Millennials do things differently, and as they start to dominate your sales teams, you need to understand what motivates them. This generation is very different from the two that came before it. They are well fit to navigate today’s world of sales, but only if you nurture them properly. Here are the five best ways to manage your millennial employees for top performance.
- Identify their motivators. Look at how marketing has changed in the last few years. Consumers care more about personal fulfillment, social impact, and personal connections. The people who fostered this change are the very same as your young workforce. Millennials wait longer to marry, have children, and even move out of their parent’s homes. Financial stability looks very different to them, so money is not always their driving force. They want work-life balance, and they want to feel like they contribute. They crave personal fulfillment in their work far more than status and income. Figure out that personal fulfillment and use it to motivate them.
- Teach them client perspective. Just because your sales team is getting younger doesn’t mean your clients are. Without understanding what drives the behavior of a baby boomer or gen x-er, a millennial can’t put the right spin on a sales formula. Consequently, they won’t be able to connect with clients – something that is just as devastating to them personally as it is financially. Fortunately, millennials are quick to accept and adapt to the differences in others.
- In fact, teach them in general, and never stop. Millennials are very driven to learn. They value this as personal and professional growth. They are excited about continuing education and they know how to put that information to use. Millennials will innovate if you feed their need to learn.
- Adjust your workday expectation. The world of 8 to 5 does not work for everyone, and no one knows this better than millennials. Some people are most productive if they start work at ten, hit the gym at two and then work until eight. Rejecting the traditional work hour structure does not make a person lazy or difficult. It means that person is tuned in to his or her strengths. Focus more on the work that gets done than the hours in which it’s accomplished. Your millennials will know how to maximize their talents.
- Be clear about expectations. Millennials are used to instant gratification. You found out what drives them, now make sure they know when to expect their reward. If you have benchmarks, explain them in detail early on. Also, give them constant feedback. This generation grew up getting trophies for trying. They thrive on achievement, so motivate them by telling them they’re doing a good job.
Above all, don’t forget to get feedback from them, too. They are tuned into the future of client needs – don’t forget that. Ask them what kinds of strategies they think will work best.
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