Whether it’s giving or receiving negative feedback or talking about a promotion or raise, there’s a lot on the line during performance reviews. It can be especially difficult when you’re not sure what to expect during the review.
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In a survey of Millennial office workers, 74% of respondents said they feel “in the dark” about how their managers and peers perceive their work performance. The survey also found that 62% of Millennial workers have felt blindsided by a performance review.
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These numbers are especially important considering that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force according to Pew Research, with three million more workers than Generation X and 15 million more than the Baby Boomer generation.
As Millennials continue to take on a larger role in the workforce, how can they—and their Gen X and Baby Boomer colleagues—reduce anxiety related to performance reviews? And what can organizations do to help? Here are three ideas:
Ask for Feedback
Nearly 85% of Millennials surveyed said they would feel more confident if they could have more frequent performance conversations with managers. And nearly three-quarters of employees in the Growth Divide survey say they would be more proactive about voicing concerns if they received more frequent feedback.
The easiest way to get that conversation started is simply to ask your manager for feedback—regularly, throughout the year, and not just during reviews. It demonstrates initiative and a commitment to growth. And the more frequently these check-in conversations occur, the less uncertain (and anxious) you’ll feel when it comes time for your review.
Know the format of the review. If you want to discuss a promotion or raise, have a target in mind with compelling talking points to support your case. Make a list of accomplishments and positive feedback that you’ve received. Also, take time to self-reflect and identify weaknesses, so you won’t be blindsided by negative feedback. Preparation is the best way to eliminate nervousness.
Utilize Performance Management Software
The good news is that in the same Millennial survey, nearly 70% of respondents said they feel confident that the review process can help them develop and grow professionally.
Organizations can help the cause by providing employees and managers with performance management software. Reflektive’s easy-to-use goal-setting, check-in, and real-time feedback tools allow users to save, categorize, track, and view performance-related information throughout the year. This not only provides employees a better idea of how they’re performing, but also gives them an opportunity to share input about the company and recognize the work of their peers. And putting all this information at users’ fingertips makes it significantly easier to prepare for reviews.
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