Why should I join your union? A new model for understanding the value of unionism.
We are facing a membership crisis. While we are in an enviable position with a strong and proud history of union membership, this legacy has meant we have been able to get away with doing things the way we have always done them. We have not adjusted quickly enough to a changing world. As a result, our membership is ageing and retiring, and as a movement, we are largely disconnected from the current and emerging workforce.
To ensure we are relevant to workers today, we need to match what we offer to their needs and expectations, we cannot expect them to match ours. To do that, we need to fully understand what potential members want.
The ACTU Behavioural Insights Unit (ABIU) methodology for experimentation outlines a 7-step process for behaviour change. The first stage of this is identifying and understanding the problem that you face.
To help understand the problem of declining union membership, the ABIU has developed a model of union utility. It formalises the key types of benefits unions offer to potential members – such as material, social and intrinsic benefits. Different types of benefits will be more important to different unions and different types of members. The model provides a framework for understanding what potential members want and evaluating whether this is what your union is offering them.
The framework can be used to develop or refine your unions value proposition.
The ABIU is planning to release its guide ‘Why should I join your union? A framework for understanding value’ at the ACTU Innovation Series webinar on 9 July. In this seminar, ABIU will run through the model, explain how it fits with the 7-step methodology and how it can be used by unions to develop a unique value proposition to attract new members. Participants will receive a copy of the guide to the model, as well as the ABIU methodology guide.