Mistake 7 when hiring millennials: Ignore giving ongoing feedback.
Millennial employees feed off feedback. They don’t see the sense in infrequently delivered performance reviews – they are not cogs in a machine that need maintenance every three or six months. This outmoded approach undervalues them and their personal development.
Millennials are constantly evolving, and so is their relationship to their work life. Feedback should try to map that with them, not come down from on high as judgement. It should explore how the role is interacting with their growth, not dictate how they need to grow to fulfil the role. Feedback needs to be as much about personal development as about career progression and meeting requirements.
Feedback should embrace emotion, not apologise for or ignore producing it. Millennials are not afraid to express how they feel, and want to explore how their work is affecting them personally. If they don’t feel openness to this from you, a sense of disconnect and distance will build.
This doesn’t mean being nice the whole time. Make an effort to understand how your Millennial employee sees the job in relation to their broader personal goals, and tailor feedback compassionately, with this in mind. This shifts feedback from the turn-off of an old- school, harsh-but-fair dressing down into tough love.
Building honesty into the workplace culture is key too. And make feedback regular so that “bad” feedback is not some devastating blow. Don’t just offer an “open door” – come out and engage. Talk the talk.