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By May 9, 2017No Comments

A recent survey produced by HR services provider, TriNet, reveals the negative impacts of poorly designed performance reviews on working Millennials. That generation’s reactions to performance reviews range from anger to crying (seriously, 15 percent of respondents said they cried following their review) and some (28 percent) to begin a job search. While performance reviews are widely accepted, the survey confirms that organizations need to radically change their process for sharing feedback in order to retain top talent and stay competitive in today’s job market, especially with the younger workforce.

“Companies need to [encourage] Millennials to step up and lead. We’ve seen innovation in so many other areas of business but our approach to performance reviews still needs to be overhauled. Done well, they optimize performance so that workers can grow into leaders. Done poorly, they can be the catalyst for good employees to leave,” said Rob Hernandez, Product Manager for TriNet.

As large, well-known, organizations like Accenture, Adobe and Gap eliminate the traditional performance review, the process is increasingly coming under evaluation and more organizations need to take notice. The TriNet study conducted by Wakefield Research found that Millennials are hit hard by infrequent feedback often inherent in traditional performance review processes. Specific findings include:

  • Negative impact on professional growth
    • 62 percent of Millennials have felt “blindsided” by a performance review.
    • 74 percent frequently feel “in the dark” about how their managers and peers think they’re performing at work.
    • Nearly half (47 percent) feel that receiving a performance review makes them feel like they can’t do anything right.
  • Anxiety and mistrust – Infrequent performance discussions can be overwhelming and cause employees not to trust the accuracy of the review.
    • Nearly one in four (22 percent) have called in sick because they were anxious about receiving their review.
    • More than half (59 percent) frequently feel their manager is unprepared to give feedback during performance reviews.
  • Poor company morale and talent retention – more than half (57 percent) of Millennials have reacted to a performance review by:
    • 28 percent looked for a new job.
    • 35 percent complained to coworkers.
    • 15 percent have cursed.
    • and 15 percent have cried.

While 69 percent of Millennials, see their organization’s review process as flawed, they also depend on it for their professional growth and development. As a better option, nearly nine out of 10 (85 percent) would feel more confident in their current position if they could have more frequent performance conversations with their manager. Updates employees would like to see include:

  • More specific feedback, as 40 percent feel their current feedback is too vague.
  • An open dialogue, given that 32 percent dislike when reviews don’t allow employees to share thoughts on their own performance.
  • Regular, ongoing feedback, as 32 percent feel that reviews replace regular feedback.
  • Fair, unbiased feedback to mitigate against the 31 percent who feel their feedback is biased or unfair.


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