Employee Engagement

Millennials and performance reviews - here’s what you need to know

performance reviews

Did you get a little crabby when you saw ‘millennials and performance reviews’ in the title there? Perhaps you had a moment of ‘oh jeez, enough with the snowflakes and their needs already!’? If you did, you can rest assured that you are not alone. Millennials aren’t exactly the darlings of the media and people just love to hate on this generation. To be honest, they also make it pretty easy to rag on them sometimes.

Let’s get real though. Millennials now make up the bulk of our workforce (Deloitte actually devotes an entire annual survey to this grouping, so you know they’re here to stay), which means it’s time to get with the programme and accept that a new generation needs to be catered for. As much as we revere the stoic work ethic and I-shall-not-be-moved longitudinal career journeys of the Baby Boomers (bless their hearts - they made it so easy to predict employment trajectories!), Millennials bring a whole bunch of exciting stuff to the table - the kind of stuff businesses need to ensure that their enterprises are nimble enough to stay competitive.

As such, a workable approach towards  Millennials and performance reviews is definitely something you should concern yourself about if you wish to ensure that your work culture is up to snuff so you are able to attract top talent right now, and in years to come. Here are a few things you should bear in mind when you evaluate your current performance review template, and whether it is the best way to provide feedback to the Millennial quotient of your team:

Here are 5 Things you should know about millennials and performance reviews:

1. Millennials like it frequent and snappy

Annual performance reviews don't appeal to Millennials. They like frequent feedback. Reviews used to be yearly occurrences, but the new generation require the ability to recalibrate on the go. As such, it makes a lot more sense to work in shorter, more frequent reviews throughout the year, than sticking to one lengthy one per annum. It also makes more sense for managers - if something is up you can bring it up straight away rather than waiting an age to address it.

2. You can leverage tech to your advantage

If you can rope some trendy tech into your performance review process, you'll be well on your way to hitting the Millennial sweet spot. Make it mobile-enabled so they can consume the information from a hand-held device and you’ll really be in the pound seats.

3. Cookie-cutter reviews won't work

The new generation prefers specific feedback, so if you're currently working off a cookie-cutter spreadsheet type of setup, you definitely need to rethink your approach to Millennials and performance reviews. Instead of going through a legacy list of old-school questions and answers, try tailoring the review to the employee in question. Provide holistic feedback with the help of their direct line manager. This is a great way to up engagement as well.

4. Bring in the mentors!

If a Millennial employee seems to be lagging behind in some department or require a skill sharpening to up their game, you may want to consider bringing in a mentor. Millennials love collaborating with coaches and mentors who can contribute to their professional growth. Don’t underestimate the power of human interaction.

5. Reviews don't need to occur in person

Although real-time feedback is key for Millennials, it doesn't have to be face to face to be effective. This generation is all about work-life balance, so more and more companies find themselves a little scattered with remote workers and flexi-employees all over the place. Happily, this doesn’t need to become a headache when it comes to performance reviews. In fact, your business can harness the new generation's love of digital engagement to your benefit by finding a way to provide real-time feedback on the go. This way, distance won't be a concern.

So there you have it - the gist of the whole Millennials and performance review issue. If you’re currently having problems with performance management at your company, you may want to try making it frequent and snappy, leveraging tech to your advantage, tailoring reviews to the person, bringing in a mentoring component and embracing the idea of remote reviews.  

Check out our SaaS-based employee recognition platform - it’s great for providing frequent feedback in an easily-digestible format great for your Millennial workforce 

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