Did you know “healthcare support occupations (such as home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $29,880 in May 2021, lower than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy?” [BLS]
And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for “full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $1,169 in 2021, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $975,” yet 2021 still saw 137,000 fewer wage and salary workers being represented by a union than the previous year.
With the value of union affiliation being plainly expressed in the wage discrepancies above, it’s crucial for today’s workers to not only have easy access to the resources they need to advocate successfully for themselves but for union leaders to have the unwavering support of their members behind them.
Identifying Union Engagement & Mobilization Challenges
After interviewing several union professionals it became clear that, despite the newfound union popularity among younger workers, communication and mobilization challenges were driven by three key factors:
- Emails being ignored or getting lost in spam
- Texting/SMS costing too much while requiring too much manual maintenance
- Social Media lacking targeted audience control (unless willing to pay for ads).
And with so much information being constantly circulated, it is nearly impossible to track if your message was seen, let alone if it was effective. And when your members stop reading your messages, they stop being active members and start becoming disengaged members.
Creating a Successful Union Mobilization Strategy
To combat union member inactivity and increase mobilization power, union leaders must ensure that every community member feels informed and empowered.
By moving away from the decentralized model of email, SMS & social media, and adopting a new, holistic strategy founded on member-belonging and driven by community metrics, union leaders can rest easy knowing their messages are not being ignored. Not only that, by keeping community analytics in-house (rather than allowing Big Social to profit from your member data), union leaders can feel more confident knowing their members’ sentiments, in real time.
How a Digital Mobilization Platform Can Help
To ensure that union members remain active and engaged, union leaders must work hard to ensure that members feel as though they belong. And with belonging being a key indicator of long-term retention, an increasing number of community leaders are making the switch to a private, centralized digital community platform so they can easily:
- Send targeted messaging to specified members or cohorts
- Gain a deeper understanding of member engagement levels
- Provide a safe & private space for union-only discussions
- Create a rallying point for members while maintaining group ownership
By creating a centralized space where members can network with their peers, ask questions, and engage with their union leaders, admins can easily gain access to member-sentiment metrics, and adjust their strategies accordingly, increasing their overall mobilization power.
Discover Raftr for Unions
Capitalize on your union’s current popularity and engage members with your own private, branded, digital space to connect. Build custom, secure, online communities & gain actionable insights about members to drive long-term retention & action.