How Millennials Are Impacting Performance Reviews and Feedback

By / November 2, 2017

You might be surprised to discover that some of the better-known companies around the world still lack a sufficient review system for their employees. Time after time, I speak to HR Directors who admit in hushed whispers that they’re still “working out the kinks” to their review structure and everything that falls under it: feedback, compensation, and additional training.   And yet, while those companies are still waiting to get started, there are entirely other companies realizing that the systems they currently have in place- typically the antiquated yearly review- are no longer working. Now, in 2017 the way companies look at performance reviews is rapidly changing- and it has a lot to do with the technology-savvy generation: the Millennials.  

Out With The Old, In With the New

Looking back now, perhaps you remember the days surrounding your mother or father’s dreaded annual review as stressful- occurring to you as a child that this single, solitary review could move mountains.   And yet, now we know it can’t- or at least doesn’t anymore.   Instead, companies are realizing the incredible weaknesses of annual reviews- and ultimately, how ineffective they truly are to gauge the success, skills and even satisfaction of their employees.   Companies are revamping their evaluation processes to meet today’s rapidly changing world where once a year simply means out of date. Quarterly reviews are becoming commonplace to keep a pulse on the teams’ success- and frustrations- before it changes again or the employee is no longer even an employee.  

“Always On” Feedback

Other companies have turned to the “always on” approach for feedback and reviews, noting the Millennial mindset- and perhaps thirst- for real time information. Recently, a Global Chief Talent Officer I spoke to said that her company quickly realized annual performance reviews were in fact not driving performance, helping them to move forward with the always on approach, while holding quarterly “check-ins” and goal-setting meetings.   “Over 60% of Millennials are accustomed to instant feedback so that’s what we need to give them to stay relevant and effective,” she explained.  

Tech- Driven

Adding to the lure of instant gratification, companies are also providing daily recognition through Facebook-like feeds on handhelds, desktops and TV’s throughout their worldwide offices. This talent officer went on to explain that anyone- at any time- can recognize a peer or manager through this system, allowing every employee in the company to see it as it’s posted- no matter where in the world they are. “I might see someone in the Sri Lanka office that I’ve never met being praised or recognized now- it’s amazing what technology has and can do for us.”   Other companies are choosing to embrace technology as well, using online evaluations or tablets to not only be more compatible with today’s workforce but also more efficient and cost-effective. While the onset costs may be higher for programs and hardware (if planning on keeping the tools in-house), the streamlining of data and reduction in actual labor are major incentives for companies.  

Employee Review Sites

Finally, companies are again having to roll with the times, grasping the concept of an incredible tool: the employee review sites online. Through websites such as Glassdoor, that allow employees to publicly rate and review the companies they currently do or have worked for, employers are realizing an era of complete transparency. While the site sometimes falls under criticism for being a hub for disgruntled ex-employees to complain or condemn their previous job, the fact remains that the accessibility for real time insights into a company gives both CEO’s and future employees an unprecedented view into the company and how it operates.

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