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Give Feedback the Way Those Under 40 Want It

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Based on recent research about the current workplace, there’s been a shift in how younger workers want their feedback. Several of these changes have been brewing over the last fifteen years, but overall, you may notice an acceleration of how impatient younger workers are about getting their feedback.

They want it:

  1. Continuously, with no delay

  2. Honestly and to-the-point

  3. As part of a positive relationship with the feedback giver

Ride the wave of what workers want now and improve your results Once you understand these feedback demands, you can adopt new behaviors and accelerate your success in the new workplace. If you are under 40, know that these expectations represent a change from how leaders themselves exchanged feedback in the past. You may need to spell out to your manager and others more details about how you prefer your feedback be given.

If you’re a leader: Do it today & preferably, right now! Whether or not you are using a company or team app to stay in non-stop conversation with one another, younger workers desire very, very frequent conversations with you that include feedback about what they can improve and what’s going well. They absolutely hate any delays in feedback they can act on today. Feedback delays create mistrust and even paranoia about your hidden motives for holding back. Don’t wait to be inspired by diplomatic language. Just get to the point (of course, in a polite, non-angry way).

Gallup researchers have shown that more frequent feedback is correlated to better employee engagement. You will get better results from people whom you meet with at least once a week and talk to or text with once a day. Unfortunately, fewer than half of the Gallup respondents got feedback even once a month. Accelerating feedback frequency represents a huge improvement opportunity!

No matter how irritated you may be, keep the conversation positive & future-focused Younger workers only like workplaces that are friendly and positive. They want to feel comfortable and close to co-workers and especially to their boss. You may prefer keeping your distance from your team members, but they would rather a leader who is honest and trustworthy no matter what the content of feedback will be. Confide in them about what you really want and need them to do. They will be able to handle it and they will trust you more.

Best of all, the success of your team will accelerate!

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