New research on performance management shows that the traditional performance review is failing millennials. It’s too infrequent, it’s too impersonal and it doesn’t feel valuable to them. However, when done properly, the feedback managers give to their millennial employees can promote positive change and career growth.
Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce and, as with any generation, the ways they work and perform have been closely studied. Millennials are often considered as the generation that requires constant feedback. They are always looking to see how they’re doing — even if that means receiving criticism. Researchers for The Truth & Lies of Performance Management, a report commissioned by Box of Crayons, found that, on average, Human Resources leaders responded that 30% of managers are good at coaching and 32% are poor. That leaves 38% of managers somewhere in the middle. Whatever the generation, feedback has value and, when done properly, can promote positive change and career growth.
Because of this type of less-than-positive interaction with their managers, the annual performance review is failing the career-driven millennial. What’s the bottom line? It’s too infrequent, it’s too impersonal and it doesn’t feel valuable to them.
It Happens but Once a Year
A 2015 TriNet Perform study by Wakefield Research surveyed one thousand full-time employees in the United States who had been born after 1980. It found that while 69% of millennials relied on reviews for their career growth they considered their companies’ review systems to be flawed. When it came to performance reviews, 62% of respondents said they have felt “blindsided” by a review, 59% often felt their manager was unprepared to give feedback and 22% had even called in sick because of anxiety over their review. Clearly, the traditional model of performance review isn’t working as well for the millennial generation as it did for earlier ones.
The survey also indicated that 85% of millennials believed they would feel more confident in their work if they had performance conversations with their managers on a more regular basis. These are opportunities to check-in about the challenges facing an employee as well opportunities to hear about what’s going well. And these conversations are unfettered from the stress that comes with the yearly performance review.
It Lacks Specific Detail