Performance reviews mean different things to different generations. As such, good questions to ask during a performance review would, I’d offer, vary depending on the person’s generation.
Boomers, for example, tend to be workaholics slightly obsessed with purpose, meaning, vision and calling. They’re going to be wanting more feedback about opportunities for leaving a greater legacy, ways they can be more aligned with (or directing of) a company’s mission and values.
Xers are your classic “natural-born entrepreneurs,” and as such will be looking for feedback on how effectively their bosses believe their work is contributing to the bottom line of the company. Equally important, they may want some additional compensation for shaving expenses, opening a new market or cutting out a middleman. Xers tend to be very turned off by behavior-based performance evaluations and feel “I did my job, and well. We’re good, right?”
Risk-averse Millennials feel extraordinary pressure to succeed but have a challenge being the younger adults in a workforce with risk-taking, self-initiating Xers and Boomers as supervisors and company leaders. Millennials should always be asking questions about how best to get to the next notch in their career paths, what steps they should take to move up and how they can do a better job to have greater career potential within the organization. (Most of them want just a couple/few employers over the course of their life and would like to know they have a bright future at your company.) As well, Millennials should ask for more concretely defined tasks and projects, additional rounds of feedback and opportunities to go above and beyond their stated job requirements.
A blindspot for Millennials tends to be soft skills. They often don’t know basic aspects of work culture that Boomers and Xers know but flaunt. Asking for feedback (and remediation) on their attire, their writing skills and communication skills may help them as well.