As the work world braces for the incoming tidal wave of Generation Y employees, psychologists and experts are anxiously attempting to decode how to manage them. Stereotyped as pampered and flakey, the iPod-toting cohort seems arrive at the office with a lengthy list of demands. And while their characteristic job-hopping makes employers nervous, Generation Y's desire for work-life balance and insatiable need for feedback may spur a positive cultural shift.
Providing consistent feedback opens up communication between employees and managers -- and the resulting benefits go both ways. Employees gain a better understanding of where they're succeeding and what requires more attention; managers glean insight into office dynamics and daily work flow. Peer-to-peer feedback can also foster collaboration and steer people out of organizational silos that limit their interaction with fellow employees.
Effective performance feedback systems must overcome communication filters that can disconnect meaning from interpretation. For example, a subordinate may interpret a suggestion for improvement as chastisement. To combat these biases, supervisors and peers must deliver feedback objectively and fairly [source: Garber]. As with reward systems, performance feedback should be treated as a tool of instruction, not punishment.