As a generation, millennials are educated, informed, efficient, and talented. They are known to work well with Generation X and other millennials. And when it comes to leadership, the majority of these millennials have a unique perspective and a new set of rules.
For starters, millennials are highly adaptable. They have a knack of coming up with solutions with a fast mindset and fierce determination. They are a socially aware generation who want to have a good life while making a difference in the world.
Millennials and the Workplace
By 2025, millennials are going to dominate the workforce. They are set to become the largest employee demographics in the coming years. The 21st century workplace needs millennials and their traits for the business.
Nearly 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, and millennials are going to take up the leadership roles sooner than their ancestors.
There are currently 70 million millennials who are becoming a force to be reckoned with. The 50 million gen Xers are not at the age of filling the available positions.
Recent reports suggest that a large number of women and millennials are working in leadership positions, which implies that millennials are compatible with business needs.
Many millennials have little or no tolerance for inefficiency. They tend to be flexible, collaborative, and independent beings. The age-old custom that requires the new workforce to abide by the rules of the older generation has become a thing of the past.
Millennials in a Leadership Role
Millennials have refuted the idea of a statistic worker who simply comes to the workplace to complete the work hours and leave.
They are taking this methodology with them as they take up leadership roles. How are they going to change leadership? Well, the most noteworthy change is going to be how most of us view leadership in general.
The emerging trend in leadership is managers directing their team rather than commanding them. A boss is no longer a dictator. This new generation prefers the term leader instead of a boss.
A Virtuali and Work Place Trends survey revealed that 91% of respondents want to lead. And 50% of them view leadership as the empowerment of others. More than half said that they have the needed leadership skills for building relationships and communication.
Millennials approach leadership in an entirely different manner than their predecessors. They have different expectations from the leaders they work with. They want direct connections with leadership straight up to the management.
They have a strong belief that everyone in the company, no matter their designation, should be accessible. The leadership method should be linear, which assists substantially in building loyalty, trust, and dedication in employees. They place a high value on open workplaces and disregard company hierarchy to an extent.
For them, an ideal workplace is one where everyone can speak their mind, no matter their designation. Their goal is to create inclusive workplaces where communication and decision-making is highly collaborative.
They consult everyone, be it their peers, advisors, or mentors. With networking being their best traits, they talk to their trusted group or take a vote of opinion.
Whether millennials react to the current leadership methods or seek to become an influential leader themselves one day, millennials are bringing forth a wave of change to conventional leadership.
1. Quick to Question Policies
Millennial leaders expect both leaders and employees to examine and adjust policies that no longer add quality or value to the business. They are willing to comply with only those which they find beneficial for the business and the employees.
Millennials are questioners. If they don’t understand the policies, they will ask questions and challenge them. Compared to their predecessors, millennials are more willing to make changes. Millennial employees expect their leaders to examine and adjust the policies for the betterment of the business.
2. Standards Regarding Leadership
If the leadership fails to meet a millennial’s needs and expectations, they will likely quit.
As the number of millennials in organizations is increasing, it is leading to a change in leadership. And they have a different perspective on leadership training.
Millennials who wish to become the leaders of tomorrow aren’t only aware of their best and worst traits. They also know how to improve themselves and their skills. The survey mentioned above reveals that this generation of leaders find ways to develop their careers via a mix of online training and mentorship programs.
3. Seek to Empower and Transform
Millennials perform best when they feel empowered to make decisions.
So, they fully embrace empowerment as they enter leadership positions. Such decisions benefit both the business and the consumer.
4. Follow a Flat Management Structure
For millennials, the flat management structure has an appeal for two main reasons. The first one is that as an employee, the idea of having to navigate through the multiple layers of management to do their work is distasteful to them. And second, as leaders of the future, they value an organization where the movement is not only upwards.
When a business adopts a flat management structure, it boosts communication, while helping with career development both laterally and upward.
Millennials find formal hierarchies limiting. Individuals can learn, grow, and explore in a flat management structure by following unconventional career paths.
According to 75% of millennials, a successful business should be flexible in the face of a volatile working environment. When leaders collaborate across flat hierarchies, they become familiar with the different challenges their employees face. They can use this experience in making sound decisions.
5. Receiving Feedback From Everyone
As employees, millennials value those leaders who seek feedback from all employees. This stems from their desire to lead and work in the companies that follow a flat management structure.
For them, the task of making decisions should not rely on the experiences and ideas of the management only. The reason for this is that millennials know that the higher the management, the lesser their knowledge of the challenges faced by employees.
6. Supporting Flexibility
Millennials know the value of flexible hours and work-from-home opportunities. They seek and support flexibility in work hours and allow employees to select the devices to use for work.
CEO of Uservice Blockchain Technology Aleksandr Korotkov says, “Millennials greatly value convenience, self-care, and spending time with friends and family. For them, work-life balance is necessary for emotional health and happiness. Workplace flexibility is something they value greatly, and as I give it to them, my team is not only happier but more productive.”
The Role of Companies in Helping Millennials Grow as Leaders
Whether they are already working on a management position or are set to get one, the best thing companies can do for millennials is to teach them as much as they can. Companies can turn any situation into a learning opportunity.
Let them start small. If they show that they are ready to take responsibility and handle it well, give them more.
Some people say that instead of changing too many things, millennials should learn to comply with conventional traditional methods. After all, it worked for the previous generations, didn’t it?
But that is short-sighted. Millennials expect autonomy, and that allows them to become more engaged in their jobs.
And with them becoming a huge part of the present workforce, they are certainly going to influence your organization in many positive ways.
How are Millenials Transforming Workplace Leadership?
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