Delivering Feedback to Millennials (and Everyone Else)
Learning happens best when you get feedback and it’s done in a safe space.1 The advantages of being a learning organization are:
- Maintaining levels of innovation and remaining competitive 2
- Being better placed to respond to external pressures 2
- Having the knowledge to better link resources to customer needs 3
- Improving quality of outputs at all levels 3
- Improving corporate image by becoming more people oriented 3
- Increasing the pace of change within the organization 3
How you deliver feedback is important. Many folks will also say that Millennials don’t handle feedback well however I would suggest that there isn’t much supporting this statement. As a leader you can only control what you do and delivering the way you give feedback is a high leverage point for you. Here are some guidelines to follow when giving feedback:
- Think of feedback as a withdrawal from a bank account and a positive comment as a deposit. You need to have more deposits than withdrawals.
- It takes about 3 deposits to equal 1 withdrawal. Research shows that high performing teams have a ratio of 3 positive comments to 1 negative. Negative can be items like feedback at times.
- The faster you give feedback the quicker the learning cycle 1
- Give the feedback and then let the person say their side of the story and express how they feel.
- Give suggestions on what can be done to improve
- Track specific items that are 100% in their control and find a time to review the progress being made
Following these guidelines is a good place to start with feedback. By doing this you create a psychologically safe space for people to feel comfortable and improving. If you don’t create a safe space people take feedback as a stress response and can shut down and disengage if you are not careful.
If you want to learn more about how to give feedback apply for a discovery call now and we can do a deep dive discovery of your situation at no cost if you qualify.
1. Kolb, A. & Kolb, D. (September 30 2008) Experiential Learning Theory: A Dynamic, Holistic Approach to Management Learning, Armstrong: Management Learning, Edu. and Develop. (paper a4) p. 42-68
2. McHugh, D., Groves, D. and Alker, A. 1998. Managing learning: what do we learn from a learning organization? The Learning Organization. 5 (5) pp.209-220.
3. Pedler, M., Burgogyne, J. and Boydell, T. 1997. The Learning Company: A strategy for sustainable development. 2nd Ed. London; McGraw-Hill.