Millennials Are Changing the Way We Do Performance Reviews

November 24, 2015


As more companies are hiring Millennials, the traditional performance review will no longer seem beneficial to the younger workforce. According to a survey conducted by TriNet, a provider of HR services found that 1,000 U.S. full-time employees born after 1980 were not accepting of performance reviews.

Below is a list of findings from the TriNet survey that shows Millennials distaste in traditional performance reviews:

Negative impact on professional growth

  • 62 percent of Millennials have felt “blindsided” by a performance review.
  • 74 percent frequently feel “in the dark” about how their managers and peers think they’re performing at work.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) feel that receiving a performance review makes them feel like they can’t do anything right.

Anxiety and mistrust

Infrequent performance discussions can be overwhelming and cause employees not to trust the accuracy of the review.

  • Nearly one in four (22 percent) have called in sick because they were anxious about receiving their review.
  • More than half (59 percent) frequently feel their manager is unprepared to give feedback during performance reviews.

Poor company morale and talent retention

More than half (57 percent) of Millennials have reacted to a performance review by:

  • 28 percent looked for a new job.
  • 35 percent complained to coworkers.
  • 15 percent have cursed.
  • and 15 percent have cried.

While 69 percent of Millennials, see their company’s review process as flawed, they also depend on it for their professional growth and development.

As a better option, nearly nine out of 10 (85 percent) would feel more confident in their current position if they could have more frequent performance conversations with their manager. Updates employees would like to see include:

  • More specific feedback, as 40 percent feel their current feedback is too vague.
  • An open dialogue, given that 32 percent dislike when reviews don’t allow employees to share thoughts on their own performance.
  • Regular, ongoing feedback, as 32 percent feel that reviews replace regular feedback.
  • Fair, unbiased feedback to mitigate against the 31 percent who feel their feedback is biased or unfair.

Companies like Accenture, Adobe and Gap have already eliminated the traditional performance review and the survey confirms that more companies need to change their process of sharing feedback as well. A great way to fix this issue is to incent Millennials to be leaders and give real-time feedback using technology, not quarterly or annual paperwork.

A few ways to ease the pain of performance reviews is to prepare Millennials and brief them on what the review will entail. Always encourage open communication and of course, give credit where credit is due.

Has your company thought of ways to make the performance review more bearable for Millennials?

Don’t hesitate to contact us to make the performance review a more pleasant experience with right candidates.

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