Tailor Employee Evaluations to Each Generation

By September 12, 2015Tips for Employers

As with anything in business, you must keep changing and evolving to stay fresh and current, and the same holds true for employee reviews. Each new generation of employees that enters the workforce is motivated by different factors.

Chances are your workforce is filled with many Generation X employees as well as a growing number of Millennials. To keep them all interested, motivated and dedicated you must understand where they’re coming from, and if you adapt your evaluation techniques, you’re more likely to retain good employees.

Gen Xers were born from 1966 to 1976 and became known as the “latchkey kids” because both parents were working or a single parent raised them. Members of this generation are used to fending for themselves and being self-sufficient. They enjoy opportunities to work independently and make decisions on their own. Millennials were born from 1977 to 1994 and became known as the “trophy kids” because of all the praise they received from parents, coaches and teachers. This group likes to collaborate and they are the most technologically savvy generations.

The motivation for these two generations is different, so remember that they may not excel at the same tasks, and each group works best in different ways. Gen Xers may appreciate a mentorship situation where they have guidance but are still able to use their own resourcefulness to complete projects, whereas millennials are good at multitasking and typically enjoy working in teams.

Evaluations can be used to retain excellent employees by providing goals and incentives, while weeding out employees that may not be meeting company standards. When administering reviews, keep in mind that both groups appreciate feedback, but they like to receive it in different ways. Millennials love to be praised and enjoy their feedback in real time, while Gen Xers may see this as micromanaging.

The best way to communicate with a Millennial is through technology, so you might consider an online evaluation with follow-up. A Gen Xer may appreciate going over a review during lunch together.

Both groups appreciate being able to learn and grow in the workplace and they find great value in doing meaningful work. By tailoring your evaluations to your employees’ individual needs, it will communicate to them that you’re invested in them and their success.