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Those “tried-and-true” sales methods are falling out of place from today’s work environment. As more millennials join the workforce, managers are realizing the hierarchical reporting structure and system of annual performance evaluations are no longer in favor. Employees today want instant feedback, open pathways for communication, and independence from micro-management. Workplaces today are favoring fun challenges for better employee engagement and motivation. It’s a job-seekers’ market, and the difficulty of attracting and retaining top talent has increased. Employee engagement is now a top driver of overall business success, and forward-thinking leaders are hard at work on developing effective strategies that meet changing employee expectations.
The largest generation in today’s workforce is millennials. These workers grew up with digital technology, and their adoption of mobile platforms encourages constant connection and immediate feedback. Generation X makes up a significant percentage of the workforce as well and, though they weren’t born in the midst of the digital age, most have fully embraced the technology. Factors that drive engagement for today’s employees center on communication, recognition, and feedback. Research in a Harvard Business Review study showed that 72 percent of business leaders list recognition given for high performers as the number one driver in employee engagement, closely followed by frequent communication and updates from senior leadership (70 percent). Essentially, employees want a clear understanding of performance expectations and how those individual goals link to the company’s success. Employee engagement can be broken down to workers’ positive reactions to the following statements:
When leaders create a culture that embraces these components, engagement levels increase, which has a direct impact on productivity and overall business success.
New approaches to creating a culture of engagement are becoming the forefront for businesses that want to remain competitive. With that, sales managers face the biggest challenge of all. Because pay is linked to most sales jobs through commissions or incentive plans, employees in these positions often have a competitive nature. Managers are responsible for ensuring that competition is friendly and motivating rather than divisive and demoralizing to keep employees engaged and productive. Fortunately, new tools make it easier than ever to create a positive sales culture in which employees are engaged and invested in the company’s success. Advances in technology, such as the Hoopla platform, connect staff members with each other and all levels of management in an instant. Visual communication means no unwelcomed interruptions to work activities, while still giving salespeople real-time updates on their progress and the team’s performance against goals. Hoopla can be broadcast to internal televisions, providing digital leaderboards with up-to-the-minute metrics. When goals are hit, Hoopla immediately recognizes individuals for their successes throughout the day, perhaps for meeting a quota or winning a sales face-off against a peer. Employees stay connected to organizational strategy through a business-specific news feed, and managers can leverage the platform to share important messages, motivational quotes and helpful videos. The proven link between engagement and productivity requires organizational leaders to focus on company culture in order to build a successful business. Using creative methods for connecting with staff members to provide feedback and company updates is one of the most effective components of a comprehensive engagement strategy.