The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Millennial Managers Face Generational Tension

July 27th, 2017


What’s hot?

A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that millennial managers face a challenge that previous generations didn’t: managing employees who are older than they are.

So what?

Older employees resist taking marching orders from younger individuals because they view younger supervisors as lacking real world experience.  However, millennials can counterbalance this challenge by tapping into their inherent tendency for building strong trusting relationships and their willingness to learn new ways of working.

What to do?

If you are a millennial manager or aspire to be one soon, here are four tips for closing the boss-employee generation gap:

  1. As soon as you assume the role of manager, schedule one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to discuss:
  • Your 2-3 greatest strengths and the employee’s 2-3 greatest strengths
  • The one or two most important things you can learn from each other
  • Your greatest hopes relative to your role
  • The employee’s greatest hope relative to your role
  • Your greatest concern relative to your role
  • The employee’s greatest concern relative to your role
  • The one or two most important things you need from each other

You can hold this kind of a discussion even if you have been in the role for a while.  You can label it as a taking stock discussion.

  1. Quickly get a handle on the organizational mission, strategy and direction.  This will enable you to help each employee connect his or her role to organizational success.
  1. Provide regular feedback (both reinforcing and constructive) to demonstrate your understanding of work processes and procedures and to validate your commitment to employee success.
  1. Gobble up every opportunity to build your leadership expertise books, courses, self-study, getting a mentor, and being a mentor to newer/less experienced

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