3 Tips for Grooming Millennial Managers for Success
Millennials are already the largest working demographic, yet 85 percent of current managers say that the next generation of managers is not yet ready to lead. Today’s talent teams are challenged to groom a new wave of leaders who subscribe to an entirely new code of management philosophies.
Here’s what HR teams need to know about Millennial managers:
They abhor the word “boss.” Most Millennials prefer to use the word “manager,” and even more forward-thinking orgs are replacing that with “team leader” or “coach.” The idea that a manager’s sole responsibility is to simply delegate tasks down the chain of command is antiquated (Lumbergh from “Office Space” comes to mind). Millennial managers want to develop their employees and recognize the inherent value of strong team dynamics and culture.
So, now what? Provide managers with resources and trainings around becoming a better “career coach.” Internalize the importance of developing talent at the team level and communicate best practices for growing and nurturing team members over time.
They want data around soft skills. Many companies are implementing emotional intelligence (EQ) training to help managers better lead teams with disparate personalities. DiSC training or Myers-Briggs exams are also popular, serving to help leaders develop more flexible leadership styles. Still, while setting concrete performance goals around “hard” skills is fairly easy (e.g. increase open rate by 10 percent), not surprisingly, it’s much more difficult to gauge improvements around “soft” skills, such as improving collaboration.
So, now what? Enable managers with technology that will allow them to track their soft skills over time and leverage that data in their own performance reviews. Since organizations can become easily inundated with tools and technologies, ensure that whatever you employ integrates across already adopted platforms such as Gmail, Slack and Microsoft Office.
They want more direct lines of communication with teams. Traditional organizations hold once or twice-a-year reviews in which managers and team members check in on progress candidly discuss challenges and opportunities. Millennial managers, the first digitally-empowered and always-on generation, want a more ongoing conversations with their teams.
In Slack-enabled office environments, managers are looking to technology to help them bridge the communication gap with employees – capturing insight into things like work-life balance and proving to team members that their voice is valued and can inspire action. “From Silicon Valley to New York, and in offices across the world, firms are replacing annual reviews with frequent, informal check-ins between managers and employees,” writes the Harvard Business Review.
So, now what? Encourage managers to host more frequent and iterative conversations with teams around long-term team goals (vision) and personal career goals. Provide managers with the resources needed to identify macro-trends and implement changes at the team level to show employees that their voices are valued.