MILLENNIALS ARE DIFFERENT KIND OF MANAGERS

Work Wanted: Millennials are Different Kind of Managers

In 2014, Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Over the next 5 years, they will grow by 30% to 72 million, while Baby Boomers decline by 28% to 30 million. This large demographic shift will propel Millennials into leadership positions and fundamentally alter the nature of the workplace.  How flexible is your work environment?

 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Virtuali analysis

 

According to Lindsey Pollock, author and self-proclaimed “Millennial Workplace Expert,” the first order of business is to stop labeling them as millennials. Baby Boomers were perhaps the last cohort to take pride in being a cohort; when they raised their children, they instilled a sense of individualism that remains strong. Each millennial thinks of him/herself as an individual, and they don’t believe that you can determine what they need or want as a group.By 2025, a full 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be millennials, and they won’t be the young workers we think of now. They’ll be leading organizations and owning their own companies. If you’ll be in the workforce in seven years, or contracting for their companies, here’s what you need to know about these leaders.

 

Pollack writes, “Millennial individuality started early. They didn’t grow up with teddy bears lovingly selected by parents or grandparents. Instead, they created their own Build-A-Bears.” They created playlists instead of buying CDs. They watch online aggregators of entertainment like Hulu or Netflix rather than take on a cable package. Because they grew up with the Internet, they have had almost every meaningful life experience customized for them.

This means that each worker in this generation expects and plans for an individual and customized career path, one that meets their personal goals and specific skills. They want to create their own titles and try on several roles to see which one fits them best. They thrive in environments where they’re coached, and they work well with more experienced mentors.

Because they value the feedback loop, you can expect millennial managers to give and ask for more feedback that their Gen X peers. This is a group that grew up posting their status for friends’ comments, and posting their own Yelp reviews. Even GoFundMe campaigns, which have been around since 2010, provide feedback on ideas, projects and causes through the number and size of donations. A millennial manager won’t incubate ideas in private and spring them on staff fully formed.

Chip Espinoza has studied millennials in the workplace and written a book called “Millennials Who Manage.” He believes that millennials will create the kind of flexible work environments they crave. A millennial may not require a strict 9 to 5 workday, but he or she may expect you to be connected and reachable all evening, since this generation is used to staying connected to their peers around the clock. In fact, the lines between at work and off duty will be very blurry.

“They don’t mind accessing their work life during their personal life, but they also want to access their personal life during work,” says Espinoza.

Espinoza also predicts that millennial managers will also blur the lines between work and personal relationships. This is a generation that values staying connected and puts people first, according to Espinoza.

 

CANDACE MOODY IS VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR CAREERSOURCE NORTHEAST FLORIDA. HER COLUMN APPEARS EVERY WEDNESDAY IN THE TIMES-UNION AND SHE CAN BE REACHED AT CMOODY@CAREERSOURCENEFL.COM.

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