I read an article recently that said millenials crave feedback exponentially more than previous generations, to which I thought, “That seems off, it can’t be just millenial employees. Who doesn’t want to know how they’re performing in their job?”
I think, ultimately, everyone does – it’s not just a Gen-Y anomaly. And the feedback employees desire isn’t a constant stream of pats on the back and trophies for executing their basic job duties. Employees want to be better. They require useful, detailed information about their performance, whether that performance has been good or bad. As Sam Danztler said in his “ESI Fuels CSI” session at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, “I don’t think any employee comes to work and says ‘Boy, I really hope I suck at my job today.’”
As a leader, it’s your job to give that feedback. You owe it to your staff to help them become the best professional in the marine industry that they can be. Regular job performance reviews are great but it’s important to praise employees as soon as they do something worth recognition or provide constructive criticism if you see a job function they need to pay particular attention to.
If you wait for an annual review to thank employees for their successes, how many days will they have spent not feeling appreciated for their hard work? Conversely, if you wait to provide criticism, will your employees have enough context to understand how to improve their performance?
One thing to keep in mind when providing feedback to your staff is to personalize it. If you have an employee who is shy around big groups, chances are they don’t want a shout out at the morning meeting – but I bet they’d still love to be pulled aside individually and told they’re doing a great job.
Know your employees and understand their personalities when it comes to receiving praise and criticism. The immediate feedback in their preferred method of reception will breed a level of employee satisfaction that will pay back your business in dividends.