When Millennials Become Managers
By Mark Heymann Chairman & CEO, Unifocus | August 13, 2017
Since millennials became the majority generation in the workforce in 2015 – and are on track to represent more than 50 percent by 2018, there has been a great deal of discussion around the challenges the generational divide poses to the boomers and Gen Xers who manage this younger cohort. Studies have scrutinized how millennials’ priorities differ from those of their seniors in the workplace. They point to the millennials’ desire for flexible scheduling as they strive for greater work-life balance.
Managers accustomed to playing it close to the vest are having to learn to share more information with their teams to suit the millennials’ need to understand how their role impacts the organization and the community as a whole. And they are having to adjust their managerial style from a traditional top-down approach to more of a coaching role, eschewing formal annual reviews for more frequent feedback opportunities to help their millennial workers improve personal performance.
Now, as they become more deeply established in the workplace, millennials will begin to move into managerial roles themselves. And in doing so, they will find themselves in the unique position of overseeing an age-diverse workforce that spans four – and sometimes five – generations.
The 5G Workplace
An increase in the average retirement age and in life expectancy means a larger number of older Americans continue to work. While these are primarily boomers, there are still some traditionalists, also known as the silent generation, in the mix. On the other end of the spectrum, the vanguard of Generation Z has made its entry. With its oldest members currently around 24 years old, Gen Z will represent as much as 20 percent of U.S. workers by 2020.
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