On July 26, 2016, Susan Peters, GE's Senior Vice President, Human Resources, sent this email to more than 300,000 GE employees around the world informing them that the long-standing practice of annual reviews is over.
GE ran a pilot with 30,000 employees where managers were giving constant feedback about employee's work though an app called "Performance Development at GE"(PD@GE). Employees were also able to use the app to receive real-time feedback at any time.
GE is not alone in ending the annual review process. LinkedIn, Adobe, Cisco and many others have adopted alternative ways to review their employees.
GE's PD@GE is one of many new initiatives that are positioning the company well to attract and develop Millennial talent.
1. Delivering real-time feedback
The death of annual reviews has created the birth of real-time feedback. Millennials want 50 percent more feedback than other employees.
2. Empowering managers to be coaches
GE managers are still expected to meet with their employees but will now act more like coaches guiding their employees toward the established goals. For a generation that grew up on teams being coached at every turn of their life, Millennials will welcome this new approach.
3. Offering work flexibility
A permissive approach to paid time off was rolled out recently where GE employees can coordinate with their manager to take the time they need to relax and recharge outside of work. Peters mentioned in her email, "you need greater flexibility to create a schedule that works with your life." Eighty-eight percent of Millennials wish they could have greater opportunity to start and finish work at the times they choose.
4. Enhancing parental leave benefits
GE allows 10 weeks of "GE Parental Leave," a "GE Babies" program that offers moms and dads personalized advice from registered maternity nurses, and GE is piloting a new program called "Moms on the Move" that enables traveling U.S. moms who are nursing to ship their milk back home for their baby. All enticing benefits for Millennials who make up a majority of new moms in the workplace.
5. Making development a high priority
GE has cultivated a culture of learning by launching "several new digital learning platforms," expanding the "number of global learning centers," enhancing their leadership courses across 200 locations worldwide, and continuing to invest "$1 billion on employee learning and development every year." Seventy-one percent of Millennials likely to leave a company in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed.