What makes Gen Y better at managing and retaining their fellow Millennials?
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Millennials now make up the majority (>35%) of the American workforce. This number will only continue to grow over the next 15 years, and it’s anticipated that, by 2030, they will make up 75% of all workers. With more and more Gen Y-ers shifting into leadership roles, I wanted to address something that I truly believe: Millennials are better at managing and retaining Millennials.
I know many of my predecessors might disagree with me here, and as a late-stage Millennial myself I can see where some could say I’m biased. However, after having held multiple leadership positions and working with countless different organizations through DAVIS, I feel confident in my assessment.
Here are the Top 5 Reasons Why Millennials Make Better Managers (of Millennials):
Collaboration & Mentorship
Millennials’ working styles vary greatly from previous generations in that they look to their bosses as mentors rather than authoritarian figures. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their skillset or position within an organization. One of my mid-managers said it best when he said, “If we don’t feel like we’re moving forwards (in terms of personal and professional growth), it almost feels like we’re moving backwards.”
From the other side of the table, Gen Y managers seek to be democratic collaborators who lead their team to accomplish a mission. They recognize that developing their employees’ skills is critical to the growth of any team, and seek personal improvement themselves. In short, Millennial managers are better able to relate to their subordinates’ desire for growth because they want to empower others to succeed.
Innovations in tech have never been advancing as quickly as they are now, and Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters than other generations. This transcends their personal lives, and they seek out the latest and greatest products to make their work, company and skills as efficient and cutting edge as possible. In my experiences, Millennial leaders are more likely to make an investment in new technology to meet the work styles of their team and stay current.
Gen Y values leadership reflected by transparency and inclusiveness. After growing up through multiple recessions and seeing very public corporate corruption scandals, they desire transparency from both a management level and organizational level. As Gen Y continues to shift into management positions, organizations are becoming more transparent than ever, which is a great thing for all.
Most Millennials feel as though their leadership skills have not been fully developed by their employer, so when they are finally given an opportunity, they are eager to prove their worth. This energy and effort becomes contagious and will be passed on throughout the team as the new manager leads with a purpose.
Sweat Equity vs. Work-life Balance
Millennial leaders knew the struggle it took to earn their position, and recognize the importance of performance-based promotion over tenure or hierarchy. One thing that all Millennials want is a strong work-life balance that accommodates flexibility in their work schedule. As opposed to the strict 9-5, nose-to-the-grindstone style of earlier generations, Gen Y managers value quality of accomplishments as they relate to team and company successes.
For more insights on how to best attract, engage, and retain Gen Y in the workforce, download our latest ebook, A Millennials’ Perspective on Millennials.