Millennials, The Generation “Why?”

“But why?”

I’m sure this phrase still haunts my parents and the grade school teachers who answered my incessant questions. But this inquiry embodies my deeply rooted curiosity; I actually read encyclopedias for fun as a child. You can only imagine my excitement upon discovering AskJeeves (now where all of the questions in the world (or at least my 10-year-old brain) could be answered with the click of a button.

I continue to ask questions now. “Why?” is a phrase I use regularly in the workplace. I always want to know what is working, what’s not and why?

Many may think that Millennials ask questions out of stubbornness or defiance. Instead, it stems from natural curiosity. We’re inquisitive and crave opportunities for growth and improvement. While the idea of once-a-year feedback is outrageous and unfathomable for many Millennials, we’re not alone in this reaction. Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers in the workplace may have simply gotten used to the idea of an annual review but that doesn’t mean they’ve liked or gained anything from it.

For this reason, organizations are moving toward continuous, ongoing feedback as the new form of performance management. Facilitating frequent conversations between employees and managers creates more open, honest relationships. Regular check-ins ensure all team members are on the same page with the right priorities. Along with aligning overall business goals, these tasks require self-management — something Millennials greatly appreciate.

And these new approaches aren’t just about giving Millennials what they want. This is about saving 80,000 some hours a year wasted on retroactive reviews. It’s about managers connecting regularly with employees to align priorities, which often change week-to-week in today’s fast-paced work environment. This is about retaining top talent by constantly challenging members of your team to set and reach new goals.

Employee engagement solutions like Kazoo package together the tools you need to properly manage all your employees and retain top talent. You can more easily pinpoint problems such as lack of communication between an employee and his or her manager. These performance management platforms help optimize performance management for everyone, ultimately driving better business results.

Adverse reactions to traditional performance management and engagement tactics have unfortunately earned Millennials a fickle reputation. But if any employee feels as though “their work here is done,” they will leave your organization. This is not because they are disloyal, but because they strongly value career development coupled with new challenges and continuous learning. If you’re not giving proper feedback or answering your employees’ “Why?s,” someone else will.

**This is the second part of Claire O’Sullivan’s blog series about Millennials in the workplace. Check out her first post in the series here.**

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