This issue provides insights into the attitudes and buying habits of our Millennial customers… but a careful reading can also provide a better understanding of how best to train, encourage and relate to Millennials as employees.

Specifically, and at the risk of being a bit redundant, consider the following when creating, updating or evaluating your sales and employee training programs:

-Millennials are not driven primarily by financial security but rather by personal development and wanting to “make a difference in others’ lives”… factors that need to be considered when communicating your company mission and goals, and in all training materials and learning programs.

 -Millennials are tech saavy, plugged in, raised on video games, expectant and visual learners… which means that the best training materials are rich in graphics, short and concise in duration and format (i.e. videos), and provide rewards for successfully completing “steps” or levels.
It is equally important to cultivate an environment in your store (and by your attitude) of continuous learning, and think about investing in learning technology.

-Millennials are social, and prone toward collaboration. Consequently, training activities that include teamwork in brainstorming selling situations, dissecting difficult selling scenarios, and a variety of role playing can all be very effective.

Additionally, surveys have indicated that Millennials prefer a manager that they can regard as a mentor, and respond very favorably to mentoring and training from more experienced employees.

-Millennials crave constant feedback, as opposed to mid-year or annual reviews, and they expect recognition for their hard work and accomplishments. This characteristic is actually positive, in that the desire is not for attention for attention's sake, but rather part of their drive to constantly learn and improve.

Essentially, they want and will accept your feedback to help them improve their abilities and to further their career path.

Training programs, therefore, need to be clearly defined, measurable, relevant, and (importantly) timely… with frequent feedback.

The best approach with your Millennial employees… focus on their unique motivations, expectations, needs and learning styles to create consistent coaching, measurable feedback, attainable goals and rewards, with the freedom to improve on “the ways things have always been done.”

Doing so will result in faster improvement in sales for new hires, a consistent improvement by existing sales staff, and potentially lower employee turn over rates.