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3_Things_Millennials_Want_from_Performance_Reviews.jpgRecently, millennials became the largest generation of the Canadian workforce. This generation includes employees born between 1977 and 1995. These young employees don’t have the same preferences as the generations that came before them.

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Companies need to accommodate these preferences if they want to recruit and retain millennial employees. To appeal to millennial workers, companies are doing everything from modernizing compensation to offering remote work. Other parts of the workplace are changing, too. Even performance reviews are changing due to millennials’ preferences. Today’s companies need to consider these three things millennial employees want from performance reviews.

1. More Frequent Feedback

Traditionally, performance reviews are given once a year. At the end of the year, managers sit down with their employees and review the employees’ overall performance. Millennials are used to receiving frequent, fast feedback, so companies are starting to accommodate them. Annual performance reviews are being replaced with more frequent meetings, such as monthly or even weekly reviews.

Providing more frequent feedback doesn’t just keep your millennial employees happy. It’s a smart business decision. By providing frequent, ongoing feedback, you give your employees time to act on the feedback and improve. Throughout the year, they can continue to get more feedback and make further improvements. With once-yearly reviews, employees miss out on this opportunity. By the time they find out what they need to change, the whole year is already over and there’s no time to improve. 

Regular feedback also prevents employees from being caught off guard by the feedback they’re receiving. Instead of receiving a year’s worth of feedback at once, employees hear about their performance on an ongoing basis. With this regular feedback, employees don’t have to feel like they’re in the dark about how their managers view their performance.

2. Detailed, Actionable Feedback

In performance reviews, many millennials want to receive more specific details about their work. According to Business News Daily, 40 percent of millennial employees think their current feedback is too vague. If your employees aren’t sure what you want them to improve, they probably won’t meet their goals. By being more specific, you can show employees what they need to do to perform better.

If you have criticism for an employee, be as specific as possible. After receiving the performance review, employees should know exactly what they’ve been doing wrong and what their next steps should be. With this detailed, actionable feedback, they can work hard to improve and meet the standards you expect.

Sometimes, you may not have any constructive criticism for your employees. However, even these top performers can benefit from detailed, actionable feedback. Providing details about their successes shows them you value them and notice their hard work. With an action plan to follow, they can continue to improve and perform well at work.

3. Digital Performance Reviews

Communication preferences vary by generation. These preferences are shaped by the types of communication methods that were available to people as they grew up. For millennials who have grown up using text messages and instant messages, face-to-face or phone conversations may not be preferred. Older workers, such as Generation X and baby boomers, may have the opposite preferences.

To adapt to millennials’ communication preferences, some companies are providing digital performance reviews. For example, GE is now providing frequent feedback to its employees through an app.

If you decide to adopt digital performance reviews, remember that generational preferences don’t apply to every single person in a given generation. Some of your millennial employees might not want to get feedback through a mobile app, while some of your older employees might be excited about the idea. Ask your employees if they’d rather receive regular feedback through digital methods or through traditional methods.

Since millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, you can power your company’s growth by adapting to their needs. To get started, adjust your performance review process to suit millennials’ preferences.


Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with an advanced knowledge of human resources and organizational structure and design. She has extensive experience with HRIS systems and understands the need to move HR from a transactional model to a transformational one. She has worked in the investment banking, insurance, and legal industries, as well as with large not-for-profit centres helping to simplify and streamline their internal systems. Kaneez is an expert in building relationships and affecting change in a positive and productive way. She acts as the key HR business partner at Apri Insurance Services Inc, managing the implementation of JungoHR, while providing expert advice and counsel on a range of HR matters. Kaneez holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management as well as a Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.