‘Turn your employee’s work into a winnable game’

Experts weigh in on how keeping a running scorecard can satisfy a millennial workforce’s need for constant feedback

‘Turn your employee’s work into a winnable game’
A recent survey by HR consulting firm, Addison Group, found that 82% of millennials expect a promotion or raise at least every other year.

While the survey may seem to reinforce the idea that most millennial workers suffer from a sense of entitlement, Forbes author Kaytie Zimmerman said “it’s important to unpack where this tendency comes from”.

The survey, she said, clearly means that it is a trend that cannot be ignored and employers have to find a way to measure their performance and make it transparent enough that they would know where they stand.

“Millennials have grown up with everything at their fingertips and instant feedback. Think about their exposure to video games and how instantaneous the feedback is in a game,” she said.

“It’s no surprise then that young employees are looking for frequent feedback, a scoreboard on their progress, and a road map to where they are headed.”

In his book, Sticking Points, Haydn Shaw cited Facebook’s Work.com, where they engage a young workforce by making it easy for users to ask and give feedback from superiors and colleagues, and to see their progress at work.

“It creates a scoreboard where co-workers can know where they stand,” he said. 

The scoreboard also acts as a ‘self-correction’ tool, he added.

“If someone sees they are ‘losing’, they are motivated to pick it up. If they are ‘winning’, it’s clear evidence for a millennial to ask for and expect a raise or promotion.” 

Chris McChesney, author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution, said that one of the core components of managing millennials is to turn their work into a winnable game.

“Employees work harder when you keep score and they continue to produce when they feel like they are playing a game they can win,” he said.

Using formal scoreboards and game metrics would also eliminate the need for more manager and employee meetings, added Zimmerman, as a SAP SuccessFactors survey in 2014 found that “millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees”.

“If you create a winnable game for your millennial employees that displays instant or near instant feedback in some form of scoreboard, you will naturally increase the feedback the employees receive without spending any more one to one time with them,” she said.

Related stories:

Attract, engage, retain a millennial workforce 

Lessons from Facebook’s performance evaluation system

Hilton’s HR on how to keep your millennials happy

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