How To Create Performance Reviews To Appeal To Generations

2 min read
Jan 25, 2015

three generations working togetherThere are three generations in the workforce now, and managers are struggling to juggle the preferences of each crowd. So when it comes to performance reviews, things can get a tad messy. The way the whens, hows, and whats get conveyed differ among the generations.

But one thing stands true: 35% of all employees say the feedback they get during performance reviews help them improve their performance and succeed in their role. Here are some tips and tricks you can use when giving feedback to your employees.

Baby Boomers

The oldest out of the three, this generation has already achieved most of their career goals. They also have a more traditional mindset in that employees should compete in the workplace.

So skip the fluff and give them constructive feedback. Show them what they need to work on, and they’ll figure out the rest. Just because they’re close to retirement doesn’t mean they’re not looking to learn. Provide the feedback in a way that shows them it’s a growth opportunity.

Generation X

Ah, the middle child. They’re a blend of traditional Baby Boomers and tech-savvy millennials.

This generation requires constant feedback because that’s what their Baby Boomer parents gave them (goodbye, annual reviews!). They want to see future promotions in front of them, so give them ways to grow and develop.


The young, needy child. This crowd is new to the professional world. And despite being the most educated group, they require guidance.

Millennials respond best to personal attention. They need frequent feedback and training. But with that, they also seek validation that their work is contributing to the success of the company. So during reviews, coach them. Give them goals to work towards, because without any feedback, they’ll keep thinking whatever they’re doing is right.

Even though these generations were raised differently, you don’t need to go out of your way to tailor your performance reviews. Keep in mind that constant feedback, focusing on the positive, and providing developmental opportunities resonate across the board.


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