prosperity.

Read more

Signs Your Business Doesn’t Know What – or Who – Matters Most

Are we measuring the wrong elements of success? Success in business is often defined by degrees, years of experience, hitting the bottom line, etc. Businesses that succeed today take measurements in how much they know about its audience, its team, and the future.

Read more

A Lesson from the 19th Century on How To Be Successful in the 21st Century

Many organizations are suffering from declining membership and engagement among Millennials. Here are three things 21st century associations can learn from a 19th century invention about how to be successful and thrive.

Read more

Schools Need To Change The Way They Teach

Antiquated education models wouldn’t get us the creativity and innovation needed to address 21st Century issues that Generation Z wants to fix.

Read more

We Want Change: Why Our Activism Shouldn’t Surprise You

Generation Z was born into an era of disruption and escalating change and has tools to easily amplify messages and organize resources. We see Gen Z’s all over the world mobilizing and making their voices heard.

Read more

The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace

Engaging and retaining Millennial members and workers means shedding Industrial Era thinking and offering flexibility. Here are three ideas that Millennials (and Gen Zers) would love.

Read more

Don’t Create Time Clock Punchers. Turn Them Into Fans.

Build employee fandom with Millennial employees by creating positive experiences in the workplace consisting of engagement and learning opportunities and feedback. This can lead to better job satisfaction and retention of Millennials.

Read more

Gen Z’s Love Affair With Sports

The obsession around sports is evident among multiple generations. Perhaps it’s the intergenerational relationships it fosters. Or with Gen Z, it’s likely the competitive nature ingrained with them. So, how will workplaces harness this trait?

Read more
View older posts →

The Generational Fear Factor and a Simple Way to Overcome It

Failure. Being overlooked. Change. Three fears held by different generations that damage, and often lead to inaccurate stereotypes. There’s a easy way for all of us to come together, break some stereotypes, and help each other work through our fears.

Read more

Three Steps to Combat Generational Stereotypes

Ridding the workplace of unhelpful generational stereotypes will create a more cohesive, efficient, and happier environment, but with four generations now in the workforce opportunity abounds for negativity.

Read more

The Importance of Knowing Your People

Last week, I had an opportunity to speak to a great group of folks from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations about generational differences in the workforce. One of my favorite parts of that experience was when we broke into groups based on our generation and answered a few questions around what we valued.

Read more

Why Your Workforce Is Unhappy, Unproductive, And Disengaged

Labor Day in the United States has become synonymous with BBQs, vacations, and back-to-school shopping sprees. As you crowd around the grill or the mall today with family and friends, consider your own labor situations. Are you happy at work? Are the people you lead also happy at work?

Read more

From One Gen Xer To Another

We often joke that Generation X is the forgotten middle child of today’s generational conflict. It’s like being the Jan Brady of the workforce, stuck between glamorous Marcia and cute-as-a-button-with-pigtails Cindy. In many ways, this is more than a joke. It’s the reality. Gen X makes up only 22% of the current workforce with Gen Y/Millennials and Baby Boomers making up the other 78%.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

To Gen X, it was More than Purple Rain

The world is still reeling from the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, the multi-platinum-selling music legend who died on April 21. Prince was an influential artist in a recording career spanning 38 years, and his music became the soundtrack for Generation X (1965-1981) who grew up listening to his music.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Xers, Ys Spur A Political Power Shift

I watched the televised coverage of the Iowa caucus with great interest, not only because I grew up in the state, but also from a generational perspective.

Read more

Is Your Industry Aging Out?

FACT: In the wake of the Great Recession, some Baby Boomers are delaying retirement, hoping that a few extra years of work will help them replenish nest eggs devastated by the economic downturn.

Read more

Recruitng The Nxt Gen In2 Ur Assn

Recrutng the nxt gen in2 ur assn doesn’t have to look like this. The key to boosting membership is to know what your members want from your association. If you want your members to find real value in being part of your association, it is your responsibility to make sure it addresses their needs, not what you think are their needs. This holds equally true for younger members. If you want to boost Generation X and Y membership in your association, you must cater to the value those members are looking for.

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

A New Generation Of Socialites

On New Year’s Eve, my husband surprised me with dinner at one of the classiest restaurants in downtown Minneapolis. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to discover that most of the people eating there weren’t established couples enjoying a romantic evening, but rather boisterous groups of Gen Ys

Read more

Keeping The Faith: Xers, Ys Seek A New Way To Worship

Religion has made significant strides recently toward reaching younger audiences.Faithbook launched as the first interfaith page on the popular site Facebook in an effort to foster greater understanding among people of different religions.

Read more

Thou Shall Not Eat And Tweet At The Same Time: Resolving Generational Conflicts

With four generations in the workplace, compromise is becoming a necessity. But that’s easier said than done. It’s so much easier to point fingers, place blame, and criticize, isn’t it?

Read more

The Unsung Generation: How Xers Add Value To Your Association

The Baby Boomers are retiring and leaving your association and you haven’t quite attracted Generation Y yet; it’s time to think about Generation X. That’s right, Gen X is more than just a footnote in the conversation about Millennials; they likely represent your association’s largest audience at the moment.

Read more
View older posts →

The Generational Fear Factor and a Simple Way to Overcome It

Failure. Being overlooked. Change. Three fears held by different generations that damage, and often lead to inaccurate stereotypes. There’s a easy way for all of us to come together, break some stereotypes, and help each other work through our fears.

Read more

Three Steps to Combat Generational Stereotypes

Ridding the workplace of unhelpful generational stereotypes will create a more cohesive, efficient, and happier environment, but with four generations now in the workforce opportunity abounds for negativity.

Read more

The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace

Engaging and retaining Millennial members and workers means shedding Industrial Era thinking and offering flexibility. Here are three ideas that Millennials (and Gen Zers) would love.

Read more

Don’t Create Time Clock Punchers. Turn Them Into Fans.

Build employee fandom with Millennial employees by creating positive experiences in the workplace consisting of engagement and learning opportunities and feedback. This can lead to better job satisfaction and retention of Millennials.

Read more

Do You Think You Know What Millennials Need?

Steve Jobs knew what people wanted before they did. Maybe we know what Millennials need before they do? I was asked this by a Baby Boomer executive at a membership engagement summit I was running last week.

Read more

The Frightening Facts of Finance

In 2010, OCBC, a bank in Singapore, conducted research with more than 1,000 Millennials (1982-1995), revealing that young people felt neglected by and disengaged from financial providers. As a result, OCBC rolled out FRANK – a new kind of bank.

Read more

Why Your Workforce Is Unhappy, Unproductive, And Disengaged

Labor Day in the United States has become synonymous with BBQs, vacations, and back-to-school shopping sprees. As you crowd around the grill or the mall today with family and friends, consider your own labor situations. Are you happy at work? Are the people you lead also happy at work?

Read more

What Happens When Millennials Run the Association?

Succession planning. It’s one of the most important things an organization can have set up for success. So why is it that so many associations fail to have one in place?

Read more

The Lie That’s Robbing Our Future

Did you ever find yourself halfway through a major shift before you realized it was happening? Like a frog in pot of water sitting over an open flame; halfway to boiling before you even realize the water is warm? Well, the water is heating up in the workforce and it’s time to pay attention before we get cooked!

Read more

From One Gen Xer To Another

We often joke that Generation X is the forgotten middle child of today’s generational conflict. It’s like being the Jan Brady of the workforce, stuck between glamorous Marcia and cute-as-a-button-with-pigtails Cindy. In many ways, this is more than a joke. It’s the reality. Gen X makes up only 22% of the current workforce with Gen Y/Millennials and Baby Boomers making up the other 78%.

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

Read more

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more
View older posts →

5 Ways You’ll Have Better Luck Recruiting Gen Z into the Trades

Retirements and lack of enthusiasm to enter the trades by Millennials means labor shortages. Tapping into traits of Generation Z can reverse that trend.

Read more

How Businesses Can Better Appeal to and Recruit Generation Z

Help wanted signs are abundant. Worker and talent shortages are prevalent. If you’re hiring Gen Z for a summer job or appealing to them as a career aspiration, here are tips to get them in the door.

Read more

Three Steps to Combat Generational Stereotypes

Ridding the workplace of unhelpful generational stereotypes will create a more cohesive, efficient, and happier environment, but with four generations now in the workforce opportunity abounds for negativity.

Read more

Show Z the Money: A Generation Pursuing Financial Strength

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.

Read more

Why The Y’s TV Ad Hits the Mark and Dodge Ram Misses with Gen Z

Two commercials, both promoting a message of community and service. One hits the mark while the other tarnishes its brand. Why it’s important for organizations to promote and convey an authentic voice about serving the community to attract Generation Z.

Read more

Breaking above the noise: How to turn Gen Z into an asset for your organization

Growing up in a world surrounded by organizations vying for our attention, many organizations and nonprofits seem to blend together for Gen Z. How can your organization break through all the noise and turn Gen Z into an asset for your cause?

Read more

YouthQuake: Think adults are in charge? Think again.

Older adults often dismiss the youth voice and the power they yield –just ask Snapchat, the NRA, or Hosni Mubarak. Bringing younger generations to the table to make it more about collaboration, and less about power, will result in prosperity.

Read more

Schools Need To Change The Way They Teach

Antiquated education models wouldn’t get us the creativity and innovation needed to address 21st Century issues that Generation Z wants to fix.

Read more

We Want Change: Why Our Activism Shouldn’t Surprise You

Generation Z was born into an era of disruption and escalating change and has tools to easily amplify messages and organize resources. We see Gen Z’s all over the world mobilizing and making their voices heard.

Read more

Gen Z’s Love Affair With Sports

The obsession around sports is evident among multiple generations. Perhaps it’s the intergenerational relationships it fosters. Or with Gen Z, it’s likely the competitive nature ingrained with them. So, how will workplaces harness this trait?

Read more

Not Another Millennial Generation: 6 Ways Gen Z Will Disrupt the Workplace

Millennials brought changes to the work environment and marketplace. Get ready to adjust again and figure out how to balance different needs as Generation Z seeks something different from work.

Read more

Ready or Not, Here We Come

A global survey of Gen Zs uncovers insights about how this new generation is going to shake up the way we work, learn, and communicate.

Read more

Why Your Workforce Is Unhappy, Unproductive, And Disengaged

Labor Day in the United States has become synonymous with BBQs, vacations, and back-to-school shopping sprees. As you crowd around the grill or the mall today with family and friends, consider your own labor situations. Are you happy at work? Are the people you lead also happy at work?

Read more

Generation Z: 12 Important Things Companies Need To Understand

Did you happen to see what the Forbes Coaches Council has to say about Gen Z?

Read more

Gen Z Will Change Your World. Again.

This year, our team watched history unfold in the news, as well as the workplace. In 2016, 3.6 million Baby Boomers retired, and a new generation, Gen Z (1996-2012), started entering the workforce.

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more
View older posts →

Growing into the Future: The value of early engagement

Ohio Society of CPAs – Save the Associations Vol. 6

Read more

Changing Incrementally: The power of gradual change

Florida Institute of CPAs – Save the Associations Vol. 5

Read more

Reinvention: Engaging young professionals through career guidance

Air Traffic Control Association – Save the Associations Vol. 4

Read more

Internal Culture: Attracting young talent through workplace culture

American Traffic Safety Services Association – Save the Associations Vol. 3

Read more

Listening for Success: Knowing what young professionals want

Minnesota Optometric Association – Save the Associations Vol. 2

Read more

Undeniable Success: The positive impact of engaging young leaders

MCA of Chicago - Save The Associations Vol. 1

Read more

If a monarchy can modernize, why can’t your association?

There is something association leadership can learn from the British monarchy about shedding the fear of change and taking action to save their association.

Read more

Why The Y’s TV Ad Hits the Mark and Dodge Ram Misses with Gen Z

Two commercials, both promoting a message of community and service. One hits the mark while the other tarnishes its brand. Why it’s important for organizations to promote and convey an authentic voice about serving the community to attract Generation Z.

Read more

A Lesson from the 19th Century on How To Be Successful in the 21st Century

Many organizations are suffering from declining membership and engagement among Millennials. Here are three things 21st century associations can learn from a 19th century invention about how to be successful and thrive.

Read more

Do You Think You Know What Millennials Need?

Steve Jobs knew what people wanted before they did. Maybe we know what Millennials need before they do? I was asked this by a Baby Boomer executive at a membership engagement summit I was running last week.

Read more

Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Online Communities And Member Retention

The only way way your association is going to be able to retain members is by making them feel connected to you and by providing them value. Why else would they pay membership dues? If they can have the same experience elsewhere, there’s nothing to keep them from going elsewhere.

Read more

Next Generation Association Highlight: Choose Chicago

This post is part of XYZ University’s “Next Generation Association” blog series, highlighting associations around the country who are making strides in engaging the next generation of members and leaders. If you would like to nominate an association for our “Next Generation Association” series, please contact Melissa Harrison.

Read more

Why You Don’t Understand Those Young’uns

“When I was your age I used to walk to school five miles through three feet of snow uphill both ways.” How many of you have a statement similar to this from someone of an older generation?

Read more

Is Your Website Bringing Your Members Closer Or Pushing Them Away?

Your website is more than just the voice of your membership association. If you’re not using your site to bring your members closer, you’re probably pushing them away from your organization and from each other. One of the reasons people join member-based organizations to be a part of a community, so it’s your job to make sure your community meets their needs.

Read more
View older posts →

The Generational Fear Factor and a Simple Way to Overcome It

Failure. Being overlooked. Change. Three fears held by different generations that damage, and often lead to inaccurate stereotypes. There’s a easy way for all of us to come together, break some stereotypes, and help each other work through our fears.

Read more

The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace

Engaging and retaining Millennial members and workers means shedding Industrial Era thinking and offering flexibility. Here are three ideas that Millennials (and Gen Zers) would love.

Read more

Do You Think You Know What Millennials Need?

Steve Jobs knew what people wanted before they did. Maybe we know what Millennials need before they do? I was asked this by a Baby Boomer executive at a membership engagement summit I was running last week.

Read more

The Terrifying Truth About Teacher Talent and Turnover

Despite being an up-and-coming, in-demand generation, and one that’s consistently shaping how we think about work, Millennials—ages 22-35 and the largest percentage of the workforce—are still having a hard time finding reasonable jobs. Presently, the Millennial unemployment rate stands at an unfortunate 12.8 percent compared to the national average of 4.9 percent.

Read more

The Frightening Facts of Finance

In 2010, OCBC, a bank in Singapore, conducted research with more than 1,000 Millennials (1982-1995), revealing that young people felt neglected by and disengaged from financial providers. As a result, OCBC rolled out FRANK – a new kind of bank.

Read more

Why Your Workforce Is Unhappy, Unproductive, And Disengaged

Labor Day in the United States has become synonymous with BBQs, vacations, and back-to-school shopping sprees. As you crowd around the grill or the mall today with family and friends, consider your own labor situations. Are you happy at work? Are the people you lead also happy at work?

Read more

New ASAE Book Talent Generation Offers Strategies for Associations to Engage, Retain Employees

ASAE has released a new book called Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success by Sarah L. Sladek, CEO and Founder of XYZ University.

Read more

We Can’t Change Anything

“We can’t change anything, so what do you recommend?” This is a question I recently received after presenting a keynote on Millennials (1982-1995) for the Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS).

Read more

How Long Will Your Organization Exist?

How long will your organization exist? Have you ever stopped to ponder this question

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

Read more

A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

Read more

The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

Read more

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more
View older posts →

The Terrifying Truth About Teacher Talent and Turnover

Despite being an up-and-coming, in-demand generation, and one that’s consistently shaping how we think about work, Millennials—ages 22-35 and the largest percentage of the workforce—are still having a hard time finding reasonable jobs. Presently, the Millennial unemployment rate stands at an unfortunate 12.8 percent compared to the national average of 4.9 percent.

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The Frightening Facts of Finance

In 2010, OCBC, a bank in Singapore, conducted research with more than 1,000 Millennials (1982-1995), revealing that young people felt neglected by and disengaged from financial providers. As a result, OCBC rolled out FRANK – a new kind of bank.

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The Construction Conundrum

Harley-Davidson is a true American icon with real brand cachet. For a particular breed of leather wearing motorcycle enthusiasts, there is simply nothing on par with Harley. The motorcycle company was founded in 1901, but it wasn’t until the arrival of the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) that sales skyrocketed. Boomers embraced the Harley bikes as totems of rebellion in the 1960s and 1970s and drove its growth in the ensuing decades.

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The Importance of Knowing Your People

Last week, I had an opportunity to speak to a great group of folks from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations about generational differences in the workforce. One of my favorite parts of that experience was when we broke into groups based on our generation and answered a few questions around what we valued.

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Why Your Workforce Is Unhappy, Unproductive, And Disengaged

Labor Day in the United States has become synonymous with BBQs, vacations, and back-to-school shopping sprees. As you crowd around the grill or the mall today with family and friends, consider your own labor situations. Are you happy at work? Are the people you lead also happy at work?

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Ready or Not - Here Comes Gen Z

On Sunday I’m presenting a Learning Lab at #ASAE17 on Generation Z. Still trying to understand the Millennials? Well, ready or not, here comes Gen Z – the oldest who are turning 21 this year.

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What Happens When Millennials Run the Association?

Succession planning. It’s one of the most important things an organization can have set up for success. So why is it that so many associations fail to have one in place?

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We Can’t Change Anything

“We can’t change anything, so what do you recommend?” This is a question I recently received after presenting a keynote on Millennials (1982-1995) for the Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS).

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Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

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The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

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The World's Aging Workforce and What Your Business Should do About It

Despite projected growth in the global population from 6.9 billion to 7.6 billion in 2020, the working-age population is expected to decline. In fact, aging will likely add 360 million older people (Baby Boomers) to the world’s pool of those not participating in the labor force.

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What Would Scrooge Do?: Planning For Workforce Future

Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

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Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

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Get Your Succession Plan Up To Speed

Succession planning is a lot like getting exercise. You don’t just do it once and call it done. It’s something that needs to be revisited regularly to keep you healthy. Succession planning, like exercise, also seems to fall into the category of something everyone knows they should do but no one actually does. But you want your organization to be healthy, so let’s get your succession plans up to speed. We say “speed” because it needs to move.

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5 Keys For Building A Solid Succession Plan

Succession planning is good for the health of your organization. It ensures you are prepared to fill vital roles in your organization should people leave unexpectedly or otherwise, and it engages and helps retain your best employees.

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Our Workforce: The Scary Truth And A Treat For You

It’s coming, and it’s bigger than Y2K and that asteroid NASA says “could” hit the earth in 2032. This is real, and you need to prepare; it’s going to change the way you, and everyone else, works. There will be no near-misses or “oops we were wrong”, and you’ll need to do more than buy a backup generator and bury your gold to get ready for the changes coming, so listen up; we’re talking about your workforce. We’re talking about the workforce crisis.

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Could You Work For Your Kid?

In 2011, this blog featured an article that posed the question: Would you hire your own kid? And now, just three years later, the question has become: Could you work for your kid or someone your kid’s age? What on earth happened between 2011 and 2014? And how on earth is it possible for someone who is 50-something to be managed by someone who is 20-something?

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Trends In Succession Planning

Your employees are an extremely valuable asset to your organization. Investing time into mentoring, training and giving them stretch assignments to build their leadership skills will pay off for your organization when it comes time to filling upper-level positions down the road.

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Succession Planning Tips From The Family Business

Family owned and operated for (insert impressive number of) years certainly has an appealing ring to it. Business owners who’ve worked hard to develop and maintain a healthy organization want to see that business continue to strive when turned over to the relative successor.

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Improving Employee Retention in a Talent Economy

Many companies would like to travel back in time to better prepare for tomorrow. Doing business under an industrial age model probably means you are focusing on the wrong things in a Talent Economy.

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How Businesses Can Better Appeal to and Recruit Generation Z

Help wanted signs are abundant. Worker and talent shortages are prevalent. If you’re hiring Gen Z for a summer job or appealing to them as a career aspiration, here are tips to get them in the door.

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Signs Your Business Doesn’t Know What – or Who – Matters Most

Are we measuring the wrong elements of success? Success in business is often defined by degrees, years of experience, hitting the bottom line, etc. Businesses that succeed today take measurements in how much they know about its audience, its team, and the future.

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Is Your Organization Playing To Win?

Successful companies have a great offensive playbook. If all your energy and emphasis is on day-to-day operations, your organization is not set-up to win.

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Not Another Millennial Generation: 6 Ways Gen Z Will Disrupt the Workplace

Millennials brought changes to the work environment and marketplace. Get ready to adjust again and figure out how to balance different needs as Generation Z seeks something different from work.

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The Terrifying Truth About Teacher Talent and Turnover

Despite being an up-and-coming, in-demand generation, and one that’s consistently shaping how we think about work, Millennials—ages 22-35 and the largest percentage of the workforce—are still having a hard time finding reasonable jobs. Presently, the Millennial unemployment rate stands at an unfortunate 12.8 percent compared to the national average of 4.9 percent.

Read more

The Frightening Facts of Finance

In 2010, OCBC, a bank in Singapore, conducted research with more than 1,000 Millennials (1982-1995), revealing that young people felt neglected by and disengaged from financial providers. As a result, OCBC rolled out FRANK – a new kind of bank.

Read more

The Construction Conundrum

Harley-Davidson is a true American icon with real brand cachet. For a particular breed of leather wearing motorcycle enthusiasts, there is simply nothing on par with Harley. The motorcycle company was founded in 1901, but it wasn’t until the arrival of the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) that sales skyrocketed. Boomers embraced the Harley bikes as totems of rebellion in the 1960s and 1970s and drove its growth in the ensuing decades.

Read more

Don’t Eat Your Young

Can you imagine a community without healthcare? It’s a very real and serious challenge as our nation is now facing a healthcare workforce shortage.

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The Lie That’s Robbing Our Future

Did you ever find yourself halfway through a major shift before you realized it was happening? Like a frog in pot of water sitting over an open flame; halfway to boiling before you even realize the water is warm? Well, the water is heating up in the workforce and it’s time to pay attention before we get cooked!

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We Can’t Change Anything

“We can’t change anything, so what do you recommend?” This is a question I recently received after presenting a keynote on Millennials (1982-1995) for the Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS).

Read more

How Long Will Your Organization Exist?

How long will your organization exist? Have you ever stopped to ponder this question

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Fear vs. Innovation: What’s Ultimately Driving Your Organization?

Last week I participated in ASAE’s inaugural XDP (experience design project) conference. At the conference, attendees were hopeful and inspired, but I couldn’t help but notice another emotion overshadowing much of the event: fear.

Read more

Keynote Urges Associations to Solve Global Workforce Crisis

Sarah Sladek issues up a call to action to the global association community to solve the workforce crisis at the Association World Congress.

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A Call to Action for Hospitals: “We’re going to have deaths”

Healthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the nation, partly because people are living longer and partly because the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation of the 20th century and the largest percentage of the healthcare workforce—is now entering their retirement years.

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The Coffice: Season 1, Episode 1 (ROWE)

Work-from-home employees have grown by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Coffices (coffee shop offices) are on the rise as more workplaces embrace flexibility. Read the reflections from one of XYZ U's remote employees.

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Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

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Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more
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Frightening Workforce Facts You Need to Know

Brace yourself. The Scary Stats are baaaaack! Since 2013, XYZ University has celebrated Halloween by reporting on the scariest workforce stats and this year is no exception. An even more frightening fact is that in the five years since we started reporting Scary Stats there’s been little to no improvement.

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New ASAE Book Talent Generation Offers Strategies for Associations to Engage, Retain Employees

ASAE has released a new book called Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success by Sarah L. Sladek, CEO and Founder of XYZ University.

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Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

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Come See Us At #Asae14!

We are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend of networking with association professionals as part of the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in Nashville, August 9-12. We’re so excited that we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of the great reasons to come visit XYZ University at this year’s event (Booth #1713). Don’t miss it!

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Gen Z Has Arrived: Get To Know Them

They are competitive, passionate, connected and they are here. Although the largest percentage of Generation Z (1996-2009) isn’t old enough to drive yet, they do have a growing influence over businesses. Gen Z is influencing their parents’ purchases, making their own purchases, and entering the workforce. It is time for businesses to start paying attention to them.

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Gen Y Is Simple

Engaging Gen Y (i.e. Millennials) is one of the hottest topics in Corporate America. From Google to Amazon, engaging Gen Y seems to be the permanent wallpaper of choice. And if you’re like most, the amount of information to sift through can be overwhelming and often times frustrating for Xers and Boomers alike. So listen up, I’ve got great news, Gen Y is not as complicated as everyone thinks. They’re an amazingly brilliant generation, and their basic needs within organizations are pretty simple and straightforward: Talk with me, respect me, and help me grow.

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Getting Rid Of The Freeloaders In Your Association: Is It Realistic?

I was recently asked the question “How do associations turn freeloaders into paying members?” I personally think this is a loaded question. While you may be able to convert some of your members through the right marketing and recruitment plans, the idea of converting everyone is unrealistic. “Freeloaders” who show up to events, participate in webinars, and benefit from the great work your association does is just something you have to deal with. But this can work to your advantage.

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Why You Don’t Understand Those Young’uns

“When I was your age I used to walk to school five miles through three feet of snow uphill both ways.” How many of you have a statement similar to this from someone of an older generation?

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Is Your Website Bringing Your Members Closer Or Pushing Them Away?

Your website is more than just the voice of your membership association. If you’re not using your site to bring your members closer, you’re probably pushing them away from your organization and from each other. One of the reasons people join member-based organizations to be a part of a community, so it’s your job to make sure your community meets their needs.

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Associations Are Going Mobile. Really?

For the purposes of this post, I’m defining “the mobile web” with a focus specifically on an association’s provision of and members’ use of web content made available via a mobile smartphone and/or tablet devices.

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Is Email Still A Valid Way To Engage Members?

Member engagement is such a buzz word these days. Associations are struggling to engage members, in an effort to retain current members, and be set up for success in the future. Email has become one of (if not “the”) simplest way to reach out to your community. You create a message and send it to hundreds (or thousands) of people in your network at a click of a button.

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Onboarding Gen Y College Grads: Channeling New Values, Energy, Enthusiasm

Today’s typical Gen Y college grad yearns to make a difference in your business and beyond. How will you embrace, nurture and channel their confidence, energy, enthusiasm and academic achievement into helping them achieve your goals and theirs? Commencement speeches reflect a generational evolution in values over the past 40 years.

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Happy Together: The Value Gen X And Y Bring To Your Association

Last time we were together, we discussed the disconnect between Baby Boomer centric Associations and Gen X and Gen Y membership recruits. Mainly, X and Y are not joining Baby Boomer centric associations.

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To Engage The Next Generation, You Have To Beat Netflix

The owner of a booming Crossfit gym in Minneapolis pinpointed the key to success in the modern world as he was signing me up for membership. He said, “We’re not teaching a workout class so you can be healthier, that’s just the outcome. We create dynamic experiences that stack up against anything.”

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Women Were Raised To Be Nice. So What?

It’s been said that men view business as a sport and women view business as a picnic. In other words, men want to win while women want to make sure everyone has a sandwich and a good time. As you may have noticed, women have been repeatedly bashed for this, as if “playing nice” were a pathetic and career-limiting move.

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Young Staff, Big Results

I recently transitioned from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association to the young and energetic team at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. After 20+ years of Baby Boomer generation leadership, a 30-something Matt Gruhn took the reins at MRAA in 2011. Since then, membership has grown 188%! Prior to his leadership at MRAA, Matt played a crucial role in reviving the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo (MDCE). Under his direction, participation grew from 97 in 2007 to more than 1,000 in 2012 and we expect continued growth this year.

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7 Ways To Engage Gen Y With Your Association

As XYZ University CEO Sarah Sladek said in her recent whitepaper “Engaging Young Generations,“: If we fail to engage Generation Y, we prepare to fail.

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Delivering Effective Membership Tiers Without The Tears

Over the past year I have seen a wide range of membership associations move away from the traditional one-size-fits-all membership offering to a more tiered and personalized membership offering.

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9 Ways Your Association Can Make The Most Of An Election-Year Congress

Around this time of year, government relations professionals are meeting in their respective associations and coming to the same conclusion: because it’s an election year, congressional productivity will grind to a halt sooner rather than later. However, this doesn’t mean that your work has to suffer.

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How To Get Your Association Members Excited About Advocacy

Often, advocacy is touted as a benefit of joining an association. Yet, many association members find every reason in the world not to get involved.

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Segmentation Recommendations For Membership Associations

I belong to a few membership-based organizations and nothing frustrates me more than getting too many emails from them. Often, they are about information, products or services that I am not interested in, or their timing between departments is way off, and I end up getting multiple emails in one day.

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Gen Y: Are You Misjudging Them?

When you hear the stats about Generation Y, it can be easy to misjudge the current population of 18 to 31 year olds as a group of self-entitled slackers, a stereotype that has become baggage to this group of young people. The fact that only 60% of Millennials have a job, with only half of those jobs being full time, is quite unimpressive and makes negative conclusions about Millennials and their work ethic come naturally. It doesn’t help that a higher share of this group is still living at home than those their age since four decades ago, either.

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5 Ways To Engage Your Association’s Members

XYZ University has defined member engagement as the emotional commitment the member has to the association and its mission. As such, many association executives pose the question: “How do I engage my members in a meaningful way?” The following are five ways (that are relatively inexpensive and not overly time-consuming) to engage your association’s members:

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New Ideas For Old Meetings

It’s a new day in the association meetings industry. For the most part, gone are the 5-day gatherings, full-day presentations and lecture-only sessions. Replacing them are shorter meetings, shorter sessions within a conference, and participatory lectures.

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Creating Loyalty: What Works With Millennials

Being a Gen Y, I can personally attest to my generation’s dislike of being sold to. I dislike sales so much I chose a career path to avoid it! If the only way I can purchase something is by forcefully spending my precious time with a gym membership or car salesmen, I am immediately turned off from the company.

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