I love when I hear this complaint “ugh all these millennials want constant feedback”. I love it because I can give my favorite response – “Actually all generations want feedback, they are being more vocal about it than we were”.
In my unscientific poll – 9 out of 10 people agree with me. Don’t we all want feedback on how we are doing? Don’t we all want to know we are on the right path? Don’t we all want to know that we are being successful?
I will take it a step further and say – the employees want to express how they see things going and check to see if you agree.
So ditch the performance reviews and create a regular feedback system.
Check-Ins. A way to touch base and discuss “you” – not the current project, not a client issue, and not the latest procedure. This time is to focus on your people and how they are doing. In regards to to the work, career goals, were are they are being challenged, and where do they want to go.
Keep it simple. Don’t make the process of checking-in complicated. Do this by asking the same 4 or 5 questions each time, share any data (think sales figures, revenue, retention rates, etc.), and keep it consistent. Each meeting will have the same format. Here’s the hard part – have the employee take the lead. Let them direct the conversation, provide their feedback first, and you listen.
Regular schedule. Determine before you start how often you will be meeting. Every week, month, or every two months. Make it a priority – it doesn’t get rescheduled, moved, or forgotten about. If you are unable to commit to the consistency – don’t start.
Document & Follow up. If you are providing regular check-ins there will be no need for annual performance reviews (whew). Make sure you document each conversation, use it to start the next check-ins (goals met, challenges resolved, etc.).
If you want to see if people are progressing, go back after a couple of sessions and take note of the changes. The process will prove itself out.