CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 19, 2016
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Why You Should Stop Having Annual Performance Reviews

It a long-standing tradition in the workplace for employees to meet with their manager at the end of the year to receive a review of their overall work performance and to set new targets for the upcoming year.

See Also: Importance of Setting Professional Goals and Targets

But, everyone hates annual performance reviews, and why wouldn’t they? Sitting with your manager to discuss where you’ve gone wrong –because let’s face it, that’s what annual performance reviews are really for - is not only stressful, it’s also counter-productive. Our ego can suffer from the blow for quite a while and this makes us unable to get back into our normal work flow.

How Millennials Feel About Performance Reviews

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the workforce, this means that if millennials are underperforming the entire workforce is underperforming which is why employers should be listening to what they like and don’t like in the workplace.

Research has found that roughly 62 percent of millennials hate performance reviews. And they don’t just hate them, they often feel blind-sighted by them. This means that performance reviews are actually getting in the way of employees performing well at work.

Why Performance Reviews Are Falling Short

There was a time when employees would look up to their managers as the source of all knowledge. Things are much different now as millennials are well-aware that their managers do not hold the Holy Grail of all information and with the internet at their fingertips, they know that they can research and second-guess their managers at any given moment.

Therefore, millennials no longer look up to their managers for answers, they look to them for guidance and annual performance reviews fail to provide this guidance. When someone is told that they are doing something wrong, it’s never received well. On the contrary, employees fail to feel backed up by their manager and they don’t feel safe enough to take risks and be their most creative selves in the workplace.

Millennials Require Frequent Feedback

That’s not to say that the positive effects of feedback are lost on millennials. In fact, most millennials appreciate frequent feedback. It’s been found that a lack of frequent feedback stresses millennials out which in its turn makes them mistrust their manager during their performance review.

Millennials are all about communication and openness in the workplace and meeting with their manager once a year to discuss their performance does not make for a lot of openness in the workplace. In fact, 47 percent of millennials have said that after a negative performance review they feel unable to get anything right.

The Negative Effects of Annual Performance Reviews

Annual performance reviews do not simply have a negative impact on the professional development of employees; they also cause mistrust which forces employees to go looking for greener pastures. 15 percent of millennials who received a bad performance review have cried about it, and almost 30 percent has started looking for a new job.

See Also: How to Ask for Feedback after a Job Rejection

Millennials are a generation who’s interested to know how they are doing but only if it’s done in the right way, and the right way to do it is by having frequent discussions about performance. During these feedback conversations dialogue should be encouraged and nobody should be penalised for missteps.

Are you a millenial? How do you feel about annual performance reviews? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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