Feedback and learning play a crucial role in today’s ever-changing business environment. Nevertheless, promoting them within an organization may prove more difficult than previously anticipated. The reason is the US workforce at present comprises four distinct generations. These are the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.

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Each of these generations has somewhat of a different approach in the workplace, meaning that feedback and learning may not be as straightforward or as uniform. However, it shouldn’t discourage those in leadership positions from implementing them since the benefits will be well worth the effort. Having a diverse workforce of different ages and mentalities will better resemble customer base. And with the right mindset and attitude, performance will not be far behind.

Feedback Done Right

For feedback to be useful in this day and age, it needs to be an honest, two-way conversation. It is particularly true in a diverse workplace with different mentalities.

Coaching them to better themselves is a great exercise that was shown to work wonders in this regard. And even though its millennials and Gen Zers that crave the most coaching, you should give it to all of your employees, regardless of age.

This coaching shouldn’t be about specific areas of improvement but rather to aid employees with self-reflection. It should help them better understand their abilities and what areas need improvement.

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Appreciation is yet another important aspect of feedback done right. Every staff member, regardless of age, wants to receive some degree of recognition for a job well done. This appreciation should come from leaders, but it should also be encouraged between peers.

Exhibiting empathy towards your employees, particularly if they’re facing some hard times outside of work, will better increase their trust, motivation, and productivity. Don’t forget to tell people how their contribution helps the company’s greater goal. Likewise, ask for their input when making decisions and don’t assume what they want concerning feedback.

Exhibiting empathy towards your employees, particularly if they’re facing some hard times outside of work, will better increase their trust, motivation, and productivity.

Job security plays an equally important role. By offering your employees a competitive pay rate, they will feel more comfortable and will open up more to your new initiatives.

Do keep in mind that all generations want their degree of autonomy. It means that you shouldn’t micromanage them, or make them feel like you are always watching them. Feedback should feel more like a conversation where your staff feels comfortable enough to share their ideas as well as their mistakes when these will inevitably happen.

How to Promote Learning Within Your Organization?

The first step in promoting a culture of learning takes places during the hiring process. Look out for those who like to frame challenges as opportunities as these people stand the highest chance of becoming valuable assets down the line.

To promote learning in your organization, you will have to delegate important work to your employees. Allow them to lead projects as this will motivate and engage them. Empower them to see the job through to the end, and resist the urge to tell them what to do. Let them figure out the best course of action and when they succeed, don’t forget to recognize their achievement.

Millennials and the younger generation will be, on average, more inclined to embrace learning on their smartphones. Boomers and Gen Xers, on the other hand, may prefer something more traditional and hands-on, such as classroom training. Make an effort to accommodate all the different learning styles by using a wide range of technologies, methods, and media.

It’s also a good idea to develop some experimental methods, wherever possible, such as temporary assignments, volunteering on various nonprofits, or assignment shadowing, to name a few. Mentorship programs are not a bad idea either.

Use feedback and learning to build a cohesive workplace

Proper feedback and learning techniques within your company will ensure that the diversity within your organization will not become a problem. They will generate quite the opposite effect and help your organization reach new levels in innovation, engagement, and productivity. For more information on managing different generations in the workplace, let’s connect on http://meetme.so/GregNichvalodoff or greg@inscapeconsulting.com.

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