How do we learn to engage with millennials using their tools of communication, demonstrate that your association has an accessible and attainable career pathway, remove the barriers of achievement through mentoring, and articulate the purpose that will encourage engagement through volunteering?
by Peter Holtmann
Let me be clear from the start: This is not an anti-millennial piece, rather a call to action. We are interested in you. Millennials (Members of the generation following Generation X, or two generations after the 1946 to 1964 baby-boom generation. Also known as Generation Y.), are the voice of future quality professionals. So let’s talk.
In continuing our work on future sustainability pathways, Exemplar Global is very clear on one thing—millennials are our audience.
I am not going to detail the psychometrics of millennials. I would prefer to discuss the value proposition to engage in our industry.
For the sake of efficiency, I will call it the quality industry. But let it be understood this covers training, consulting, auditing, mentoring, coaching, and research into all things related to the consistent outcomes of product and service. This includes quality, health, safety, environment, security, and protection.
I decided to research how other industries and associations address the “enigma” of millennials and what engages them. I found 375,000 articles on Google alone. That number may have increased since I wrote this, which shows that people are seeking answers to the same questions I am.
I am not going into the exact details, but suffice it to say that the questions are common across all the associations I researched. I will share a thread of logic shared by all on the “how to” for millennials. Specifically, learn to engage with millennials using their tools of communication, demonstrate that your association has an accessible and attainable career pathway, remove the barriers of achievement through mentoring, and articulate the purpose that will encourage engagement through volunteering.
The list is by no means definitive and there are other nuances of these themes. Essentially, the formula looks and feels familiar. But do we pitch it to the right audience?
Speaking directly to millennials, I would like to respond to these terms on behalf of Exemplar Global and other like-minded quality professionals and communities.
Our mission and vision at Exemplar Global is to advance the art and science of recognition of the professionals within the communities we support. That means we work hard to show your value to customers and employers globally. We do this by building credentials that are portable and easily recognizable. We do this because we believe you are the future and will take us forward.
How do you engage in this mission? We need people to help us shape a clearer vision of the future. What will the work environment be? How will people engage with it? What do they need to bring with them as competencies to add value to this environment?
Millennials are faster, have higher energy, engage intimately with technology, and build ideas in a way that is unique and of high value. We need you to help us deliver your future career path.
We’ve taken the first steps to create a career pathway for you. This has the elements of engaging with your peers, describing the entry requirements, and the outcomes of developing your professional credentials (this means money, recognition, and association with others). We have the flexibility to work with you on how you would like to engage with a career path. This means technology, challenge to goals, recognition, and incentives to complete the path.
Mentoring to success
Mentoring is necessary and valuable. We are working to build platforms to connect our most accomplished certified professionals with aspiring millennial professionals. Having access to an expert helps you build problem-solving capabilities, client relationship development skills, and build interaction with senior or executive management. There is no better way to build your personal and technical skills than with a mentor.
Nothing beats in-person time at events or working environments. This counts as valuable professional development and can be used as recognition toward certification or professional growth.
To this end, Exemplar Global has begun to create these opportunities, starting with our Hackathon and then moving forward with the establishment of a young professional governance opportunity.
More details on this will follow in the near future, but the sole purpose is to engage young professionals to build future association and professional credentialing models. This will be a global opportunity that fast-tracks your skills development with governance, strategy, project management, and technical development.
Being a global provider of credentials and career development has its benefits and challenges. One challenge is being “local” to our audience. The physical and cultural barriers can be just as complex and impractical as in a medium-sized association. However, we have you to our advantage. You are global and local. You know the landscape and culture, and you are connected to us.
Together we can communicate using your technology and networks. After all, you have access to far more people than we do. We should encourage you to communicate on our behalf.
This assistance could count as recognition for certification and professional development. Championing our mission and enlisting others rapidly builds a social presence that sustains the quality movement.
These thoughts are just a sketch of what is possible with your help. I’m excited about what you can accomplish and how fast you can achieve solutions. My role is to encourage you to engage with us, support your ideation and enactment, and recognize and reward your efforts.
If this sounds like you, then let’s have a conversation. The future quality profession is owned by you, so make your impression on it.
As usual, I am interested in your feedback and thoughts. You can respond directly to this article or on your favored communication channel. I’m on most of those channels.
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