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Engaging The Millennial Workforce: Why Your Business Depends On It

  • Written by Mohit Garg, MindTickle
  • Published in Demanding Views

mohit garg headshotMillennials are projected to make up about 33% of the U.S. workforce, with that number rising to 75% by 2025.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over five million Millennials are in sales roles. Millennials are also known for job hopping. The New Talent Times states that it costs about $10,000 to replace a worker who was making $50,000 per year, which means a hefty price for employers to pay if they can’t engage their Millennial sales reps quickly. Not only do companies lose money in the process of replacing that employee, but there are also hidden costs of employee turnover, like overworking your remaining employees and losing productivity.

However, 68% of Millennials say they would stay at their current position for an additional year if they’ve had an opportunity to learn and grow within the last year, but only 39% of Millennials said they’ve learned something new in the last 30 days in their role. If Millennial employees aren’t constantly learning at their job, they’ll look to move elsewhere. Knowing these risks, it’s crucial for sales leaders to engage with the growing millennial workforce and understand what drives them. Not being able to engage, challenge, grow and retain Millennial sales reps costs the industry over $750 million annually.

Make Learning Available When And Where Reps Want It

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Almost half of Millennials —about 45% — will choose a workplace with more flexibility over one with higher pay. And 69% say they believe office attendance on a regular basis is unnecessary. This is because they measure productivity by work completed, not by time spent in the office. With this in mind, lessons and training for sales representatives should be available in and outside of the office, via mobile and on-demand.

Additionally, understanding how Millennials engage with the learning content is key. With attention spans of about the time it takes to read two sentences, it’s no wonder Millennials prefer to consume information in small segments like Twitter or Snapchat. These short snippets of information manage both their preference for crisp communication and accessing information on their mobile devices.

Furthermore, Millennials grew up in the era of the smartphone and are always connected —83% of Millennials say they sleep with their smartphones by their beds. Likewise,53% of Millennials said they would rather get rid of their sense of smell than their digital devices! Sales enablement tools that allow Millennials to engage with training materials how and when they want will ensure they always have access to the learning material they need to reach their goals. For one company, our data shows that 36% of millennial users access and engage in training materials outside of business hours.

Recognize Employee Progress And Incentivize Growth

Millennials are more competitive than previous generations and want to be noticed for their accomplishments. To engage reps through healthy competition, sales leaders and managers can reward learning by integrating tactics such as certifications and gamification, with reps earning badges and prizes for their achievements. Developing certifications is another way that reps can demonstrate mastery of a skill or knowledge area and include that in their performance reviews.

Eager to track their own progress, don’t be surprised if the Millennial reps want access to their performance data to understand where they’re succeeding and where they’re not. Platforms that provide dashboards and track progress for both teams and individual reps can give this visibility.

As mentioned previously, millennials are always connected and want to access training when and how they want. By utilizing a SaaS platform that also includes a mobile app, sales reps will have access to readiness tools at any time.

Create A Valuable Workplace

Not surprisingly, 90% of Millennials want their workplace to be social and fun, and 88% say that a positive company culture is essential to their dream job. Not only do they want a unique, positive work environment, they also want their work to be meaningful – 77% of Millennials stated that their ability to excel in their job is contingent upon deriving value from their work. Unfortunately, less than half report feeling that they actually get this sense of “meaning.” Millennial sales reps can be engaged and incorporated further into the work culture by seeking out what they find valuable about their work and including that in your feedback and coaching plan.

Millennials are growing to be the largest generation in the workforce and are costing employers more due to their job-hopping tendencies. It is imperative to provide them with the sales tools and environment they want and need to succeed, so they become a long-term asset and contributor to your business