Millennials are the generation born between 1981-1996, and they are the largest generation in the workforce today. This will continue to increase as generation X begins to retire and gen Z enters the workforce. We have already begun seeing millennials take on management roles, which has brought a new type of leadership style. What is this new leadership style we are seeing take over, and what can we expect from millennial management?
Jack of All Trades
When you think of the characteristics that best describe millennials, you may think of change and adaptation. Between 1981-1996 we have experienced advancements in technology that have changed how businesses function. New software and technology are constantly being developed, which means millennials need to learn these new developments to keep up. With two major recessions occurring as millennials were entering the workforce, applicants needed to have a wide variety of skills to be hirable in a tight job market. Only 27% of college graduates are working in the field in which they obtained a degree for, so being adaptable became one of the most important skills to have.
Teamwork Diversity (Skills, abilities, and perspectives)
New managers can use their diverse skill set to manage a variety of jobs. Although they may not be as specialized as the employees they are directing, millennial managers must have the experience needed to fully utilize their team’s skill set. Millennials tend to be less focused on status and more focused on teamwork. Developing a team with diverse skill sets, experiences, backgrounds and ideas is the goal. These skills can vary widely from person to person, and it is part of a manager’s job to improve these skills to make the most well-rounded team possible.
Being a Life Long Self-learner (Online classes, webinars, etc.)
Jobs are being created all the time thanks to new technology. This means that managers may find themselves overseeing a job that didn’t even exist just a few years ago. Luckily, continuing education is more accessible and prevalent then ever before with online classes. Millennial managers should have knowledge over everything that encompasses their department. The ease of online classes, webinars, and lectures has had a huge impact of continued development of workers, including managers.
At the end of the day, the concepts that make a good manager are constant. As a manager you want to be knowledgeable on your subject matter, have experience working in your field, and have the ability to properly motivate your team to produce the highest quality work. Millennials may take a different path than previous generations, but the goal of an effective manager stay the same. For examples of ways to develop your staff, you can read our “How to Promote from Within” series where we highlight employees who have grown within the company.