Why Employee Feedback Will Transform Your Millennial Workforce
Most organisations will be a mix of generations who bring their own preferences, skills and behaviour to the workplace. And while this mix is beneficial, baby boomers are gradually lessening, and millennials will dominate as they will potentially make up 75% of the workforce by 2030.
So what do millennials need to thrive, and how can employee feedback help you to retain them? Today, we discuss why employee feedback is essential for this generation and the employee feedback tools you can use.
Although not all members of the millennial generation will be exactly the same in their approach to work and expectations, for this blog, we will generalise and discuss the millennial generation as one.
What is a Millennial?
Millennials (or Generation Y) are born from 1980 to 1995. Unlike Generation X before them, who were exposed to digital growth and experienced pre and post-digital worlds, millennials are digitally savvy as they were born into a world where technology is advanced.
Their lifelong exposure to the internet makes them self-sufficient problem solvers who can use the internet for solutions. There's also a view that they are a generation likely to question authority, tend to be confident and curious, and value more in a job than just the pay.
What Do Millennials Need For Engagement?
Millennials desire jobs that bring meaning and impact to their life. Being a generation of social media users, they are used to having a voice and therefore need to be involved in key matters in the workplace.
Whereas the generation of baby boomers and potentially Generation X were used to hierarchy, being instructed at work and told what to do, millennials expect to be more collaborative and actively involved in meaningful work where they can develop themselves and work flexibly.
How Will Employee Feedback Engage Your Millennials?
Regular and open feedback between managers and their millennial cohort is essential for this generation of workers. Millennials tend to have high expectations of openness and transparency from their employer and don't have the more outdated approach of information sharing on a need-to-know basis only.
By giving feedback to employees via face-to-face or video meetings, internet updates, emails or performance management feedback, they will have a variety of open communication which allows them to be kept up to date with changes and developments.
Years ago, remote working was unheard of, not just because it wasn't the norm culturally but also because the technology wasn't developed enough to allow this. However, hugely helped by the pandemic, flexible working is seen as a comfort for many millennials and something they rate highly in terms of engagement.
And it’s not just millennials, as 72% of knowledge workers said they prefer hybrid working and only 12% said they would prefer one hundred per cent office working.
Therefore, managers need to be able to give regular and helpful feedback to their people wherever they are located. Millennials will seek feedback, and working from home or flexibly should not be a deterrent to this.
Develop Trust and Loyalty
Millennials have a bit of a reputation for not being the most loyal of employees, but they are hugely valuable and if you don’t build trust with them, then they might start looking elsewhere.
Therefore, you need to ensure they gain feedback about organisational change or updates and honesty about their career options and what they need to do to achieve goals for development. However, don’t hide things from them because it won’t encourage trust, and you need to manage their expectations.
Appeal to Digital Expectations
Millennials are digital natives and appealing to this through technical employee feedback could lead to increased engagement. Employee feedback systems like apps which allow feedback from managers, peers or stakeholders can provide ongoing feedback which they can give and receive anywhere.
In addition, apps that will enable project feedback, collaboration or video conferencing etc, allow feedback that goes the extra mile.
Allow Them To Be Heard
Feedback is a two-way process to allow managers and their people to speak and be heard. Therefore, a one-to-one feedback meeting is a great way for managers to update millennials but also allows millennials to have their say. They want to be heard and feel part of the team. And let’s face it, they are likely to have some great ideas, and their different approaches to other generations could be valuable for the organisation.
If millennials get easily bored or inspired to join another company, you can use employee feedback to motivate them. Feedback lets you keep them interested and excited and discuss potential projects, listen to their views and ensure that repetitive work is lightened with inspiration and potential. Plus, 360-degree feedback allows others to provide feedback, allowing for more transparency and engagement.
Many millennials don’t want to feel isolated. Collaboration and teamwork are important to this generation which can be challenging to maintain when remote working is still booming. Therefore, regular feedback and remote feedback culture can help to involve and inspire them, and group feedback can help with engagement and a feeling of belonging and community.
Millennials love to learn and keep learning throughout their careers. Managers can deliver regular feedback to help them learn. In addition, formal or informal mentoring partnerships allow millennials to mutually discuss challenges and learning with someone. Such ongoing feedback may help engage them.
All generations are important, but millennials will soon dominate the workforce so organisations need to understand what motivates and drive them so they can retain talent. Millennials have many values and regular and honest feedback is a powerful employee feedback tool to ensure collaboration, team work, transparency and personal development. But it’s not all down to management to initiate the feedback, employee feedback systems and apps can really help drive effective feedback and hopefully retain employees.