New Achievement – Top feedback giver of the month!

Originally posted at Alumni Global’s website

The traditional frequency of feedback and development discussions, at least here in Finland, is annually or bi-annually. Outside these development discussions and appraisals, no feedback is given. Yes, one may argue that it helps the employees to focus and actually develop themselves, as they have ample time to reflect on themselves and their behaviour and contribution. However, when leading “millenials” the traditional feedback culture does not provide the results expected from it.

The Millenial, is a person who has spent childhood and adolescence with all things digital: computer games, eLearning environments, quizzes and lately social media with real life feedback. We as people crave for attention and acknowledgement and the current rising generation has even gotten used to it. When you play a game, you get instant feedback to your actions on the keyboard visible on the screen, either in the form of a score or other in game achievements. Social media has amplified the possibility to gain recognition through simple one click “likes.” You don’t need to think of anything witty to say, but with a simple click, you can acknowledge the other person’s input.

When we translate this into a corporate setting, the annual appraisal sounds far too seldom. The younger the employee the more constant feedback they’re used to. It doesn’t always have to be overwhelmingly structured or lengthy, just a simple acknowledgement to either direction helps people steer their actions and behaviours. The digital approach to this would naturally be a platform that allows simple feedback. Corporate social media platforms, such as Confluence or Yammer both allow for management to share trophies or achievements. This simple format is something that most millenials are already used to, virtual badges that represent physical actions.

This issue can be taken even further through gamification. Setting measurable goals and automatically recognizing the achievements has proven to be a highly effective way of directing work efforts. Enterprise solutions such as CRM’s are very easy to use to measure the desired performance and reward the users accordingly.

The leaders of today’s companies need to understand, that the workforce is changing as new generations take on new tasks. The new generations require a different approach in appraisals and feedback. Using simple but constant feedback will provide better results for steering the performance. Utilizing modern tools will make this job even easier.

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