What Does Generation Y Want From Performance Reviews?

generation yIn his article ‘A Generation Y Perspective on Performance Reviews’ Kyle Lagunas – HR Analyst at Software Advice – gives some great insights into his (and presumably other Generation Y) expectations of, and frustrations with, Performance Reviews. In this article I’ve taken some of Kyle’s key points and with some comments of my own on how managers can meet these Gen Y expectations (you can read the full version of Kyle’s article here)

     

Generation Y and performance reviews

 
KL: Make the most of the review. Performance reviews are our best chance to get quality face time with leadership and to gain insight into their expectations of us. You don’t have to make every review life changing. However, we need to feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. 
 
JH: And why not? As someone who can bore for England on the benefits of (effective / skillful) performance reviews and appraisals I’m delighted to hear Kyle’s comments about both ‘expectations’ and ‘something bigger’
 
It’s not so difficult for managers to meet these needs. In my blog ‘Four ways to delight your employees’  I talk about; the importance of clarity of expectations, helping employees connect their efforts to the mission and purpose of your business, giving feedback and recognition, and showing care interest and concern for your employees. To some extent it’s ‘common sense’ but, as the old saying goes and as Kyle highlights, ‘it might be sense, but it certainly isn’t common’ (for Generation Y or anyone else)             
 

Generation Y and Constructive Criticism 

KL: Lose the cream filling, and challenge us to succeed. In the workplace, we appreciate honesty, even if it means getting some tough love. Although we might be surprised when a manager tells us we didn’t perform up to par, don’t write us off as complete dolts. Let’s talk about it, figure out where we went wrong, and come up with a game plan with clear, measurable goals. 
 
JH: So many managers are reluctant to give constructive criticism – the type of ‘tough love’ that Kyle talks about. In my blog ‘Constructive Criticism: Managing the Pain Problem’ I talk about one of the key reasons for this reluctance – the fear of causing our employees pain. Of course we need to deliver criticism on performance skillfully (with the focus on action>results>consequences) but what we don’t need to do is assume that our employees (and not just Generation Y) can’t take the honesty and tough love they need in order to succeed  
 

Generation Y and Performance Feedback   

KL: Don’t just talk to us – connect with us. We know you have a lot on your plate, and we don’t need you to hold our hands, but regular feedback is invaluable to us. You may have noticed, though, that we communicate through new channels; we’re not big fans of printed memos in triplicate. 
 
JH: Regular performance feedback is invaluable to any employee, regardless of generation. But Kyle is right – there are ways we should be exploring that enable employees to gain ‘real time’ feedback. I’d suggest taking a look at a new system on the market ‘PerformanceHub’ by Cogendo. I’ve spent some good time talking with the guys from Cogendo and I can see this product has real potential to improve employee engagement and motivation because of the transparency of the system and employees ability to track their performance against objectives
 

Generation Y and Job Satisfaction 

KL: Positive reinforcement isn’t a bad thing. Who decided to demonize trophies in the workplace, anyway? Just because we’re not on a football field doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect to be recognized for stellar performance. I may not be as satisfied with a plastic “gold” medal as I was in middle school, but we all like being rewarded for “crushing it” (as my boss is wont to say).
 
JH: Research tells us that most people feel they don’t get enough praise. Business owners and managers tell me they are sometimes reluctant to give praise because they’ve had experiences of being praised themselves in ways that, frankly, haven’t motivated them at all.  And, of course, they’re not over keen on having the same effect on their employees 
 
It’s actually quite easy to deliver praise badly – praise that is seen as patronising or manipulative by the recipient. But done well, its dynamite. In my blog ‘5 Ways to Give Praise’ I outline how to use praise for the positive reinforcement that Kyle talks about 

 

Summary: Generation Y and Performance Reviews

What interests me most about Kyle’s insights are that he’s – and presumably other Generation Y employees – asking for exactly what employees have been asking for, for as long as anyone can remember. Effective management is effective management – always has been always will be

If you want to read more strategies for effectively managing your employees take a look at my FREE special report ‘Boost Your Business Performance through Effective Employee Management’ at http://www.boostemployeeperformance.com 

 

 

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