By Carrie Cavanaugh, Senior Human Resources Consultant
While a lot of attention has been devoted to characteristics of the Millennial as an employee and a consumer, much less has been dedicated to the Millennial as a manager. And yes, our young bright talent is growing up fast.
Older Millennials are now in their mid- to late-30s, an age at which they tend to be entering into management and leadership positions, as they have more industry experience. The values and workstyle that Millennial managers bring to companies will have a noticeable effect on organizational culture and identifying these characteristics can help companies effectively coach the new generation of managers to becoming strong leaders within the organization.
It’s all about teamwork.
The Millennial manager takes a team-centric approach and expects their direct reports to share ideas, collaborate and not be concerned about who gets the credit. Millennials naturally value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others with much more frequency. They are also much more likely to provide daily, in the moment feedback instead of waiting for say annual reviews.
Hierarchy doesn’t matter. Challenging the status quo does.
As is the case with Millennial employees, titles don’t matter to the Millennial manager. They are just as likely to walk into a CEO’s office to chat as they are to sit down with a colleague. The Millennial manager has grown up being included in decisions. The use of first names is the rule and everyone is an equal.
Identifying and challenging the status quo is their reason for being – especially if they identify areas where efficiency can be improved with technology or alternate workflows.
We can build the plane while we’re flying it.
The Millennial manager’s enthusiasm is contagious. When they have an idea, they are likely to run with it, and they expect others to display the same positive attitude.
Managing this and putting them on the right path (quickly) is key to getting the results you want. While they are fast, they can also be going fast in a slightly different direction too.
Millennial managers often have a tremendous amount of confidence and can overcome issues as they come up. For more tenured employees who are used to a more formal way of working, they may have a slightly more difficult time in adjusting to this more unstructured approach. A balance and focused collaboration will help in this instance.
Diversity is a beautiful thing.
The Millennial leader values diversity in all its forms, especially diversity of opinion. They are constantly on the lookout for people with different abilities, different perspectives and different skills. Just as challenging the status quo is viewed as a positive, the Millennial manager wants to capture—and capitalize on—great, unique ideas.
Technology is a part of life.
The Millennial leader grew up with technology. It’s route 1 for Millennials and they don’t know a world without it. Helping millennial leaders to also use other communications including face-to-face communication and picking up the phone, will really help to achieve a well-rounded leader.
Social good is in their DNA.
In addition to being keenly aware of their company’s corporate social responsibility efforts and reputation, the Millennial leader will seek out ways to get their team involved in social causes—and assume that they want to be involved. Their goal is to lead transformation, both inside and outside of the company.
Organizations can help Millennial leaders succeed by providing opportunities for senior managers to serve as mentors. As is the case with teamwork, Millennials have been raised to value the role that coaches, tutors and teachers have played in their lives. This new generation of leaders wants to be shown where they can go, what they can learn, and how their job is integral to the organization.