So how am I doing?
That question is frequently on the mind of many Millennial workers who want timely and consistent feedback on the job.
As Dharmesh Shah, founder of HubSpot, stated in a recent blog post: “To a Millennial, waiting a year for an annual review is like waiting a month for their newly ordered iPhone to arrive. They crave regular and immediate advice, reaction, response, and praise because they have a constant drive to ‘calibrate.’”
For managers accustomed to only doling out feedback at established performance review meetings, this emerging dynamic can present some challenges.
Yet by taking a few simple steps, managers can develop an approach that allows for steady feedback, without devouring too much time.
Five ways to offer millennials steady feedback
The annual review, or even quarterly performance reviews, simply won’t cut it with most Millennials. Weekly or bi-weekly update meetings offer an opportunity to provide regular feedback to employees. Keep these meetings short, but strive to be consistent, and only cancel or reschedule if absolutely necessary.
Corporate trainer Bruce Mayhew suggests that managers “throw treats” to provide Millennial workers with “a daily boost, however small it may seem.” Mayhew says while workers from other generations typically expect praise only when a project is finished, many Millennials appreciate ongoing kudos and feedback for incremental achievements. Praise can be as simple as “that was a helpful idea you had in today’s meeting,” Mayhew says.
For busy managers, providing enough feedback will always be a challenge. Enlisting the help of mentors can lead to more consistent feedback for younger workers. Managers can tap into an existing mentoring program at their workplace or establish a program with their department or team. By pairing a Millennial with a more experienced worker, each party can benefit.
Another common characteristic of Millennials is their penchant for collaboration. Savvy managers can leverage that tendency by creating teams to tackle projects. By partnering with co-workers, Millennials should get a steady stream of feedback from peers, team leaders and managers. “In contrast to the lone ranger attitude of earlier generations, Millennials actually believe a team can accomplish more and they have experienced team success,” writes Human Resource expert Susan Heathfield.
Just say thanks:
So simple, but so often overlooked, sprinkling a few thank you’s throughout the day can go a long way in making employees feel appreciated, writes Forbes writer Jenna Goudreau in a recent piece titled 7 Surprising Ways to Motivate Millennial Workers. “A simple thank you, congratulations or honest supportive feedback from a manager can make all the difference, fueling their motivation to produce results,” Goudreau writes.
While providing consistent feedback for Millennials takes some time and effort, many managers find that by communicating more often with their employees they ultimately strengthen relationships and get better results.