You don’t compete with other employers, but your members look to you to guard their bottom line.
Plain and simple: your Union Local is competing for attention. And there is a lot of noise out there.
New members (especially today’s generation of Skilled Labor) have fairly high standards for engagement. You’ve seen it in the way they communicate: email, text, Twitter, FaceBook. You’ve seen it in their expectations for company websites, service-by-internet, quick access to information, schedules, calendars, newsletters and meeting information.
Perhaps you’ve upgraded your web presence, brought in professionals to manage Social Media and important information. If not, I’m sure it’s on your to-do list.
You’ve bargained very successfully on their behalf, brought great wages and solidarity to the work environment, made employers and contractors aware of the rules and lay of the land. Your Local is known in the area, and your reputation is solid.
But, it’s still hard to get the attention of new and prospective members, why?
They are waiting.
Waiting for you to do more.
There is more you can do, and it’s easier than you think. In fact, it will probably have the highest impact of anything you’ve done recently.
You can become their best source of supplemental benefits, in a way that was not possible just one year ago. Times have changed, access to insurance has changed, and finally, access to the most requested benefits in the workforce (after Major Medical) has radically changed.
Your Union Local can now offer the top three supplemental benefits–true Short-term Disability, Cancer Coverage, and Accident coverage–with no paperwork, no deductions, no headaches, and no administration of any kind. The Local can now partner with a Fortune 200 company for additional direct benefits that are available to every Union member without discrimination or approval from their employer, and the member will have you to thank. Best of all: It costs the Local nothing to make available. Absolutely zero. And we are the best in the world at what we do. Best coverage, best claims service, best local agents, and highest name recognition. Think about a soft drink. Chances are you’re thinking of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Think about electronics: Apple, Samsung. Coffee? Starbucks. Benefits? Aflac. Here’s how Aflac is even better with Union Benefit Pioneers at the wheel.
In the past, an agent would contact and attempt to work with your Local with little or no knowledge of how your organization operates.
Solved: Our folks work closely (and some exclusively) with Unions and know how to stay out of your hair.
In the past, an agent would ask for complex paperwork to be added to your staff’s workload, with deductions added to dues and invoices to be reconciled each month.
Solved: Our system uses a third-party billing system that keeps the invoices and deductions out of your office. We deal directly with the member, and serve them directly, on a convenient and local level.
In the past, an agent would ask for concessions from you on meetings, setting up shop to spread the word while you are trying to go about the business of communicating to your members.
Solved: Our system reaches out using only the methods you approve, and we can even hold our own meetings off-site to spread the word. We are tech-savvy and know how to reach your members and prospects on your terms.
In the past, someone may print a flyer, set up a table or bulletin board and hope for the best response.
Solved: Our system is designed to promote the Local first, membership second, and the benefits as an exclusive “right of membership” that shows your Local in the best possible role. You get all the credit and bragging rights.
In the past, complex versions of policies would be offered with no regard to your other Union partners already in place. Members woud be confused about what they qualify for, and what the best choices are.
Solved: We offer coverage only when it isn’t already available, or when you feel it falls short of a value. We bring in simple-issue and guaranteed-issue (no medical questions) options to keep things as easy as “yes” or “no, thanks”.
I could go on, but the simple fact is that the old ways aren’t working for anyone anymore. Locals need new brothers and sisters, they need existing members to start talking about them again. People need to see that associating with your Union is the best way to protect their paycheck, from the first penny earned to the last penny spent. Employers–most of the time–are doing all they can to provide coverage to and for their employees, but we all know they can fall short. Let’s face it, the employer just isn’t thinking about things the same way your members are. The employer has bigger pictures, larger dollar amounts, and other problems on their mind.
Let the employees come to you for the things they’re missing.
It will get them talking again, it will get them looking your way again. Fence-sitters will come down and ask you how to join up. People will see that you’re doing more for them than ever before.
Do more. Be more. Provide more. You don’t have to tell them how easy it was.
Tim Allen, Union Benefit Pioneer