There’s been a lot of talk about millennials recently. In case you aren’t familiar with this term, a millennial is used to describe a segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000 (approximately that is - different sources tend to give slightly different date ranges). The term seems to be making its way into more and more conversations that I’ve been having with my peers when discussing managing inside sales teams. So many inside sales representatives out there fall within this generation, and a hot topic of conversation more recently is how to attract this generation from a recruiting standpoint and how to manage them once they join your team.
With this in mind, I came across this insightful blog, What Inside Sales Millennials Need and Want by Josiane Feigon. In her blog, Josiane shares some statistics about the millennial generation and what they are looking for when applying for jobs and also what they need once hired from a management standpoint. I’ve taken some time to reflect on this idea, and below are some thoughts that come to mind for me when it comes to thinking about what attracts and retains my team of millennials:
Create an environment with a great culture. Millennials care about lifestyle. They want to be in an environment where jeans are okay to wear and where they can grab a few drinks with co-workers after work.
Present them with the latest and greatest technology. Millennials are tech-savvy, they like to learn and do their jobs with any and all inside sales tools available. It’s what they know, so make them as productive as possible by making these investments.
Involve them in training efforts – make them mentors. As Josiane stated in her blog, “Three-fourths of millennials would like to have a mentor.” I would add that it goes the other way too – they want to be mentors. They want to take part in something big and want to add value. Be sure to pair them up with their peers when learning the job, but once they’ve mastered it, put them in front of the team to run a training session of their choice.
Communicate with them. Millennials love communication and they want to be “in the know.” Keep them up to date with what is going on with the organization as well as how the company is doing in reaching its goals. Cleary communicate what their personal goals are, as well as any growth opportunities they have within the team and document it.
Recognize them. This generation wants to be coached, they want feedback on how they are doing, and they want attention when they’ve done a good job.
Personally, I’m really glad the idea of the millennial generation has been such a huge talking point lately. It’s an interesting exercise to think about what inside sales millennials really want and need so that you can ensure you have the best performing team possible. What about you - have you taken the time to consider millennials lately?