Millennials in Management

By: Pam Jordan, MCA Trainer

The millennials (born between 1981 and 2000) make up the majority of the workforce in the United States.  Approximately 30% are in managerial positions and the other 70% see themselves in management in the next 5-10 years. So - what does that mean for the workplace?  

Pay close attention to how they manage and lead. They manage more collaboratively and work well in group dynamics.  As they lead work groups, they are looking for a lot more input with the culture and more team thought. They do not micro manage or feel the need to control and therefore promote trust and brainstorming sessions that bring about ideas and a vision that can lead to success for everyone. We will see more blending of professional and personal goals at work because lifestyle is key to the millennial manager.  It is about getting to know their people and understanding their priorities out side of the workplace. 

Flex time has never had more flexibility and this is to accommodate work/life balance to honor individual needs and wants. The millennials leaders focus on results,not chair time. If they can produce the same quality and quantity or work from a remote location, that is OK with the millennial manager.

Regular feedback is critical. The millennials as managers will check in more often and set up touch point sessions constantly. Because this generation has grown up being nurtured, they will nurture the people they lead by using consistent praise, feedback and appreciation of their work and visionary ideas.

Work loyalty has greatly changed in the last 30 years.  Gone are the days that an individual works for one company that trains them, provides health insurance, pension, matches 401Ks, and employs them for years and years.  Since 2008, when so many people were laid off and jobs were hard to find, individuals have taken matters into their own hands by freelancing, contracting, consulting, coaching or running a business. They have learned to put their skills and talent to work for them.  The millennials saw this with their own parents and now look at the workplace differently. This equates to decisions based on millennial values and the impact on the department or team.  

They see “on demand” work which means they only see themselves with an employer for a few years at a time.  Whether they have multiple degrees and experience or a high school diploma and little experience, there is a “demand“ for talent.  Both employers and potential employees see a benefit to “on demand” for two reasons.  The employer may get the best talent out there for awhile with little investment and the employee gets work that is fulfilling and pays the bills. The number of "on demand" workers in the U.S is projected to double to 34% in the next 5 years.

Toss out the old policy and rule book to managing and leading your workforce and step up to the changes that the Millennials (Generation Y) are illustrating. Follow their lead as things will not go back and will only progress forward with the newest generation Z coming onto the workplace scene.  All will be faster and more mobile than ever before.