Millennials need frequent, consistent, and constructive feedback in order to thrive at work. Here are some tips for helping ensure your millennial talent is getting the right amount of input.
Feedback across the ages. Did you know that more than one in three current employees in the United States are millennials? Millennials, or those between the ages of 19-35 in 2016, represent the largest percentage of the workplace. Due to their technology-heavy upbringing, they have different preferences for the perfect work environment. This includes a tendency to appreciate flexibility and efficiency.
However, many employers make the mistake of thinking that millennials need as much feedback as their older co-workers. The truth is, 44% of millennials recently interviewed said they were planning to leave their current jobs because they were not getting enough feedback! This leads to the question: how much feedback do millennials actually need?
Here are a few tips to ensure you are providing the frequency and type of feedback your younger employees require to thrive.
Make Sure the Feedback is Frequent
Only 19% of millennials say they receive routine feedback from their employers. Though it may take some trial and error to discover exactly how frequent your feedback needs to be, you should at least make sure you have a quarterly sit-down meeting with your team to go over performance. In addition, you should also make sure to acknowledge when your millennials are exceeding expectations. You should also address any potential red flags as soon as they crop up instead of waiting until a scheduled review meeting. Millennials tend not to ask for feedback, so managers should be proactive with their comments. Managers can make use of accessible performance management tools like tag to quickly send performance feedback and acknowledgements to employees.
Make Sure the Feedback is Consistent
Millennials prefer to know where they stand with their bosses. In fact, many of them expect and want to hear some type of feedback from superiors at least once a week. If you give them frequent feedback during a certain project or right after they are hired, then completely ignore them for a long period of time, they will get frustrated. Make sure you develop a consistent feedback system with your younger employees. This includes not only scheduled performance meetings but also a way to tell them when you are especially impressed or when you notice an issue. Here is a great manager checklist for frequent employee check-in meetings.
Make Sure the Feedback is Constructive
A need for frequent feedback should not be mistaken for a desire for constant praise. Feedback becomes meaningless to millennials if it is not honest and actionable. Positive feedback should be reserved for when your employees excel at a task or exceed a goal. Constructive feedback should be paired with tips and ideas on how they can do better next time. Only 17% of millennials say that the feedback they receive from their employers is meaningful. When you are giving feedback, make sure you are either truly recognizing great work or giving your employees concrete ideas on how to improve.
For today’s business owners to be successful, they must find a way to create an environment where their younger employees can thrive. Along with creating a positive atmosphere that provides flexibility and cutting-edge technology, employers should also put a feedback system in place that is beneficial for all. By creating a feedback plan that is frequent, consistent, and constructive, business owners and HR managers can keep millennials engaged and productive.