28 Jan Keeping Millennial Employees Engaged with CFRs
Gallup’s 2016 ‘How Millennials Want to Work and Live’ report, states 3 things about millennial employees: 1. That they have little to no attachment to their workplace, 2. That around 6 out of 10 are searching for new opportunities for work, yet, 3. They believe work and life must have meaning, placing greater importance on how much meaning that their place of work must provide.
The fact that, according to this survey, up to 60% of millennials are looking for new jobs doesn’t bode well for their level of engagement. Low levels of engagement are costly for your workplace in terms of both lost productivity and the onboarding costs for the replacement employee. In the continuous social isolation of the pandemic, engagement is likely to have fallen even further.
However, the Gallup report also states that millennial employees who feel that their supervisors can be invited to discuss things outside of work matters are likely to stay in one workplace for longer. You can take this opportunity to discuss their life goals, what motivates them, and how they feel about their work. Your millennial workers might feel that the pandemic has made their career growth stagnate because of a lack of face-to-face interactions with superiors and colleagues that teach them soft skills, or the company’s priorities shifting to maintaining the bottom line over employee development.
According to John Doerr, a proponent of the OKR system of performance management, when you’re company is running a system such as the OKR, it’s important also to conduct CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, Recognition) alongside them, to manage performance continuously. This system is particularly liked by millennials, a cohort of workers who particularly thrive off feedback, but dislike being micromanaged.
Start off the conversations by asking a question. Stay open-minded! The different generations are prone to misunderstanding and stereotyping each other. Take this opportunity to not only manage performance but also to get to know your employee. When giving feedback, be specific, such as ‘Please respond to the client’s email within the same workday, otherwise, it can make us look unprofessional’. Specific feedback ‘You’ve arrived late to the past 3 meetings’ is more likely to be implemented, and far less likely to demoralize the employee,as opposed to ‘You’re always late’.
In the tumultuous times of keeping our enterprises afloat, recognition can often drift to the back of a leader’s head. Lack of recognition can add to the alienation and demotivation your employees might already be feeling because of this pandemic, and appreciation is a basic human desire. Appreciate your employees when they make clear progress, and achieve their individual goals that are linked to the company’s overall goals and strategies. As a leader, this should send a message to all your employees that this work places importance on recognition. When goals and progress criteria are clear, such as in a system such as the OKR, it’s much easier to give recognition to your employees in a strategic way that’ll keep them doing good work.