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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Improve Your Millennials' Performance With Real-time Feedback


We’ve been talking about the Millennial generation for years now. Discussing their behaviors, styles, and attitudes, we have debated how this group will likely affect our business moving forward and how we can best develop them to succeed.

This understanding is vital since they will soon fill half of our entire labor force, and Pew Research reports that 58% of them expect to leave their jobs in three years or less. That kind of turnover can be a killer to a sales organization, so we need to figure them out and connect with them in a meaningful way.

But how? It may not be as hard as you thought!

I recently read an article called, “Go Ahead, Take a Selfie at Work” by Yohai West.

The author talked about how this “selfie generation” is highly motivated to improve “how they look” when they are able to quickly take a snapshot, make an on-the-spot assessment, and then adjust accordingly. Waiting to review their performance (or look at the pictures) later lowers their level of engagement.

Detailed and timely feedback has always played a critical role in strong coaching, but now more than ever, employees need instant feedback so they can make the necessary adjustments right away.

Regardless of whether you are providing positive feedback or feedback for improvement, it is important that you focus squarely on the person’s actions. Not their budget. Not their billing. Not the scores. Effective feedback centers entirely on an individual’s behaviors. For an individual to improve, they need to clearly understand their own behaviors and the connection between those behaviors and their performance.

This means that regardless of whether you are giving positive feedback or feedback to improve, you need to go in with lots of observations and examples. It has to begin in the field, watching the individual in action, making observations about their behaviors and taking notes that you can share.

I have found that there are a few easy steps to giving highly effective feedback that makes a lasting impression on people of all generations:

Positive feedback:

  1. Discuss specifically what you saw that you liked. Select at least three things to talk about and share your detailed observations related to their positive actions and behaviors.
  2. Reflect on how those positive behaviors affected their meeting, client results, team dynamics, goal attainment, etc.

Feedback for improvement:

  1. Discuss specifically what you saw that might have been more effective.
  2. Suggest how they might use alternative behaviors to achieve greater results.
  3. Determine when they might use these alternative behaviors and then plan to discuss the results afterwards.

Selfies aren’t just for Millennials by the way!

While this younger generation as a whole may be quite different than the generational groups before them, each person in this cohort is a unique individual with unique motivations and needs. Whether you are coaching someone in the younger set or one of your veteran employees, it will be important that you understand them as an individual.

And strong performance feedback benefits everyone.

Click to download "10 Steps for Powerful Feedback" and improve the effectiveness of your coaching immediately!

10 Steps to Powerful Feedback


Topics: sales performance