Posted August 15, 2020 by Mark Perna
62% of Millennials have direct reports. So how is the responsibility treating them? Mark’s article, “Under New Management: Millennials As Successful Managers,” published at Forbes.com on August 11, 2020.
More and more Millennials are now moving into management roles, with 62% of Millennial workers saying they have direct reports, according to a recent Zapier survey. What’s more, a Future Workplace study shows that not only are Millennials managing their Millennial and Gen-Z peers, they’re also managing Gen-X and Baby Boomer professionals. So how are they changing the workplace?
Perhaps more than any other generation before them, Millennials bring their own individual ethic to management. Millennial managers rank personal values and morals as the most influential factor in their decision-making process.Perhaps more than any other generation before them, Millennials bring their own individual ethic to management. Click To Tweet
Their reasons for moving into management vary, with a majority (61%) taking a management position because it was the only way to advance their career or get a raise. Others (46%) either wanted more responsibility or were passionate about the work. Twenty-seven percent were inspired to pursue a managerial role by a previous supervisor. And 13% accepted the role because there was no one else qualified for the position.
As managers, Millennials tend to lead collaboratively. Team-oriented like the Boomers, they take that trait further, rejecting a “command and control” management style. Millennials appreciate frequent touchpoints from their own managers, and they assume that their teams want the same.
Having grown up being told that they were unique, special and important, Millennials seek to empower their employees. Seventy-five percent say successful businesses allow flexibility instead of forcing employees to adhere to a rigid workday. Further, 74 percent believe companies should support employees outside of work.
At the same time, a majority of Millennials believe that individuals, not employers, should be responsible for keeping their skills current and mastering new tools and developments within their industry. In contrast, 90% of Baby Boomers believe it’s the employer’s responsibility to reskill their workers.
Unlike the Boomers, for whom advancement and compensation were primary goals, Millennials generally feel that making money is secondary to the larger goal of purpose and vision. They want their professional lives to make a difference in the world, beyond just the paycheck.
As promising as Millennial managers may be, their strengths come with some potential weaknesses. Highly collaborative, team-oriented leadership that seeks consensus on almost every decision can lead some young managers to select team members based on likability rather than just plain ability. Effective conflict resolution can also be an Achilles heel, making hard conversations that much harder. And though they appreciate frequent feedback and seek to provide it to their teams, it can be tough to rock the boat by addressing performance issues.
And of course, now there’s the challenge of a newly remote workforce. Though all working generations are reporting that working from home can be tough, Millennial employees especially—managers and employees alike, presumably—are struggling with the abrupt transition.
Millennial managers must see the new remote workplace as an opportunity for personal and team growth, both of which are goals they applaud. Growth is never easy, but is necessary for both individuals and companies to move forward. Effectively leading both themselves and others through these uncertain times is a tall order—but Millennial managers are up to the challenge.Growth is never easy, but is necessary for both individuals and companies to move forward. Click To Tweet