A few months ago, I attended an employee engagement workshop. The facilitator suggested that millennials require performance feedback more than once a year. “Maybe once a quarter,” she said.
More like once a day!” I couldn’t resist calling out.
I wasn’t kidding. For the 80 million millennials who now make up a majority of the workforce, no news is bad news. If they don’t hear from their managers frequently, they think they’re doing something wrong and quickly grow disillusioned.
Nevertheless, an open door policy in which employees are invited to stop by a manager’s office for extended feedback sessions multiple times a day simply isn’t practical. So what’s the solution?
The innovative concept of microfeedback originated in the consumer space and consisted of collecting a small amount of information from customers at key moments in their shopping experience. The goal was to gather relevant customer feedback for a more accurate assessment of their satisfaction.
Think about this, though. Why can’t the idea of microfeedback be extended to performance management? We certainly have the technology. Intra-company messaging systems like Yammer, Skype for business, and Slack are growing exponentially and with some groups (like millennials), are even more popular than email.
Imagine that your direct report gives a status update in the departmental meeting for the first time. You think she did an exceptional job, but instead of noting it in her file to be reviewed in six months (or worse, forgetting about it completely), you send her a “thumbs up” emoticon via Slack. The action takes you less than 30 seconds, and yet your employee has a piece of encouraging feedback that will make her day.
For more where this came from, head over to the SilkRoad blog.