Frequent Feedback Is A Must For The Millennial Generation

One way to effectively manage millennials in the workplace is to provide them constant feedback. They want to know how well they're performing, and how they can improve their skills. Give them constructive feedback.

February 23, 2015

2 Min Read
Photo by Fox PhotosGetty Images
(Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

By Todd Thibodeaux

This year marks a tipping point in the U.S. workforce. In 2015, millennials will finally overtake baby boomers in the office, comprising more than 75 million workers. Because of this growth, employers are facing the challenge of retaining talent who have a different approach to work and career. In today’s world, the average millennial worker will change careers after only three years. Businesses, however, are far from helpless in fighting against the twin challenges of engaging and retaining this new generation. While much has been written on the topic, here are two suggestions that any business can implement right now.

Create a guidance-oriented culture

One cliché about today’s millennial worker is that they are commitment-phobic. According to a recent survey by Millennial Branding, nearly a third of companies have lost 15 percent or more of their Gen Y workers within the past year. While some firms hope to construct a more stable workforce through dog-friendly offices or other miscellaneous perks, one way to create an attractive company culture is to change the frequency and form of manager feedback.

One of the most predominant traits of Gen Y workers is their desire for consistent, constructive feedback. The Gen X and baby boomer generations before them are accustomed to annual performance reviews, but Gen Y carries a different set of expectations into the workplace. Those firms most successful at managing their millennial employees have created frequent and structured assessments to help these workers understand how they are progressing and what skills to refine. Regular check-ins also give employees the opportunity to think about long-term career paths and identify additional resources for professional development. Creating a guidance-oriented culture with comprehensive feedback ensures millennials and their employers have a shared set of expectations, which can strengthen worker loyalty.

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Adapt for transparency

Effectively managing a millennial workforce may require some process changes, and organizations must be prepared to adapt. Gen Y’s need for feedback can place an increased burden on busy managers and human resources departments, but some logistical shifts can ease the transition. For example, some businesses are beginning to replace highly structured, yearly evaluations with more frequent, informal reviews. And employers that go out of their way to identify and praise exemplary work publicly among staff help millennials better understand their value and role within the organization.

Instituting more frequent feedback and transparency can play a crucial role in determining both where Gen Y employees choose to work, and where they choose to stay.

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