Each generation brings a new approach to the art of management. Generation Y — more commonly called the Millennial generation — is no different.
In the last year, Millennials have become the largest segment of the U.S. population and now represent the largest portion of the U.S. workforce. They are on their way to becoming the biggest force in management today. So, what exactly do people ages 19 to 35 bring to the world of management? Here are a few trends:
A shift in measuring employee performance. Research shows that Millennial managers are more likely to measure employee performance not by how many hours are spent in the office but by key performance metrics and hard data. This age group definitely embraces the idea of work-life balance and the ‘work smarter, not harder’ mantra. As a group, Millennials also are much more open to flexible working arrangements — including telecommuting — than older managers.
An understanding of Millennial workers. Millennial managers know that their age group loves feedback and often has a higher need for praise than older workers. Frequent feedback — focusing first on what the employee is doing right before doling out any criticism — is a key management approach.
Technology savvy. Millennials are significantly more tech-savvy than their older counterparts, both as innovators and consumers. Millennials are the only generation to have grown up with social media. Once considered fun and games, social media is now a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Millennials know the ins and outs of just about every social platform.
Enthusiasm. Studies show that Millennials are more enthusiastic about their jobs than are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. When leaders are enthusiastic, it instills a positive workplace culture that trickles down to the entire staff.