One of the things we stress at the Performance Leadership Institute is the need to develop the habit of providing feedback to your team. This is now becoming particularly true of leaders of millennials. The latest Gallup press release on the subject has some stark numbers on the topic.
Staff want feedback.
In an article by Amy Adkins and Brandon Rigoni of Gallup they found that only 19% of millennials say they get regular feedback and an even smaller percentage say that feedback is meaningful. This is bad news if you are leading a group made up of this demographic. They have grown up in a setting of almost instant feedback. To quote the authors; " Millennials have grown up in an era of remarkable connectedness. They're used to receiving instantaneous feedback from parents, teachers and coaches. They've grown accustomed to having the immediate ability to ask questions, share opinions and provide commentary." Adkins, Rigoni - Gallup June, 2016
This represents an immediate challenge to those in leadership. Regular meetings and feedback to your team is vital to employee engagement yet statistically only half of the work force report regular meetings with their leadership and that happens only once per month! Let’s be clear too that this is not just a challenge with millennials. Research shows that an increase in frequency of feedback is a key factor in raising employee engagement.
Active Supervision and Touch Points
This does not mean that you as a leader now have to engage in yet another set of time consuming meetings to drive this type of engagement but it does mean you have to be intentional about interacting with your team. Using what I call "active supervision" a leader can provide micro-feedback on a daily basis simply by walking the shop floor, office, or site and engaging in a quick 30 second touch point. It may be a bit longer at first but once the habit is in place it won't take long at all.
Once that is happening then there should be regular weekly meetings or daily if the work is dynamic and central to the performance of the team. Frequency will be based upon how much lag you want between events that occur and when you want to discuss them with your team.
Feedback Drives Engagement and Performance
You may be asking: Why the need for this level of feedback? It boils down to two areas that relate to performance improvement and continuous improvement. First is that feedback is something your team needs and their feedback to you is something you need if you are going to stay ahead of the curve and stop fires before they start. Second nothing else drives employee engagement as simply and easily.
Its like the old joke about the married couple when the wife complains that her husband never tells her he loves her and he turns to her and says "I told you I loved you when we got married. If that changes I will let you know." The reality is that no news is no news and that is not going to drive performance or engagement. How's your feedback looking these days? Performance Leadership - Think About It!