Performance Reviews – Weigh In, Please

Posted On July 22, 2011

Performance ReviewI was sent an email a few weeks back from Kyle Lagunas asking for my input on performance reviews and their value in today’s workplace. Kyle stated he felt they are a poor use of time considering the needs of the Gen Y workforce and he offered some thoughts for the two of us to debate. My stance was “Kyle, get used to them. The world has already bent over backwards for Gen Y and the performance review is a time honored tradtion. Get over yourself.” He disagrees.

I encouraged him to send me his thoughts that I could post in a blog. His comments are below. Love hear your thoughts:

The workforce is changing, and just as a company would adjust its business model to a changing market, organizations must rise to meet the challenges of managing freshest batch of workers: Generation Y. A big question posed to human resources professionals of late has been, “Can Gen Y handle performance reviews without the sugar coating?” Kyle Lagunas from Software Advice says the answer is yes.

Some analysts have dubbed Gen Y “trophy kids,” and believe we grew up being rewarded for our endeavors regardless of scale or success. Many assert that we cannot handle life in a less-than-adoring work environment. However, contrary to popular belief, we don’t need our hands held or our egos stroked regularly. Though there is some truth to the “trophy kid” complex, leaders and managers need to understand things from a Gen Y perspective before they can get the most out of our performance reviews. offers his own insights into this hot topic.

Here’s how we see it:

1. We don’t get it. Performance reviews are important, but are executed so poorly. Dust off your thinking caps, modernize your reviews, and capitalize on your most valuable asset (your people).

2. Lose the sugar coating. You weren’t the only ones suffering through the recession. Our idealism, though strong, has been tempered. If our performance can improve, give us strong, actionable feedback with measurable goals.

3. Connect with us. Regular feedback doesn’t have to be complicated. If you don’t have an instant messaging client in your office, get one. They’re a great tool for maintaining informal lines of communication (which we love).

4. Positive reinforcement isn’t a bad thing. Whoever demonized trophies should think again. Rewarding good performance can be as simple as an “Atta boy!” or “You go girl!” sent via email–and they go a long way in giving Gen Yers a sense of accomplishment.

To read this article in its entirety, check it out on Software Advice blog:

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