Most professional membership bodies will have a view on the engagement and satisfaction of their younger members, whether that be anecdotally or through research. And most will also be aware that young professionals, entering the workplace for the first time or studying towards qualifications, have needs that differ somewhat from other member types. But what perceptions and attitudes have these young professionals established during their initial relationships with a professional body? And are those in higher education, still considering the direction their career will take, even aware of the opportunities and support a professional body could offer?
Our research - with 1900 recent graduates, post-graduate students and students in the last two years of undergraduate study - investigated their approach to career decisions and plans, their awareness of professional bodies and how well professional bodies understand their younger members.
The findings are set in the context of today's education and workplace environment, with consideration of how this environment differs from that of previous generations, and provides insight to the support professional bodies can offer those in the earliest stages of thier careers: the professionals - and members - of the future.
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A number of organisations in the membership sector had noted that the lapse rate of student members - when transitioning from the student category to full membership - seemed higher than overall lapse rates. They also noted that these members, as well as those in the first few years of their membership, appeared to have different interests, needs, values to other members. And are those in higher education, still considering the direction their career will take, even aware of the opportunities and support a professional body could offer?
We investigated the successes and challenges of engaging with these two important groups of members: what initiatives are working, what new approaches are planned, and how these groups of members can contribute their knowledge and collaborate with the wider membership. 28 professional membership bodies took part in our study, and the topline findings were delivered at MemCom on the 19th May 2016.
You can download a copy of some of the research highlights from the foot of this page.
The full research report contains (anonymously) a wealth of information provided by the participating bodies, including ideas for ways of getting these members involved, outlines of engagement activities and pages of shared advice.
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