Gen Z and the Performance Review Process

Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group’s guiding and unifying principle is that leadership exists in and for everyone. It is not reserved for a select few. By 2025, Gen Z will make up 24% of all employees, per LinkedIn, and this percentage will continue to climb well into the future. Therefore, our goal of galvanizing 1,000,000 leaders naturally includes a focus on the 60 million individuals born between 1995 and 2012.

In Mind the Gap, Curated Reads for Gen Z—and Their Curious Colleagues, McKinsey & Company states that, if you are a Gen Z employee, performance reviews are “a good time to take stock and be proud of what you’ve accomplished this year.” They also humorously and assuringly note that, “Your employer hired you for a reason, and if you haven’t set anything on fire, you’re probably doing OK.”

Of course, it’s still only natural to worry about the “dreaded year-end performance review,” especially if you wish to grow with a company long-term. In a 2022 article titled, “All About Gen Z: Preparing Your Workplace Culture for This New Generation of Workers,” Workest disclosed that, “This demographic will not be satisfied with stagnation. They want to accomplish today’s goals with an eye for the future.”

The Positive Side of Performance Reviews

Regular performance reviews “can help companies keep their employees engaged and motivated.” They can also “help employees grow in their careers, particularly if they are looking to eventually advance with the company to a higher role,” as detailed by the Indeed editorial team in 2022. In Addition, “82% (of Gen Z-ers) report wanting help from supervisors to help set and achieve performance goals at work,” according to “WORK/LIFE: Helping Gen Z Flourish and Find Balance,” a study published by the Springtide Research Institute in 2021.

The Importance of Building a Portfolio

Looking Forward Lab is a learning and development company designed to serve as the “go to” hub for innovative workforce and professional development solutions for Gen Z and the hiring managers welcoming them into their early career workplaces. Founder and CEO, Tammy Dowley-Blackman, notes that “At Looking Forward Lab, we are always thinking about what is going to be the most helpful to those who are the newest entrants into the workforce. And one of the things we know is incredibly important to focus on, early on, is building a portfolio.”

According to Tammy, “Only you can ensure you get the mix of assignments that you must complete but also that you like to be a part of.” A portfolio can help you to “start thinking creatively about what else you might like to be involved in.” However, “Many of us jump in, we’re so excited, we’re doing great work, and then we finish and move right to the next thing without taking the time to account for, and detail, the work we did,” And unfortunately, it can be difficult to remember what you accomplished a month ago, let alone six or eight months ago.

When building a portfolio, Tammy encourages Gen Z to “really take the time to track the work they’ve done,” consistently and in a timely manner. It can be an invaluable opportunity to showcase the teams you were part of, share learning and outcomes, and provide insight about the work you performed on the project. With a strong portfolio, a Gen Z professional increases their chance to be recognized for their contributions during their performance review.

For more tips on how Gen Z can prepare for a performance review, including seeking career advice through mentorship and quantifying what you have done right, read McKinsey & Company’s Mind the Gap. To learn more about Looking Forward Lab’s in-person and virtual programming to help Gen Z, and how we can help you competitively prepare and perform in the workplace, visit our website or contact us today!

Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm; Looking Forward Lab, a learning and development company focused on Gen Z, which partners with corporations and higher education systems to offer a full-service learning engagement model that delivers workforce development solutions; and Cooper + Lowe, an incubator for women interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship and thought leadership using the tools of a company that has successfully scaled.

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