Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meet Your Millennial Manager, Part 2 - Communication

In response to recent requests, I am providing a 3-part series of guidelines for Generation Xers and Baby Boomers who report to Millennial managers. The first in the series offered older generations insight into Millennials as hiring managers.  This post covers communicating with your Millennial manager. 

Communication breakdowns between Millennial Managers and their older direct reports are often the result of a difference in the definition of “initiative.” For Gen Xers and Boomers, taking initiative means “figuring it out” on one’s own, without having to rely on or involve others. Removing one’s boss from the weeds and any unnecessary details, meetings and decisions demonstrates strategic thinking and high performance. In contrast, Millennials equate taking initiative with asking questions and collaboratively engaging one’s boss. As bosses, Millennials expect their direct reports to regularly (as in daily, if not hourly) update them on projects and include them in decision-making. 

Older generation employees will have to revisit the meaning of effective employee-supervisor communication and learn to collaborate more closely with their Millennial managers to keep them in the loop. For most, this will be a challenging but valuable exercise.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet your Millennial Manager, Part 1 - The Interview

For the past 10 years, the world of work has struggled to make sense of Millennial employees. But what happens when Millennials are the managers, responsible for hiring and supervising older generations? 

Welcome to Part 1 of a 3-part series that introduces Generation Xers and Baby Boomers to Millennials as managers and provides practice guidance for working with and for them.

Let’s start with the interview.

Baby Boomer and Generation X candidates walk away from interviews with Millennial hiring managers perplexed, if not downright offended. Education and experience – the pillars of professional credibility and financial worth for decades – are not highly prized by Millennial recruiters. Instead, the emphasis is on what you know, how you think, and whether you are the right cultural fit for the company and team. What Millennial hiring managers really want to vet during an interview is whether the candidate has a knowledge of current and emerging trends for the job, demonstrates an ability and willingness to learn new skills quickly, and relates well to them. Millennials will immediately tune out to candidates who tout degrees, long tenures, and past knowledge. Know-it-alls need not apply.

Millennials now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and are rising in rank. The world of management – and all of its conventional wisdom - is about to be turned on its head. Are you ready?

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy