InsideOut Development

Are Millennials Feedback Junkies?

by Joyce Petrella
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Millennials sure are getting a lot of press. They are described as a near force of nature and we had better pay attention or suffer dire consequences. A 2016 Gallup study put it bluntly: “Millennials are altering the very social fabric of America and the world.”[1]

So What Do Millennials Want?

Millennials seek coaching. And tons of it. A study by Tiny Pulse in 2015[2] indicated that 42% of Millennials want feedback at least every week. The data suggest we need to make significant changes to address Millennials’ expectations of work and career. Millennials work best with continuous direction, feedback, and coaching on their performance.

So Millennials Are Just Needy?

It’s convenient to portray Millennials as the needy offspring of the “everyone wins a medal” parenting style, but the broader data reveals that they are not the only employees who want frequent coaching. In fact, the same Tiny Pulse study revealed that 64% of all employees surveyed (not just Millennials) want their supervisor to check in with them at least every two weeks for coaching and feedback.

Similarly, Harvard Business Review article, “Millennials Want to be Coached at Work,”[3] indicates Millennials and non-Millennials overwhelmingly prefer to receive coaching monthly, or at least on a quarterly basis. Only a small minority believed coaching is an annual event. Regardless of their generation, employees seek coaching frequently.

Coaching Junkies

It’s easy to understand why. Some describe today’s world of work as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). Employees of each generation need to stay aligned, relevant, and productive.  Coaching is an imperative. It enables Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers alike to respond to whatever this new world throws at us.

So, YES, Millennials are feedback junkies. But so is everyone else.


[1] http://www.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/191426/millennials-live-work.aspx

[2] https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-the-real-reason-why-millennials-in-the-workplace-crave-feedback-in-the-workplace

[3] https://hbr.org/2015/02/millennials-want-to-be-coached-at-work

Category: Conversations Employee Engagement Coaching Leadership Millennials Performance Management Check-Ins and Feedback Executives

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Joyce has spent more than 25 years working in corporate leadership in industries from healthcare and insurance to technology and aerospace. Throughout her career, Joyce has actively sponsored the advancement of women in STEM through her roles on university boards and leadership of women career development initiatives. She holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Harvard University. She is also an avid reader and traveler and loves following international cycling events.

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