I used to think that leadership meant to be strict and provide a disciplined approach to management. To lead was to be all business and no fun. But I have tried that method, and it didn’t work. I wasn’t having fun, and neither were the people I was managing. Sound familiar?
Hiring and retaining Generation Z sales development representatives is difficult. While many companies, thoroughly plan and work on B2B sales recruitment, time and time again Generation Z hires burnout and turnover quickly. Many business articles have come out in the past few years about the clash between generations in the workplace as a root cause of this phenomenon. There is a belief that the deep differences lead to intergenerational conflict with detrimental effects on business organizations. But there is little empirical evidence that validates these myths.
Some of the newest research looks to demystify these beliefs and provide a clear understanding of how these generational differences have a positive impact on organizations and B2B sales recruitment. The research shows that Generation Z in the workplace value very different qualities in a leader, and understanding that, can help the working relationship flourish. They crave feedback and praise, they enjoy structure, they desire work-life balance (Hartman & McCambridge, 2011). Being a manager/coach to Generation Z in the workplace requires an understanding that they prefer a polite relationship with authority, and want to work together and that they expect the leader to pull people together (Sessa, Kabocogg, Deal, and Brown, 2007).
Part of B2B sales recruitment is looking to see if a student has been a sales development representative. These graduates are more likely to receive guidance from leadership to help them to be aware of the subtle workplace behaviors that may be taken the wrong way. One example is the use of a phone in the workplace. The Baby Boomer or Gen X generations may read a person being on their phone during a conversation as that they are not respectful of what is being said, or they are looking at social media. But we have to remember that Generation Z in the workplace sees technology as a part of their lives and it is inseparable from who they are (Hartman & McCambridge, 2011). Chances are, they are taking notes on their phone. And this behavior is actually more efficient than other methods.
As companies work on B2B sales recruitment to fill sales development representative roles, there are many positive attributes that a young, fresh-minded, and technology-driven employee can bring to your company. Check back next week for more on this topic, and how you can best utilize these strengths to help you and your organization flourish.
Hartman, J. L., & McCambridge, J. (2011). Optimizing Millennials’ Communication Styles. Business Communication Quarterly, 74(1), 22-44. doi:10.1177/1080569910395564
Sessa, V.I., Kabacoff, R.I., Deal, J., and Brown, H. (2007), Generational Differences in Leader Values and Leadership Behaviors. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 10(1),47-74.