Your members, your customers, your clients - they’re all going to look different in the future. Find out how to prepare for the changing demographics of business.
More young people are opting not to get married. Fewer are living in rural areas. The ethnic composition of America is changing rapidly.
No matter what you do, Kelly McDonald, president of McDonald Marketing and author of business bestseller, How to Market to People Not Like You, says it’s time to get ready to start working with different kinds of people. Whether you’re trying to engage new members, sell new services to clients or recruit new talent for your organization, here are five lessons to remember as you work to navigate the changing demographics of business in 2013 - - and beyond.
1) English Isn’t Enough
While you may be used to an English-speaking way of doing business, McDonald says that bilingual and multilingual staff will become mandatory for your organization’s survival. As business leaders continue to look for new opportunities in Asia, Central America and South America, it’s important for your staff to understand different cultures and speak different languages.
2) Give HR a Wake-Up Call.
Your organization will need to do more than speak - - it will have to show that it does not operate on an “Old Boys Club” mentality. McDonald says that Generation Y wants to see a demonstrated commitment to diversity with more women and minorities in senior-level positions.
Outside of who you hire, you’ll need to rethink how you take care of them - - and their loved ones. As marriage is redefined, McDonald advocates progressive views on what your organization offers in terms of benefits for an employee’s partner and how your organization views a “family.”
3) Be flexible.
“Many studies show that people will take less money for more flexibility,” McDonald says.
As you work to keep the most talented members of your team on-board with your organization’s mission, it’s important to remember that flexibility can be a big reward. Rather than figuring out how to give an employee a big pay increase, consider giving them a smaller raise with the option to work from home for a few days each week. Sure, employees want to make good money, but McDonald points out that an emerging generation of employees can accomplish just as much with smartphones and tablets - - without having to be at a desk for nine hours each day.
4) CSR is Crucial
“People are increasingly looking at whether or not your company has a soul,” McDonald says.
That soul can show itself in many forms. From encouraging your members and your employees to be active in community volunteering to implementing organization-wide recycling policies, McDonald says that there are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that your company or association truly cares about what’s going on around it.
5) Brilliance is the Norm
As recent college graduates leave a lasting mark as soon as they enter the workforce, McDonald says it’s important to treat everyone on the other side of the table with respect.
“You can’t assume that the people you’re working with are anything other than smart, forward-thinking and financially successful,” McDonald advised.
For more insights into the future of reaching your prospective customers, members and employees, check out McDonald’s blog here.
These insights were part of the all-new PCMA Business School at Convening Leaders 2013 in Orlando. For more takeaways from the meeting industry’s premier experience, click here.