By Sarah LaFon
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

Are you giving your younger BV staff the feedback they want from you? You might not be. And it’s not your fault; it’s merely the fallout from the changing times and updated perspectives. The older generations (Boomers and X’ers) have been accustomed to working with a loyal nose-to-the-grindstone type of mindset. But the younger set (22 – 34 years old, often called the Millennial generation), has brought a new viewpoint to the workplace. They desire much more feedback than the typical older worker, and it’s time to listen to what they are saying: Millennials will make up ½ of the GLOBAL workforce by 2020!

So, what type of feedback should you be giving? What does that look like?

First, there is a desire to have a relationship with management that goes beyond the typical Boss-Employee dynamic. Millennials want a manager that can be their mentor, coach, and friend. They want someone whom they can approach for advice, rapport, and support – someone who will give frequent communication about the current BV projects and present the big picture. It is important to give the staff the “why” and not just the “how”. Let them contribute as much as possible on all parts of the project, and listen to their questions and suggestions.

How often should feedback be given? Younger staff crave CONSTANT feedback! That might seem like a daunting assignment. But, the bright side is that this feedback does not have to be comprehensive or overly involved. Keep it “bite-sized”. One example would be to give quarterly performance reviews rather than one big yearly review. Update your staff on their performance expectations as often as you can. They want to know whether they are doing what is expected and don’t want to wait weeks or months for direction.

Surprisingly enough, Millennials are grateful for any type of feedback, both positive and negative. They truly just want to know how they are doing. Of course, positive encouragement is highly desirable, with 89% reporting that want recognition for a job well-done and direct approval. But they will also respond well to constructive criticism. The key: no matter the nature of the feedback, just dole it out more often!

To sum it up: you can improve the working relationships with your younger BV staff by giving out REGULAR, FREQUENT, and DETAILED feedback. Feed their desire for continuous learning, and you might be surprised with what you learn in return.

Sarah Lafon
Sarah LaFon