Take Your Leadership To “Like” Button Speed

On the inside of every leader lies a sleeping superhero-like quality to lead those of Generation Y.

What is this quality, you may be wondering?

It’s the ability to save time while continuing to exceed productivity across an entire team. Now, this quality; the dynamic super power, is not out of reach. It’s available to all who are brave enough to go after it.

In this microwave culture where one won’t wait 3 seconds for a webpage to load before moving on to something else, it’s no wonder Millennials (those of Generation Y; born in the 80s and 90s) constantly seek instant gratification. They were born into this digital environment. They’ll post a video and anxiously await the viewing numbers to start climbing. They expect photos to receive likes immediately, and the speed of tweets and retweets… well, things move fast.

Social media has created a pseudo-realistic medium; one in which Millennials are able to receive feedback as soon as they post something!

This creates unrealistic expectations when they get to work. There’s no way the real world would be able to keep interactions at the same speed as the social media universe. Or, is there?

Those from the baby boomer generation are happy when leaders aren’t engaging with them. They know the lack of conversation means everything is going well. Millennials; however, would fall apart if they were not receiving constant feedback from those in leadership positions. They would assume they’re not making the cut. Neither view is right or wrong. They’re just different.

When I first started sharing this information about instant, consistent feedback with my live audiences, the first thing I’d hear was:  “Ryan, I don’t have time to pat every Millennial on the back every day.” I understand that. Though, I don’t believe people are limited by time, I think they’re limited by their traditional approach.

Traditional minds would tell us that feedback is only needed for quarterly reviews. I must warn you. If you continue to give in to this traditional way of thinking the turnover rate of Millennials will make you wish you had chosen otherwise. Nothing will get your Generation Y employees hustling harder than quick direction and immediate correction. Your feedback doesn’t have to be lengthy. It just has to be on time. Picture it this way: your feedback can happen as quickly as it takes to press the “like” thumbs up on a Facebook post.

Instant feedback doesn’t require complex thinking. It can be as simple as: “Hey Ryan, you did a great job on XYZ. Your attention to detail adds value and clients like that. Keep it up!” You’ve just stroked my ego. It took mere seconds and those words motivated me to focus and work even harder. To say those few sentences, you don’t even have to stop walking. You can say it as you’re passing by a desk. A little appreciation goes a long way.

I’ll share a real example of leadership at the speed of clicking the “like” button.

One time, an audience member shared his best practice for providing Millennials with the instant, consistent feedback they need. He told me, at the end of work day as he sat in his car before making the drive home, he would text his team of Millennials, sending positive direction and correction. He also shared his surprise to find that those team members would do work later in the evening after they received his text message.

Talk about saving time by spending a little time! As a leader today, you do have a choice. You can throw a tantrum about Generation Y’s need for instant, consistent feedback, or you can meet their desire by making a few little changes. By adjusting, you’ll be creating a more productive team and you’ll be viewed as a leader who cares.

What forms of feedback prompt you to respond the most?

Image Credit: Pixabay.com