"Give Millennials More Than Annual Performance Reviews"

Forbes.com

Posted January 7, 2020 by Mark Perna

Younger workers are alright with yearly reviews, but what they really want is frequent feedback. Mark’s article, “Give Millennials More Than Annual Performance Reviews,” published at Forbes.com on December 17, 2019.

’Tis the season for the end-of-year performance review. Yet for Millennials, once a year is not nearly often enough.

By 2025, Millennials are projected to make up 75% of the American workforce. Having grown up in the digital era, they’re used to instant access to information on any subject. But Google can’t tell them how they’re doing at work, and 74% of Millennials feel “in the dark” about their performance, according to a TriNet survey.

Millennial workers want more than a single, intensive annual review. Click To Tweet

Although they’re generally not very vocal about it, Millennial workers want more than a single, intensive annual review. Frequent feedback can go a long way in engaging younger workers, spurring their best performance, and retaining them in a competitive labor market. But how can managers make it happen?

Keep the conversation going

Millennials’ preference for more frequent feedback doesn’t have to create an additional burden for time-pressed managers. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to have more casual, ongoing conversations or check-ins. This will also help you to hone your team, nip potential problems in the bud, and keep people engaged and productive in their everyday work. Here are four ways to get started:

  • Realize the reason. In general, younger workers are not fishing for compliments, but looking for ways to consistently grow and develop. As Clear Review CEO Stuart Hearn writes, “When a millennial asks for feedback, it stems from a desire to excel in their role. Millennials aren’t saying, ‘Tell me how good I am.’ They are asking, ‘What can I do better?’”
  • Keep it simple. Some managers shy away from frequent feedback, thinking of all the work that goes into the traditional annual review. But it doesn’t have to be hard; in fact, it can, and should, be pretty simple. Skip the formalities, and keep things relatively short and easy-going.
  • Talk less, listen moreNearly one-third of Millennials surveyed by TriNet say they dislike when reviews are one-sided, not allowing them to share their thoughts on their own performance. So ask questions and then sit back and really listen to the answers. A little dialogue can pay big dividends.
  • Put negative feedback into perspective. Recognize that your view is just that: your view. Frequent feedback can backfire if it’s constantly critical. With 57% of Millennials walking out of their reviews feeling “like they can’t do anything right,” work to be more positive and objective in your ongoing conversations.
Annual reviews have their time and place. But especially with Millennials, keep the conversation going—and going. It’s easier than you think, and the rewards are plenty.

 
Read at Forbes.com

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About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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