As Gen Y enters the workforce and gradually takes over managerial positions, there are many things to expect from this new group of employees who think about work like no other generation before. Research centers are very interested in Millennial professional culture and regularly conduct studies and surveys to understand the reasons for and motivation behind Millennials’ actions and goals.
One interesting survey has recently been released by PwC. It suggests that the Millennial generation will completely ‘reshape’ the workplace. But what does that mean for management as we know it? Here are 7 essential ways in which Millennials are predicted to change leadership culture and bring in a wave of new employee engagement techniques.
1. Strongly result-oriented
Millennial leaders won’t be interested in the number of hours employees spend in the office. Rather, they will give workers as much flexibility as they can as long as they really do their job. Millennial managers will develop results-only work environments (ROWE) where they will evaluate performance, not presence.
In a couple of years, we’ll see more enterprises introducing flexible working schedules. Employees will have full freedom to work wherever and whenever they like, provided their work is done when needed. In addition, managers won’t be interested in overseeing Millennials’ work, giving them Carte Blanche to operate as they see fit.
Promising a more efficient use of time, ROWE is an option for the future. Naturally, not every industry allows for this type of flexibility. The sectors which rely on the physical presence of employees won’t benefit from this leadership trend. For the rest, Millennial managers will deploy their workplace strategies and ensure that employees are comfortable and get perks such as unlimited paid vacation time.
2. Radical shift in communication
Millennial leaders won’t be caught dead hosting a long and unproductive meeting. They value time and won’t waste it on activities which bring no measurable results. They’ll be very careful about communication and make sure that organizations use anything from emails to instant messaging or video conferencing to accomplish their critical goals in a timely manner.
Gen Y managers will be open to embrace any type of communication tool as long as it helps teams to efficiently collaborate. Social networks and instant messaging tools like Slack will invade the workplace of the future also because many employees will be telecommuting. Millennial leaders will manage their dispersed teams with such tools and make sure that communication is seamless, workflow isn’t interrupted and productivity increases along the development of a project.
3. Productivity measurement takes on a new form
Where traditional leaders would rely on annual performance reviews and strict working hours, Millennial leaders will choose other ways to measure their employee’s productivity. They’ll be busy identifying that key set of metrics that help to measure and gradually increase employee productivity.
This is another reason why Gen Y managers won’t be interested in the number of hours employees spend at their desks. Their result-oriented attitude will only help them to develop frequent feedback systems and performance indicators to make sure that project deadlines are met and the development process is seamless and hassle-free.
4. No more talk about work-life balance
When it comes to work-life balance, no other generation understands it like Millennials do. Where their parents saw a strict boundary, Gen Y sees a blurred line. Technology only adds to this tendency – the proliferation of mobile devices allows employees to keep in touch at all times and efficiently work on the go.
In Millennial-style management, work and life are perfectly blended together. Working from home or cafe on laptops or mobile devices is a new normal. Millennial leaders won’t enforce a strict 9 to 5 policy because they know that employees can be connected at all times.
This sense of flexibility has a social reason as well. Millennials lead much more complex family lives – as they’re raising kids, they also need to take care of their aging baby boomer parents who struggle to find comfortable and long-term care spaces. That’s why they’re used to being available under mobile devices at all times and will expect the same from their employees.
5. Bringing power to employees
Millennial managers will empower employees and bring in a fresh wave of employee engagement. They’ll enthusiastically support employees and help them to move their careers forward. Millennials will be dedicated to finding and engaging talents. They’re likely to improve workplace rules rather than maintaining status quo and hoping that talented employees will stay with them.
Expect Millennial leaders to challenge traditions and habits, experiment with new processes, dare to think differently and constantly optimize employee activities. They’ll encourage employees to think outside the box as well. Millennial managers will sponsor employees and make sure they get to meet the right people and be exposed to growth opportunities. Investing in people, Gen Y executives will drive sector innovation and in the process deliver quality work to their organizations.
6. Focus on professional relationships
Another key feature of Millennial-style management will be a new interest in emotional intelligence, which has been overlooked by previous generations who valued hard skills. Gen Y leaders will focus on building relationships. They are rational, but willing to put people first. More often than not, these relationships will continue after hours – after all, Millennial managers believe that they’re creating a real value and they’re passionate about sharing the journey with other people.
These mangers will know that the entire value of their product relies on their team. That’s why they’ll be willing to use employees for promoting the product and show what kind of an awesome steam stands behind it. Behind-the-scenes videos and images will be frequently used to share and promote company culture.
7. Regular feedback delivery
This feature of Millennial management style is bound to boost employee engagement at any organization. Millennials like feedback, both giving and receiving it. As managers, they’ll be determined to deliver instant and effective feedback. As a result, they’ll aim to improve in real-time and help employees to create an efficient workflow. Millennial approach to micromanagement can be varied, but they’re likely to give maximum responsibility to employees – that’s why they’ll focus on delivering regular feedback to them, instead of relying on annual reviews.
Millennials will also be open to receiving feedback about their management as well. After all, what they really care about is the product, not their status. They want to become better at their jobs, and they want to support employees as best they can.
Motivation will be an important part of Millennial management. Leaders will use gamified platforms like Work.com and WorkSimple to boost employee productivity and spice up the daily life in the office. They’ll be ready to recognize and reward the most talented employees with special points that can be exchanged for gift cards or attractive technological devices.
Millennial managers will change the workplace as we know it, bringing a new focus on employee engagement in their result-oriented organization of office life. Millennials are just about to impact the reality of every workplace, so prepare yourself and make the most from these cultural changes introduced by this new generation of passionate employers and employees.
About the author: Kate Bones is a blogger and one of the masterminds behind Checkdirector.co.uk. In the early stages of establishing her business Kate had to quickly increase her knowledge about managing employees, marketing products and dealing with customers – the knowledge which she now shares through blogging.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net