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Mar 02

How to Give Constructive Feedback to Millennials

The Millennial generation has built quite the reputation of being soft and unresponsive to feedback, but that’s not always the case. It’s not the feedback that Millennials don’t like, but rather the way in which it is delivered. Break through this communication barrier by learning how to give constructive feedback to Millennials with these tips:

Do it instantly.

One of the biggest mistakes that managers can make when it comes to providing feedback to Millennials is waiting to do it. Don’t set up a formal meeting to discuss the issue, instead pull the Millennial aside right away and bring it up. That way, it’s fresh in both of your minds, and is less intimidating than a structured, sit-down meeting. Managers should think of giving feedback as tweets, meaning it should be done frequently, on the spot, and should be kept brief when possible.

Get the Millennial involved.

Instead of presenting feedback and ways to improve to the Millennial, present the feedback and come up with solutionstogether. Ask Millennials to think of ways they can improve and let them feel like they’re part of the process, instead of a bystander to their own professional development. If the end goal is the Millennial’s idea, they’ll be more likely to fully commit themselves to reaching it.

Coach, don’t yell.

Instead of thinking of your relationship with Millennials as a manager-employee relationship, think of it more as a coach-trainee bond. Millennials do not want to be yelled at or disciplined, they want to be motivated to do better. When you give feedback to Millennials, make sure they understand you’re both on the same team working towards the same goals. Let them know you’re on their side, and just want to see them do better. This approach is much more effective than an aggressive, loud screaming session.

Be specific.

When giving the feedback, be specific and direct with how you want the Millennial to show improvement. Are there metrics you can use to measure improvement? If so, mention what you want to see from these metrics and when you need to see them by. Arrange for a time where you will follow up with him or her to discuss what has been done to improve on the matter. Without these specific instructions, Millennials will be unsure of how to show you that they’re working towards improving, so eliminate this uncertainty by being specific.

Tread lightly.

With any generation, but especially with Millennials, it’s important to balance the positives and negatives when giving feedback. No one wants to hear how horrible they’re doing in every aspect of their career, but especially not this generation who thrive off of recognition and rewards. Even if the only reason you’ve sparked the conversation is to bring up something the Millennial needs to improve on, balance it out by pointing out areas he or she is great in, too.

Source: How to Give Constructive Feedback to Millennials

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