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. Gen Y might be gearing up to take over the workforce, but they’re currently only at 36%, and even as that number increases, the Gen Xers will still be around. And Gen Xers have outnumbered the Baby Boomers for 10 years already. It’s time they got some attention; they’ve got an important role to play.
Gen Xers remember a time before the internet, the tech skills they have, they learned; they adapted. With all the changes in the workforce, the way people do their jobs and how they communicate, your association needs to adapt too. As your association makes the necessary changes, Gen Xers can help make those changes a smooth process. They can lead your association through the changes necessary to make it a welcoming environment for Generations X, Y and Z. And they can do it without much outside guidance.
As you lose leaders, volunteers and members, Generation X will be the first to step up to take on new responsibilities. They are flexible and appreciate the opportunity for new experiences. Gen X can see the Millennials coming to leapfrog them for leadership roles, and they’re eager to get involved where they can now.
I’m not suggesting that Gen X is simply Gen Y bait, but a strong Generation X membership base will help you to attract Gen Y members. Generation Y is always looking for mentors and opportunities to grow and learn. As the Boomers move out of your associations, it will be Gen X who has the most experience in a workforce that Gen Y can relate to. Millennials like to work in teams and learn from the older generations. Without Gen X, your association might be too young for them.
The Baby Boomers are going to retire; they will leave your association; you won’t be able to keep them. And if you don’t make changes to attract Gen Y, you may never see them. Give some of your attention to Gen X members as a part of this process. They are the members you need to lead you into the future and help make the necessary changes to sustain your association. You’ve got them now; make sure you don’t lose them too.
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