The Process of Feedback for Gen Z

by Jody Ordioni

Feedback is necessary, not only to improve the performance of employees, but also to increase employee retention, especially with workers of Generation Z. 66% of Gen Z employees state that they cannot stay at their jobs if they do not receive regular feedback, at least once a week. In contrast, less than half of millennials require this level of engagement. The workforce is steadily being occupied by Gen Z and they have their own expectations regarding employee engagement and interaction. They require surrounding feedback to connect well with their jobs. Here are three ways in which managers can fulfill the need for better feedback-

Increasing the Regularity of Feedback

According to a research, 60% of the Gen Z workforce themselves acknowledge the need for regular check-ins from managers, at least in a week. 40% of this number further wishes for this interaction to happen daily or even several times a day. Keeping in mind that this generation grew up in a fast world of instant feedback and regular communication, it is not a far stretch that Gen Z wishes to constantly receive feedback at work.

Work cycles are moving at breakneck speeds, and thus sparse reviews (monthly, quarterly, yearly) are insufficient. The modern employee requires a balanced harmony between the constant evolution of the marketplace and feedback on performance, to be well-informed and engaged with work. Therefore, a regular and more frequent schedule of feedback needs to be established.

Make Feedbacks Shorter and Interactive

While frequent feedback is the demand of Gen Z employees, 67% do not wish to be trapped in an hour-long session that is repetitive. They want the feedback meetings to be finished in 5 minutes or less.

Both managers and employees dread the annual review, however, it is even more frustrating for the young employees. Employees and managers can spend anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes scratching at outdated data and non-critical situation that are not relevant any longer. Since the only time to strike the iron is when it is hot, the reviews are futile. The moment to shape the behavior of the employee passes as soon as the situation is cleared. This limited window cannot stay open for year-end reviews. Delivering feedback for optimal correction in the pattern of employees has to happen at the moment and not in an HR-approved meeting.

It is easier to avoid this delay if managers can instead review the performance daily or weekly. Even a few sentences uttered timely can help in improving the performance of the employee remarkably. One way to go about conducting reviews is to follow the formula of high standards + assurance + direction + support. 

Decreasing the duration of your review while still relaying the important details is not easy. Managers need to navigate the conversation properly to seek out the areas where employees want feedback and then deliver helpful advice on a routine basis.

Incorporating High-Tech and High-Touch in Feedbacks

Gen Z has been absorbed in technology from the cradle and knows how to use it to their advantage. They are more comfortable with technology and digital presence so much that 71% of Gen Z believes they can develop a friendship with people they have only met online. However, the human need for social contact is found in this generation too. And, 75% of Gen Z employees prefer to receive their feedback in-person from their managers. Managers should, therefore, find the middle ground, wherein feedback can be provided through high-tech channels while still not losing its high-touch.

The Bottom Line

While the response to feedback might be different for millennials and Gen Z employees, managers need to work with both demographics for optimum results. To engage and retain employees, it is necessary to build on qualities such as trust, empathy, interdependence, and genuineness. Employees will only stay in their jobs if they feel they are a part of the team, and this is only possible with good leadership. This means that managers need to update their tactics when providing feedback to the younger generation of employees. Help them perform better in their jobs and retain loyal employees for your business.

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