Millennial Feedback, Do They Need Something Different?

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Millennial Feedback, Do They Need Something Different?

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Most employers today recognize the need and value of feedback systems. Should millennial feedback have additional considerations?

millennial feedback

When you ask employers about feedback most will tell you that they give an annual performance review. Other smaller but growing operations might suggest that although they haven’t developed an official process, they are working towards it.

Is something different needed for the millennial (gen Y) generation?


When we start to consider the five generations that are active in our workplace today we also might want to consider some stereotypes. In many workplaces supervisory positions are often filled with earlier generation employees. They have more years of experience and often work their way into these positions.

One stereotype is that supervisors (managers, directors, et al) representing the traditional or baby boomer generations don’t give a lot of feedback. They are often described as communicating a message of, “no news is good news.”

The position they might take can also be described as, “When there is a problem I’ll let you know.”

Millennial Feedback

What might be most important for millennials? Formal feedback systems that would include the annual or semi-annual evaluation are still good, but perhaps everyone, including millennials would benefit from something more.

Some suggest that, “80 percent of Gen-Y say they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews…” While I’m not completely sure of the research methods behind that statistical expression, my informal discussions with millennials strongly reflect this trend.

Giving and receiving feedback more frequently might help every employee. Not only does it make their work more relevant it also helps solidify engagement.

Additionally, many people feel anxiety about the formal review process. When feedback is communicated more frequently, it leaves less room for surprises and helps minimize anxiety. After all, when our anxiety levels go up, our listening skills go down.

Are you or your employee teams providing the right frequency of feedback? Have they been properly trained on the best communication methods?

Does your organization need something different?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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