Monthly Archives: January 2014

Leading & Developing Millennials: 4 Tips

Millenials Gen YDeloitte’s 2014 Millenials Survey offers insight into the youngest working generation’s thinking that many of us might not have considered. These early-career professionals, and future leaders of our organizations, have strong opinions on the role of business and how they evaluate an organization for which they will or are currently working. One of the strongest opinions – three out of four said this – “believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.”

What are some things that your organization could be doing to say, “Yes, we are developing the next generation,” and mean it? Here are some ideas:

Give Challenging Assignments: The same survey said that over three-quarters want to work for innovative organizations. Having the chance to contribute creatively can make a difference. How can you stretch your young professionals with assignments that will energize and challenge them?

Formalize Mentoring: Match an experienced person with a new leader, and give them the time that they need to work together. Document the progress. Formalize the program with objectives and measured outcomes. Celebrate success.

Invest in Training and Development: This might sound self-serving coming from a training organization, but it makes a difference. Create a program to allow young professionals the opportunity to earn their way into advanced skills and leadership training. Publicize the program, the participants, and the results.

Mission & Values: Ask for Ideas: The survey also says that Millennials want to work for an organization that makes a difference. This doesn’t necessarily mean non-profits; it does mean that your organization can make a positive impact on society while earning healthy profits. Encourage their insights, creativity and values. Tie this into your other initiatives.

Most importantly, talk to your team. They will tell you what they are thinking if given the chance. If you need more help, contact us at Learning Dynamics for training and organization development solutions.


Learning Dynamics offers customized training solutions for organizations of every type and size. Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce is one of our programs that can help you engage your company’s next leaders.

Performance Reviews: 3 Tips for Better Impact

Annual performance reviews don’t get a lot of respect. In many cases, managers don’t like writing them, employees don’t like receiving them, and for many, the whole process is seen as the hurdle standing in the way of bonuses and salary increases. It doesn’t have to be this way!

A November 2013 article in BusinessWeek shares some stark statistics that illustrate just how bad it is. The story cites a 1997 survey showing a mere 5% approval rating among employees about their company’s process. A 2010 survey of HR managers – the people who run the review programs – said that 58% don’t like what they have going on in their own organizations.

The biggest problem, and something that we teach our clients to avoid, is the infrequent nature of reviews. Performance reviews need to happen more than once a year, and the content and nature of them should never surprise an employee. An annual “gotcha!”? No thanks!

Which of these scenarios sounds closest to the review culture at your company?

A. Reviews are a formality that we must complete to give raises.
B. Our reviews really just document performance shortfalls to justify smaller increases or no increases at all.
C. Reviews celebrate success, set engaging goals for the new year, and energize the organization.

If you answered something other than C, your organization could be getting more out of the annual ritual. Here are some ideas.

  1. Rather than a once year, create a more frequent schedule of performance reviews. Consider quarterly at a minimum, or even monthly, feedback. Once you create a plan, stick to it. Your team will come to expect and value regular discussions.
  2. Balance positive feedback with constructive, actionable criticism (if appropriate).
  3. Create a safe, collaborative culture around your regular review sessions. Nobody wants a monthly beat-up session. Nearly everyone wants to know where they stand and to have the opportunity to discuss their accomplishments and goals.

If your performance review process isn’t helping, it’s probably hurting. No organization has the luxury of wasting time on valueless activities. Make the effort useful, or maybe don’t do it at all.

These are some of the points that Learning Dynamics teaches in its Honest Appraisal™ training sessions. Let us know if we can help your organization get more out of your review process.