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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

How Millennials are Changing the Playing Field in Corporate Feedback Loops

Updated: May 31, 2021

I firmly believe that “Millennials are not the problem, they are the solution.” And why not? Simply by looking at the calendar it is easy to see that they will make up the largest portion of our workforce by 2025 and they have true reasons to change things for the better.

When you think about it, Millennials have every right to be flat out pissed and feeling duped! They didn’t show up at work that way, however, they just knew they must be agile to survive. They didn’t verbally start demanding change either – they just started talking with their feet. Remember, the bubble burst as many were graduating high school so loyalty to any organization was on shaking ground even before the economy of 2008 tanked and they watched housing and jobs collapse (while their college debts were never reduced), banks go under, and Enron destroy financial legacies.

The fact that Millennials stay with their employers longer than Gen-X workers did at the same ages seems forgotten when employers voice frustration over their quickness to change jobs. This frustration may be a reflection on the organization’s inability to see the need to change and meet them in the middle (cue the new Zeed, Maren Morris, & Grey song here).

Why Feedback? One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard is the millennial’s need for ‘feedback now’. I’m quick to point out that this isn’t a complaint of what millennials want and need, it’s really a frustration of the person not knowing how to provide ‘feedback on demand.’ A lack of tools frustrates anyone and millennials’ desire for feedback is forcing those who employ them to realize they are not equipped with the right tools.

Purpose of ‘Feedback Loops on demand’ By gaining feedback on demand, millennials want to be able to learn on the go, correct while the ‘train is running’, and maximize the work experience for positive results. This ability to know what’s going right and improve on the go demands feedback loop examples that are continuous. As an HR professional, and one who researches how to maximize talent, I applaud this!

I mean, doesn’t EVERYONE want to know what they are doing well, be able to correct, tweak, and adjust areas that need improving to maximize results and deliver a high-quality product to customers?

Feedback Loop examples for Corporate? Currently, in large organizations, feedback has been left to an annual performance review that many feel is punitive and leans towards improvement of past behavior instead of positive future growth. The annual performance review, while not all bad, has also lost recent favor and support as research on high-performing teams elicits the need for creating timelier positive feedback loops that look at what’s going right before assessing areas to improve.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Corporations who utilize feedback loops within departments, projects, management teams, and by those who supervise, report less turnover, higher levels of retention, more engagement, and a more positive culture evolving for everyone.

Can small business do this? Of course! They can often achieve results faster due to top down engagement. However, corporations are responsible for employing large sections of millennials who strive to grow within their organizations and this is a pivotal place to engrain how to start and maintain positive feedback loops.

SO HOW DO YOU CREATE FEEDBACK LOOPS FOR CORPORATE? To do this, it is essential to realize that a feedback loop is designed to provide affirmation of what is going right or highlight how to grow to improve. *

Feedback loops start:

  1. with context,

  2. what one, specific thing is being offered and discussed (specific is key),

  3. and an example of what it means or looks like.

The Loop circles back: with (same context)

  1. a follow up on what does or does not need to be changed and

  2. a discussion around what are next steps

  3. and a metric to meet that acts as a performance measure

Example of Positive Feedback loop:

  • Brent, I want to discuss the presentation you gave yesterday. (context)

  • You presented the content so well that it resulted in our client requesting you present at the next meeting. (specific 1 thing)

  • When a client comments on a presentation and requests you again, it means you are really doing an excellent job at getting the right information communicated. (example)

  • Once you’re done with the next presentation, we should sit down and see how we can maximize your success. (Loop circling back follow up)

The Loop is continuous and often morphs to include additional elements as performance, expertise, and position improves.

Feedback Loops offer personal insights into how a person is working well and growing. It can take into consideration the whole person’s performance at work. It is what we hear so much about from millennials who feel that their life and work should not be so separate they cannot find aligning purpose. It is bringing humanity back to work.

Bottom line: Millennials have been pushing the boundaries and demanding that we give everyone back their humanity. That is a major solution!

* Major Note: Feedback is not an excuse to criticize, degrade, over power, marginalize, or ridicule anyone – EVER. If what you are offering does not provide affirmation of what and why something is working – or – where to grow to improve – it is not feedback, it is criticism.

Download our eBook: One Bite Feedback eBook

If you could grab the feedback you needed, when you needed it, to be better, get better, and grow in your career… Would you ask for it? Would you be open to receiving it? Download eBook

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