So how should you approach YP engagement? Below are a few tips - plus a few concrete ideas!
First and foremost, focus on networking and career growth.
This is likely why your young professional members joined in the first place, so make sure you have sufficient programming in these areas. You might even consider giving your YPs one-on-one attention (through a mentoring program, for example) to really help them make connections and land that first job.
Give them a chance to engage with each other.
Being given an avenue to bond with people who are also finding their way will foster loyalty to your organization. Create events and programs just for recent graduates through age 35 or so. This will give your youngest members a chance to forge new relationships, while getting advice from those who aren’t too far removed from post-grad life.
When it comes to communication, meet them where they are.
Technology will change, but what won’t change is that younger generations are the most likely to adopt new platforms first. Do your best to stay ahead of the curve as the way we communicate changes. (This goes for your recruitment efforts, as well!)
Involve them in leadership opportunities.
Helping your young professionals grow into their careers means developing their leadership skills, too. Plus, your organization will benefit from the new ideas they bring to the table. Encourage your YPs to get involved in committees and other positions where they can influence the organization.
Ok, now for a few ideas! To engage your YP members for the long-haul, consider implementing a few of these programs:
- YP networking nights
- One-on-one mentorship
- Reverse mentorship program with college students
- Outings around town (sporting events, breweries, fitness classes, etc.)
- Volunteer opportunities
- Panels with local experts
- “Speed dating” style networking
- Industry 101s (help them learn the “lingo” and typical processes)
- Interview practice
- Resume consultations
- Meaningful workshops (leadership, negotiation, work-life balance, managing personal finances, etc.)
- On-site visits to influential local businesses
In need of some more YP tips, such as tips for recruitment and retention? Check out our free guide, Recruiting Young Professionals for the Long-Haul: A Guide for Associations and Chambers!