A recent report at Workforce.com called the traditional annual performance appraisal “outdated.” As Millennials and Gen-X workers seek more frequent feedback on their work—and tips to improve—smart HR directors are seeking alternatives to the traditional appraisal.
How can HR directors keep the different generations motivated—and happy? “Changing the mindset to focus on creating a performance development process rather than a performance management system,” is key, according to the Workforce article. By considering what’s important to each generation, HR directors can tailor assessments and motivation accordingly.
What Keeps Millennials Motivated
Millennials are big-picture-oriented. Knowing they are making a difference is even more important than monetary rewards. Educate millennials on the mission and vision of the company, and show them, specifically, how they contribute.
How to Assess Them – Assessments should be brief, frequent, specific, and action-oriented. Millennials often view their superiors (even C-level execs) as peers and are eager for opportunities to collaborate. Use these times – when they pop their head into your office to share their next great idea – to steer them where you need them to be.
Remember, this is a tech-oriented generation raised on counting their Facebook, and then Instagram, “likes.” Any review should include relevant analytics and constructive suggestions to improve results.
What Keeps Gen-Xers Motivated
If any of the Gen-Xers and Boomers reading this remember New York mayor Ed Koch’s queries of “How am I doing?” to his constituents, that describes Gen-Xers perfectly. They understand the chain-of-command in an office, adhere to it, and want to impress their supervisors.
How to Assess Them – Annual or even quarterly reviews aren’t enough to keep your Gen-X employees engaged. Offer tangible, praise from their superiors at each stage of a project, along with constructive feedback on ways to improve.
What Keeps Baby Boomers Motivated
Boomers are probably your most traditional group in today’s office place. Reward Boomers in tangible ways, with benefits and bonuses, and they will continue to impress you with their hard work and loyalty.
How to Assess Them – Boomers have been getting performance reviews for years and are likely to take them with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, it’s important to offer tangible ways to improve performance rather than focusing on the negative and demoralizing employees, as some of today’s performance reviews tend to do.
What to Avoid In Performance Reviews
As much as the three generations in the workplace are different, they share several common traits. Most notably, employees almost universally find negative feedback unhelpful. Likewise, using the sandwich approach of positive feedback, criticism, and a positive conclusion may seem disingenuous, according to research by Eastern Kentucky University’s Jaime Henning and Texas A&M University’s Stephanie Payne.
Consider replacing performance reviews with more frequent feedback for employees across departments – and across generations – and tying that feedback to tangible rewards for happier, more motivated employees.
Grow and diversify your team: Let CareerCo help!