Our latest guest post by Millennial writer and speaker Ryan Jenkins, on successfully leading your millennial hires. As always, feel free to leave your comment below and let us know what your experience has been with millennial recruits.
There is a dormant super power inside every leader that leads Millennials. It’s the power to save time whiling unleashing productivity across your team. This isn’t an ancient power reserved for a select few but rather a power within the grasp of those bold enough to seize it. Instant gratification is rampant in our culture. Most of us won’t even wait more than 3 seconds for a webpage to load before we go elsewhere on the web. The Millennials are especially notorious for instant gratification due to the hyper-responsive digital environments they grew up in.
Millennials post a video and immediately anticipate views, post a status update and immediately anticipate comments, post a picture and immediately anticipate likes, and post tweets and immediately anticipate retweets.
The social web has made Millennials hungry for instant and consistent feedback. And they now carry this same behavior and expectation into the workplace. But this instant feedback loop is only a reality in the digital world and would not work in today’s work environment. Or…would it?
Baby Boomers know all is well at work when their leaders aren’t interacting with them, however, Millennials will be looking for a new job on LinkedIn by lunchtime if their leaders aren’t interacting with them on a consistent basis. This new feedback perspective isn’t right or wrong…just different.
When I begin sharing this idea of instant and consistent feedback with my live audiences, the first objection I get is: “Ryan, I don’t have time to pat every Millennial on the back every day.”
I get it. However, I don’t think it’s your time constraint that is limiting you but rather your traditional thinking about feedback.
Traditional thinking tells us that feedback is reserved only for the quarterly 30-60 minute performance reviews. If you continue to subscribe to this infrequent feedback structure, your monthly Millennial churn rate will make you wish you practiced instant and consistent feedback.
The feedback that will get Millennials hustling harder than you ever thought possible should take the form of quick direction or correction. Your feedback can be as concise as the 10 seconds it takes to read a Facebook post, hover your cursor of the Like button, and click.
The feedback can be as simple as: “Hey Ryan, great job on the XYZ project. That kind of attention to detail is what adds the most value to our clients. Keep it up.” Cue the dopamine squirt inside your Millennial employee’s brain followed by more focused and hard work. You may not even have to stop walking as you pass their desk and offer that affirmation and direction.
Here is a real life example of leadership at the speed of a Facebook Like…
An audience member once shared with me his best practice for giving Millennials instant and consistent feedback. At the end of the work day while in his car before commuting home, he would take 30 seconds to text his Millennial team members and provide positive direction and/or correction. He continued to share with me his surprise and delight when the Millennials would begin working again later that evening after they received the simple text.
That’s the time saving, productivity increasing power of instant and consistent feedback.
Today’s leaders have a choice, grumble about Millennial’s incessant need for feedback OR leverage their desire for feedback as your competitive advantage.
Power-up with likable leadership.
Question: What forms of feedback do you respond well to?
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally recognized Millennial keynote speaker and author. He helps organizations and leaders gain clarity around the Millennial generation so that they can effectively lead, communicate, and brand in tomorrow’s multi-generational marketplace. Ryan runs a blog and podcast at ryan-jenkins.com where he inspires audiences with practical next generation leadership, communication, branding, and productivity advice.