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Transparency is critical to Generation Y and it starts with the job posting. Dealerships should consider posting information regarding employment directly on dealership websites to include details on job responsibilities and expectations, compensation and benefit plans, sales training programs, and most importantly, opportunities for career growth and development. This same information should also be reflected in any additional job postings, be it online or in print. Job postings should be clear and not misleading. For example, a sales position should not be posted as marketing or a customer service role.
The educated Generation Y population is looking for a better balance of life and career. Addressing their wishes may have an improved effect on their overall sales performance. Creating flexible schedules that mimic corporate America with 40-hour weeks and at least monthly weekends off is suggested. Most dealerships will pack their sales floor with staff out of fear there will not be enough coverage. Couple log hours and idle time and you have created a double edge sword for Generation Y, who is use to instant gratification and furiously fast multilevel tasking. The result is a shift in work ethic in the younger generations, who can become complacent and unmotivated leading them to quit. Dealerships can avoid this trap by watching floor traffic and make note of peak hours and non-peak hours and modify the schedule accordingly.
Income security is another appealing point for Generation Y. This generation prefers the security of a salary or hourly wage over risking making more money on a commission based pay structure. Generation Y is the cumulative result of “feel good” education and “everyone is a winner” sports programs and therefore lack the thick skin for aggressive selling or perceived financial risk Creating realistic training salaries and pay plans that combine salary with commission is alluring to this generation of up and coming salespeople.
This generation lacks an individual competitive streak and is greatly motivated to be part of a team. When constructing a training program, consider team building as part of the structure instead of competition between individuals. During training, demonstrate why something is important instead of just giving a direct order. Show them how each step of the process builds on the previous step. Help them to visualize how what they do affects other departments. Create a network of support inside the training module. This generation is also highly technology driven and savvy. Take advantage of this asset by including the use of modern technology during training and expand their sales role to include social media and digital marketing opportunities.
Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is also the current Ms. Florida Forestry Queen, promoting her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.
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