Deliver This 1 Thing to Better Engage Millennials

Thirty-two percent of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within six months, and it may be due to a lack of feedback.

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A recent survey from Clutch, a B2B research and consumer review service, found only 23 percent of Millennials say they are getting enough feedback at work. While providing company perks can help attract Millennial talent, delivering more accurate, consistent, and immediate feedback can help engage, develop, and retain your Millennial employees.

The Clutch survey statistics represent a big opportunity for managers attempting to increase Millennial engagement and retention.

  • Thirty-two percent of Millennials are likely to leave their job within the next six months. Only 11-12 percent of older employees are likely to quit in that same timeframe.
  • Forty percent of Millennials do not consider themselves fulfilled at work, which is nearly two times greater than Generation X employees and almost four times greater than Baby-Boomers.
  • Forty-one percent of Millennials feel neutral to negative on their manager's ability to provide accurate and consistent feedback.

The Clutch survey findings support that managerial feedback and evaluation are tied to Millennial fulfillment and engagement at work.

  • Seventy-two percent of Millennials whose managers do provide accurate and consistent feedback find their job fulfilling.
  • Only thirty-eight percent of Millennials whose managers do not provide accurate and consistent feedback find their job fulfilling.

With Millennials wanting feedback 50 percent more often than other generations, are they expecting too much from their managers? According to the Clutch survey, Millennials are just as harsh as older generations when it comes to judging the evaluative success of their manager.

The challenge is that Millennials' expectations and communication styles are at odds with the legacy way most businesses deliver feedback. Millennials grew up in fast, on-demand, and feedback-rich environments and they now pull that expectation into the workplace.

Today's managers can no longer avoid adapting their feedback process using the excuse, "This is always how we've done it," because modern workplaces--some highlighted below--now offer fast, on-demand, and feedback-rich work environments.

The below organizations aren't changing just to appease Millennials, rather they are allowing Millennial behavior and expectations to influence how work should evolve to allow anyone working in the 21st century to be more productive, engaged, and collaborative.

Companies Who Are Re-imagining Workplace Feedback for Millennials

  • GE: In July 2016, GE ended their long-standing practice of annual reviews. Managers are now encouraged to give employees constant feedback through an app called "Performance Development at GE." Employees are also able to use the app to recieve real-time feedback at any time. LinkedIn, Adobe, Cisco, and others have adopted alternative ways to review their employees.

  • Lyft: Employee feedback at Lyft is elevated using Zugata. The tool collects 360° autonomous feedback from the coworkers that know the employee best and the feedback is then delivered to the intended employee in a continuous manner. Lyft also offers personalized development resources to their employees. "Rather than looking back to rate someone's performance, we wanted to look ahead to create an environment where we could enable our team members to perform at their best," says Ron Storn, Head of People at Lyft.

  • IBM: Because the traditional annual review process does not work for Millennials or match today's pace of work cycles, IBM introduced a system called Checkpoint. The system allows people within IBM--no matter their organizational rank--to give feedback to other employees. Open communication has been a positive result since the system enables employees to give open and honest feedback. IBM also doubled the amount of times employees meet with their supervisors. A strategy that works for Millennials since only 21 percent of Millennial workers meet with their manager on a weekly basis and 44 percent of Millennials are more likely to be engaged when their manager holds regular meetings with them.

  • Facebook: To engage their Millennial workforce, Facebook uses Salesforce's Work.com. The platform is a corporate performance management platform for sales representatives with a user interface that resembles a social networking website. Work.com allows users to ask for feedback, give feedback to colleges, thank one another, and track progress.

  • Hodges Ward Elliott: Recently this real estate firm adjusted how they deliver feedback to Millennials. Hodges Ward Elliott asks Millennials to do their own reviews. Millennials are encouraged to first spend time evaluating their own performance and then bring their own feedback to a meeting with their manager. This simple process unlocks these three benefits.

As 21st-century work continues to shift and evolve, Millennials won't be the only beneficiary of enhancing your feedback process at work. Every generation can benefit from more accurate, timely, and actionable, feedback.

Looking for a proven and effective way to teach Millennials about how to approach and receive feedback at work? Check out 21Mill, the first ever micro-learning platform designed specifically to develop Millennials. (Full disclosure: I am a proud partner of 21Mill.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Jenkins

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