What Millennials Want – Part 4: Conversations

Throwing WordsEmployee Performance EngagementWhat Millennials Want – Part 4: Conversations

What Millennials Want – Part 4: Conversations

Harnessing the power of the millennial mindset to improve workplace productivity

This post is part 4 in a 6-part series on understanding the millennial mindset and adapting workplace culture to engage this rapidly growing generation of employees.

In part 1 of this series, we presented some important statistics about the millennial generation and how engaging them is crucial to the future success of organizations. We continued in parts 2 and 3 with an exploration of the next two components of the millennial mindset:

“I am not pursuing job satisfaction; I am pursuing development.”

“I don’t want a boss; I want a coach.”

In this post, we’ll be taking a deeper look at the fourth component:

#4: “I don’t want annual reviews; I want ongoing conversations.”

The way millennials communicate―texting, tweeting, Skype, etc.―is now real-time and continuous. This dramatically affects the workplace, because millennials are accustomed to constant communication and feedback, which means that annual reviews will no longer work.

Performance management now requires a constant focus on feedback, and effective feedback is rooted in a few essential tenets; chief among them is frequency. The more conversations managers have with their employees, the more engaged their employees become. But Gallup found that only 21% of millennials and 18% of non-millennials meet with their manager on a weekly basis. The majority of employees ― 56% for millennials and 53% for non-millennials―say they meet with their manager as infrequently as less than monthly.

Of the 21% who report meeting with their managers weekly, 44% are engaged―contrasting sharply with the 20% of engaged millennials who do not agree that their manager meets with them regularly. This finding is similar to older generations; 43% of non-millennials who report their manager holds regular meetings with them are engaged.

Regular meetings and consistent feedback pay dividends not only in engagement, but also in performance. Employees who meet regularly with their manager perform better for their team and company. They are also more likely to report that they regularly receive recognition and praise, that someone cares about them as a person and that someone cares about their development.





Action Steps:


Based on the data given, here are a few steps that leaders can take to better engage their millennial employees and see increased productivity in the workplace:


  1. Hold frequent meetings (i.e. at least once a week).
  2. Provide consistent, constructive feedback.
  3. Focus on their strengths.
  4. Encourage their personal and professional development.


Throwing Words has cracked the code on Millennial engagement in the workplace. To learn more about Throwing Words or to schedule a consultation, please visit throwingwords.com or call 704-942-8007.


Up Next: What Millennials Want—Part 5: A Focus on Strengths

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