Millennials Move Into Management
With the first group of millennials entering their mid-thirties, there are more members of this generation in the workforce than ever before. Gone are the days of 20-somethings taking on entry level starter jobs; the millennial climb into management has begun.
Millennials in management roles are no longer a new phenomenon. A recent survey found that 83% of respondents had seen millennial managers in their office, but nearly half (45%) of older workers believed these managers could reflect poorly on company culture. What can employers do to prepare their teams for a more blended group of managers and management styles? Here are some tips:
Set Your Team Up For Success
Some employees will easily adjust to having a younger manager, but others may struggle and butt heads— leading to internal conflict. When picking work or project teams, consider how personalities will mesh.
While millennials may manage their peers well without too much guidance, some may not have the experience in leading a team with multiple generations. Take the time to sit down with younger managers and lay out clear expectations for the team. Additionally, millennial managers should take the time to learn more about the people working for them and get a strong understanding of preferred communication styles, personality traits, and the skills that each person can bring to the table. This approach can go a long way in helping more seasoned employees feel heard and appreciated.
Tap Into Knowledge
Older workers may feel that younger managers are bulldozing past institutional knowledge for newer (and often more tech savvy) ways of doing things. Ensure that younger managers are tapping into the insights that more mature workers can offer. A great way to achieve this is through brainstorms, transfer-of-knowledge downloads, or the development of recommendations that rely heavily on organizational history.
Anticipate Different Management Styles
Each manager has his or her own preferences when it comes to leading a team, but there are some key qualities that many millennial managers are making part of their leadership style. An inclusive team structure is one of these areas. Many younger managers are opting to put aside strict hierarchies and clear-cut responsibility lists for more lateral teams where input is welcomed at all levels and work styles are more collaborative, allowing all team members to weigh in.
Another area where millennial mangers are making their mark is the blurred line between personal and professional responsibilities. As a generation that has spent their adult (and professional) life plugged in, this often is reflected in their management approach. Need to spend the morning taking care of personal matters? Totally fine as long as deadlines are being met and team members are easily reachable. While this may come as a shock to those used to a more structured way of working, the majority of employees grow to appreciate the space and trust that comes along with this approach.
The leap into management can be a tricky one—regardless of age. By taking the time to prepare your team of millennials moving into management, you can ensure that your organization is ready for the next generation of leaders.