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What Makes Millennial Managers Different?

If you’re an MBA student or a recent graduate working for a millennial manager, there are a few things you should know. Let’s take a look at five qualities of millennial managers—and how they’re different from the past.

Oct 23, 2017
  • Student Tips
What Makes Millennial Managers Different?

Every new generation of managers has its own culture and idiosyncrasies. Millennials are no different.

Millennials—or Gen Y—are those born in the early 1980s through the early 2000s. The generation is known for its familiarity with communication, media, and technology.

What makes them different from managers of the past? Everything from how they measure productivity to their understanding of corporate culture and work-life balance. Let’s take a closer look at five ways millennial managers are different.

How they measure productivity

It’s not measured by a nine-to-five workday or a performance review.

In an article in Fast Company, Chip Espinoza, author of Millenials Who Manage and Managing the Millenials said, “Things like key performance indicators will continue to be a movement.”

Espinoza argues that millennial managers will avoid formal, annual checkups and favor more frequent and informal feedback systems.

Why? Frequent check-ins foster increased communication between managers and employees.

Their relaxed corporate culture

While the 40-hour week has been a mainstay of corporate culture in the past, millennial managers often work more than that.

But it’s not about the numbers.

In an article on CIO, Kendall Wayland, vice president of operations at Uproar PR and head of human resources said that millennials are pushing the boundaries of what’s appropriate and what’s not in the workplace.

Paternity leave, dress codes, and corporate wellness program are just a few of the boundaries that millennial managers push—and succeed.

They understand that work-life balance is critical to their success. See #3.

Their sensitivity to work-life balance

MBA graduates can look forward to a less rigid corporate culture, millennial managers understand that it’s easy for work and life to creep over each other.

Wayland said, “Social media and the general news cycle is a 24/7 occurrence, meaning that it’s much easier for personal lives to creep into the workplace more often. This poses a challenge of making sure employees are staying on track, but also having the flexibility to use this constant fed of information to stay connected.

A millennial manager will focus on creating enough flexibility in the culture so that their employees have the balance they want—even if it means working non-standard hours, and having non-traditional meetings.

Their motivation and expectations

In general, millennials are bright, cheerful, and are willing to work hard. They multi-task often, are team players, and typically don’t work solo.

They also want to succeed—quickly.

What does this mean? They’re motivated to do well, can get impatient, and have high expectations that their employees will follow suit.

One way to look at it? Millenial managers are high maintenance, high risk—and extremely high output employees.

What do you need to know if you have a millennial manager? They can be demanding—but often have the vision and drive to make a project succeed.

They want to do well.

Their desire to build professional relationships

Millenials are keenly aware of emotional intelligence. Millenial managers focus on building relationships that will last not only the job, but the duration of their personal lives. They want other people to share their journey.

As such, millennial managers value their team which is why they’ll laud the team that completed a project—and work to keep the positive relationships among their employees intact and strong.

Ready to work with a strong-willed, committed, and visionary group? Find yourself a millennial manager and get to work.

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