GenY and the Performance Review
The workforce is changing. Just as a company would adjust its business model to a changing market, organiz
ations must rise to meet the needs of the new kids on the block: Generation Y. One of the biggest questions posed to HR professionals has been, “Can Gen Y handle performance reviews without the sugar coating?” The answer is yes.
Some analysts have dubbed us “trophy kids,” and believe we grew up being rewarded for our endeavors regardless of scale or success. Many believe we cannot handle life in a less-than-adoring work environment. Contrary to popular belief, though, we don’t need our hands held or our egos stroked daily. It’s important for leaders and managers to understand things from our perspective, so they can get the most out of our performance reviews.
Here’s how we see it:
1. We don’t get it. You say performance reviews are important, but they are executed so poorly. Dust off your thinking caps, modernize your reviews, and capitalize on your most valuable asset (your people).
2. Lose the sugar coating. You weren’t the only ones suffering through the recession. Our idealism, though strong, has been tempered. If our performance can improve, give us strong, actionable feedback with measurable goals.
3. Connect with us. Regular feedback doesn’t have to be complicated. If you don’t have an instant messaging client in your office, get one. They’re a great tool for maintaining informal lines of communication (which we love).
4. Positive reinforcement isn’t a bad thing. Whoever demonized trophies should think again. Rewarding good performance can be as simple as an “Atta boy!” or “You go girl!” sent via email--and they go a long way in giving Gen Yers a sense of accomplishment.
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