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When considering the motivation of a young sales team, it is important for the manager or team leader to relate to and understand their workforce. This will promote productivity and help with team morale. So, how can an experienced manager get into the mindset of their millennial counterparts?
While some people are quite critical of millennials and their approach to working life, the reality is that they are our future CEOs, managing directors and business masterminds, so it’s important we arm them with the tools and motivation to thrive. Millennials are well educated, openly ambitious, confident and sometimes even ruthless, so when looking for a new role there are key factors that they look for.
Career progression is reported as the most important motivator for a millennial professional. The majority of millennials want more than just a job, they desire a career that enables them to achieve their goals and a status that they can discuss with fellow millennials.
In some cases, if millennial workers don’t feel as though they are progressing within an organisation, they will seek opportunities elsewhere. This is why it is important that businesses develop a career development plan for each member of staff as soon as possible, so young workers can benchmark their successes against achievable goals. Generally, millennials with a personal development programme will work harder and generate better results, they are loyal to not only their line manager but also the business.
Although a competitive salary is still a key motivating factor to many millennial professionals, quite often it is the overall benefits package that they are most interested in. What you can offer as a business is key to developing a flexible benefits package that allows candidates to select benefits that are most important to them, such as the ability to purchase additional holidays, loans for travel or days off to do charity work.
Clear career path - People often consider millennials as job-hoppers, but the ones who are leaving positions often state that they are under-stimulated, bored and hungry for the next challenge. Typically, the candidates who are loyal and stay at a business for the longer-term, are the ones given a clear career path and a plan to get there.
Work-life balance/flexible working - Millennials often work more productively when working flexibly. With that in mind, think about how you can incorporate flexibility into your sales team’s schedule to maximise their productivity and output.
Communication and feedback - Although millennials crave freedom and autonomy, they also demand to know how they’re performing and want to be held accountable. Regular, honest and constructive feedback helps employees to feel fulfilled in their role.
Incentives and recognition - Your sales team wants to be rewarded for their hard work and success. Commission alone is no longer enough, as it is expected in a sales role. Using incentives allows you to connect with your team by offering rewards for their achievements.
Team environment - Millennials are great collaborators and are looking to contribute ideas in a collaborative, not competitive work environment. Collaboration in sales teams breeds innovation and fuels a sense of community. Support a collaborative work environment by ensuring that your employees build relationships with one another through team bonding exercises as well as regular meetings and discussions.
Rewarding high performers with bonuses and target-related commissions has now become expected in a sales role. Businesses are coming up with more and more incentives for high-performing employees which can often entice new talent to join the business. Top dining experiences, cash incentives, vouchers, and extra holiday days are just some of the rewards for high achievers that millennials are getting excited about.
Attracting talented millennials to join your team starts with understanding what motivates them. As noted above, a clear progression path, competitive remuneration package, flexible working and a modern workplace culture and environment are all high priorities for millennials when looking for a new role.