You’re going to be a great manager, you just don’t know it yet!
Calling all newly crowned managers in the millennial workforce
With 75.4 million millennials earning paychecks, our generation became the dominant workforce population in 2015. And, we’re set to take over the workforce: In 2025, it’s estimated that millennials will make up 75 percent of employees. While there’s plenty of false stereotypes about millennials, it’s true that we do have different expectations in the workforce.
With the rise of new age management ideals, more millennials will have to learn how to effectively supervise our peers. Many old management tricks and rules don’t apply to millennial supervisors or workers. Making it even more challenging is the realization that technological advancements are also changing how we relate to one another.
So, in your quest to be a better manager, I’m hoping you’ll find something useful from the things I’ve learnt in my professional journey so far.
How to Nurture Growth
Baby Boomers and Generation Xers may have focused predominantly on individual growth, but most millennials were schooled in the arts of personal bests and team building starting in grade school. It’s important that we don’t forget these skills as we start managing. Team collaboration works better when each member of the team knows their manager wants to encourage them to reach their personal bests. We’ll also need to remember that talented team members can be a reflection of our management capabilities, not a threat to our own jobs.
The Art of Giving Feedback
Skip the compliment sandwich when delivering negative feedback. Most millennials I know appreciate a direct approach. We also love plenty of feedback, so as managers, we need to be proactive when offering assessments. In fact, a 2015 survey found that 69 percent of us think that the performance review process is completely flawed. Instead, we want frequent, specific communication that occurs multiple times a day. That means that when we become managers we need to embrace giving S.M.A.R.T. feedback.
How to Stay Approachable
As managers, we need to stay friendly but we can’t become friends with subordinates. Let’s be honest, we’ll always click with some people more than others, so it’s impossible to be equal friends with everyone on the team. Instead, create good working relationships built on a foundation of respect and honesty between you and your direct reports.
When to Encourage Mistakes and Risks
On the whole, we’re a risk-averse generation. So, while we may be great at evaluating the cost of a mistake, we may not see the risks involved in following a worn path. As managers, we need to encourage calculated risks to encourage a learning culture that fosters growth. Plus, once a mistake has been made, we need to learn what we can from the situation and move on to our next objective.
Learn Effective Delegation Techniques
It’s important that we can trust team members to complete work well. To delegate effectively, we’ll need to make sure everyone understands how their part fits into larger company goals. Once everyone feels ownership, we have to make sure that we’re delivering clear instructions paired with accountability.
How to Show Employees We Appreciate Them
It’s not enough to say we appreciate our teams. Instead, we need to cultivate the actions that build good relationships. First, body language is key. We need to make sure we’re making eye contact during discussions and we shouldn’t be multitasking. Second, as managers, we need to reward big and little wins. Third, we need to show team members that we care about their personal growth by encouraging them to learn new skills. And finally, we need to master the art of active listening. This means we need to be compassionate and non-judgmental when we hear ideas and feedback from workers. We also need to spot introverts who may not be comfortable with large team communication and help them be heard.
Managing a team can be terrifying, but also incredibly rewarding when you get it right. There are no definite set of do’s and dont’s that help you get there. What works for me, may not necessarily work for you, given your current context. However, one thing is for sure — in time, we all end up carving out our unique management style and learning what works best for us and our team.
If you have some advice to share or a leadership style that’s worked for you, feel free to pen it down in comments.
Consider these for your next read
As we progress into the 21st century, society is becoming increasingly self-aware of the gender disparities that…blog.flock.com