3 Ways to Make a Performance Review More Meaningful for the Modern Workforce

Meaningful performance reviews

It seems as though the same negative terms are frequently used to describe Millennials: dependent, self-centered, unfocused. This perspective is not only detrimental to businesses whose workforces will soon be occupied by more than 50% of these future leaders, but it’s also untrue. Millennials are eager, driven and inspired to achieve goals – provided that their workplaces are motivating them with a fresh engagement strategy.

Millennials want to make a difference in their organizations, but they need to have access to the knowledge and tools to do so. In the modern workforce, the traditional annual review isn’t enough for Millennials – they want frequent feedback and recognition that will allow them to grow and succeed in their roles. Here are three reasons why replacing performance reviews with an engagement strategy will help your organization equip its future leaders to succeed.

  1. Training and mentorship rank in the top three reasons for why Millennials will take a job.
    The annual performance review should not be the only time that your managers discuss career progression opportunities with their teams. Ongoing recognition allows Millennials understand on-the-spot what behaviors they should continue to help them progress their careers.

    Millennials are ambitious; career progression is a top factor in selecting where to work. And that’s not all: they understand the strong impact that training and mentorship has on their career progression, so they also rank this among the top factors. Training and mentorship involve ongoing recognition, so ensure that managers are providing regular feedback in addition to an annual review.

  2. To be engaged at work, Millennials crave communication.
    Setting aside time only once a year to have career conversations with Millennials is demotivating, unproductive and discouraging. The future workforce wants to be aligned to corporate objectives and have frequent check-ins.

    Millennials want direction, which is why communication is so important to them. If the corporate objectives and vision aren’t regularly communicated, Millennials don’t know where to direct their efforts and can become disengaged. Communication channels have changed drastically, and Millennials now use mobile and online channels to share information. Consider how these channels can be used at your workplace so that managers can provide frequent, open communication with their employees.

  3. They want more frequent reviews and feedback.
    A performance review is not the only time to share tips for improvement. Constructive criticism should be approached in a timely manner by your managers and approached as a “coachable moment” so that Millennials can adjust their habits immediately.

    Regular feedback is not only what Millennials need, but it’s also what they actually want. Performance reviews are uncomfortable for managers and employees alike, and the feedback is generally given too late for it to be useful. Millennials want to have more regular meetings with their managers so that they can ensure that any issues with their work can be fixed before it’s too late. Ensure that managers have the time and tools to sit down and have regular meetings with their employees.

Annual performance reviews can be a great time for managers to discuss career goals and progression, additional training, salaries, and other employment issues with employees. However, the feedback on their performance shouldn’t come as a surprise. In order to engage and retain Millennial employees, make sure that they are receiving regular feedback and recognition outside of their performance review.

Profile image of author: Tatiana Beale

Tatiana Beale is a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Achievers. She is passionate about changing workplaces for the better and inspiring Employee Success™ through insightful content. Tatiana believes that employee happiness is the key to a wildly successful company. She feels lucky to be part of the unique Achievers culture and means it when she says “I love my job.”


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