The millennials are steadily taking over the workplace and as a result, more and more of them are getting into managerial positions where they are expected to deliver on their technical capabilities while managing their peers.
This can be a dauting task especially if one has not be properly equiped for the role. While it might take some time to get comfortable in that new position, being proactive and starting on the right foot will help you succeed.
If you a are millennial manager, here are a few useful tips to manage your peers at the workplace in order to create a conducive and ever productive work environment.
Learn to pay close attention
For any new manager to be effective, paying close attention to what happens around you in the office is crucial.
This does not necessarily mean getting nosy on every bit of thoughts and talks in the office (some millennial employees may just dislike you and you don’t want ot know that).
It means you need to listen to your peers, make yourself available to them, and pay attention to any concerns they might have during the transition.
You must demonstrate to your team members that their feedback is valued and appreciated.
Be proactive in reaching out to your team rather than always waiting to be sought out only when they have something to say.
As a key element of leadership, you will need to develop your emotional intelligence and learn to read the unspoken from your team of peer subordinates.
Take time to understand and pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues, and reach out to them to get their opinion or just to see how they’re doing.”
Add value where you can, but don’t overstep your bounds.
Being promoted above your peers can be awkward at first. And, while some of your co-workers will be easier to manage than others, it’s imperative to remember that you were placed in your new role for a reason.
Traditionaly, leadership or management has been associated with someone older leading the younger one(s) thus making it difficult for one to manage a team of co-workers who are either of the same age or older than you.
In order to alleviate some of these difficulties, it is of essence for a millennial manager to “understand self” – take time to reflect on your strengths and how you can support your team, while at the same time recognizing and appreciating when your personal leadership input is not needed or is less valuable to the team.
You must know when to step in and when to step back.
Help your team grow
While everyone wants to grow, not all employees know HOW to.
One area that many leaders(both seasoned and new) fail is in assuming their teams know what to do in order to grow.
Some team members could be stuck yet with a little concerted guidance they could be the big thing you need in the organization courtesy of their growth.
Take time as a millennial leader and show your people how to grow in their careers. Help them develop realistic development plans that will keep them excited while broadening their knowledge and levels of exposure in their areas of passion.
As a leader always have your coaching and mentorship hat on. Guide your team on how to grow by showing them how you grew. Show them the steps you took. Creatively draw from your own experience and demonstrate what they can do to succeed as well.
This type of managerial effort is the difference between meeting quotas and functioning, and retaining passionate employees who feel that they’re working somewhere that has invested in their personal success.
Set clear performance expectations
Many employees say their main source of anxiety lies in not knowing where they stand with their boss, and their boss’ assessment of their performance.
To ensure you have a more focused and productive team, ensure you have clear performance goals with your team members. Avoid cases of role and expectation misalignment.
Let everyone know from the onset what is expected of them. At the same time make it a point to understand what they expect or need from you in order to meet expectations and reach their own goals.
Understand the impact of your actions to your team
Whatever you do as a leader, you will always influence or impact your team either positively or negatively. This is part of “understanding self” as a leader.
Seek to know how your behavior affects your team and establish appropriate boundaries.
While you should be available to them when you need to be, you also need to set an example and show them when it’s time to “shut off” work (and vice versa).
As a millennial boss, you yourself have to balance connectivity. “If you send a 2am email, or email constantly when on annual leave, you need to understand the implications of that on your team. It’s the modern equivalent of everyone feeling like they cant leave the office for home until the boss does
Allow your team to take a break
While you will want to have a seriously engaged team, failure to give them appropriate breaks will lead to serious burnouts and consequently less or no productivity at all.
Learn and be comfortable with giving your employees a chance to “check out” and regenerate
Leading a team of millennials, you will soon realise that it is hard for them to disconnect since they are constantly connected to their careers right from the first day, thanks to smartphones and other related technologies.
This is a stark contrast from previous generations who were able to really “check out” when they left the office.
So, be aware of how you’re structuring work. Allow your team to have a weekend and take a real holiday breaks without disrupting work flow.
Being ushered into the management role to manage fellow millennials is a big task that has its own unique challenges. However if approached with the right attitude and tools,it can be a very rewarding experience that will help you develop self into a better leader while helping others discover their career journeys and fulfillment too
If you can learn how to manage millennials as a millennial, you will gain the respect and authority you need to continue climbing the ladder.
Are you a millennial manager? What has your experience been so far? Share with us your thoughts in the comment segment below.