Millennial Managers face many challenges in the workplace today!
How are these millennial managers and bosses shape the culture of a company? Is there a guide for successful management?
It’s embarrassing enough getting a speeding ticket, but imagine my embarrassment when I rolled down the window. I took a look at the officer and blurted out: “You’re not old enough to have a driver’s license much less write me a ticket!”
As she wrote me the ticket it dawned on me that I was guilty of something that many of my baby boomer parent’s friends are guilty of. They have this frozen picture of me in their mind as a kid. The idea that I am an adult, live on my own and have a job – they struggle with that.
Many of us have similar thoughts about Millennials.
The oldest millennial was born in 1981. That makes them about 37 years old. When I was 37, I already had a divorce under my belt!
So this idea that they are still new to the workplace, they’re just out of school, that’s really outdated.
Challenges Millennials Face in the Workplace
Millennials are facing the challenge that many of us didn’t face at that age. Managing people that are considerably older than they are! The teams that these millennial managers are leading are all ages.
The older people distrust Millennials because they do not feel the Millennials have real-world experience. That lack of trust from older employees can be a roadblock to success and building strong work relationships.
Millennial Management Style
I interviewed a millennial manager and I asked him how he dealt with these issues. He said that when he joins a new team, he just treads really carefully at first. No need to go in with guns blazing talking about change.
He takes time to get to know the team members and he’s upfront with them. He states the obvious – that he’s younger than them, and that they most probably have more experience than he does. When issues arise, he asks them how they’d handle this problem.
Millennial Managers in the Workplace
You have to keep in mind if you are a Millennial that some of your older employees will look to you to demonstrate traits that they find are important in a good leader. And some of those traits may seem somewhat traditional to you, such as coming in early, staying late, working from the office etc.
Those are traits that baby boomers and Gen Xers associate with hard-working leaders.
According to a Deloitte survey, Millennials want to make a difference and they want to challenge the old ways of doing things.
As more millennials become leaders and managers, they will continue to challenge and change corporate culture. Not only the culture but rules and policies that older employees have always perceived as untouchable. Policies like dress code, time off, personal time, and working from home. And when that happens, I encourage older employees to not take it personally.
As one millennial manager said to me: “When I make a change, I’m challenging the process, not the person!”
No matter what generation we belong to, we all benefit from strong leaders. Leaders who see opportunity. Leaders who encourage us to grow. Ones who support us even when our ideas are not successful.
It’s good leaders from every generation – that’s how we’re going to work and live successfully as one.