When evaluating the three generations of workers, you’ll likely notice a couple of common themes. One: the old multiple-page form with many check-the-box measurements does not work anymore. This form, which most of the time was filled out to satisfy HR requirements rather than to get maximum performance from employees, needs to be replaced. You will find employees of all ages (at least the good ones) want be measured by objective criteria. All the generations want feedback! The Millennials want performance reviews multiple times a year, sometimes just by email or text. The GenXers want to receive feedback mainly via email, text or voice mail. Baby Boomers like a face-to-face sit-down meeting.
The second theme that rings true through the generations concerning their evaluations is the need for clearly established goals and the measurable action steps to reach those goals. The Millennials want to know how their goals help the company advance and how the company advancement helps the general population. The GenXers want to know the established goals to help them get the next promotion or raise. The Baby Boomers are very clear-cut when it comes to goals and measurements. Most embrace the measurements system and they want to meet or exceed expectations. Some believe their tenure is enough for them to keep their job, and with them you need to have the discussion regarding what is acceptable performance.
In his book Winning, Jack Welch states that 70% percent of a company’s workers, — regardless of their generation — want to be evaluated. Leadership magazine reports that 1/3 of the American workforce changes jobs every 12 months. My research shows that by giving employees what they want — evaluations — your company can get what it wants: high performers not looking to change jobs!