Each generation, broadly speaking, will require different approaches to management. Again, person to person will differ, but there are certain traits that are recognised as being attached to generations.
Baby Boomers are staying in the workforce for longer and their skills and experience are often great sources for younger generations to pull on. Setting up environments where older team members are able to teach their knowledge is a great way to pass this knowledge on. Working towards a culture where age is respected rather than dismissed is vital for this to work. Baby Boomers are generally loyal to their employers and are more committed to achieving their goals in situ rather than moving on, providing opportunities for growth, through upskilling or project work will help to keep people engaged.
Generation X, often called the latchkey generation are independent problem solvers. Micromanagement (a no no for any generation) however it is more likely to annoy a Generation X’er than most. They are highly independent and value being left alone to find a solution to their problems. If there are any issues, they will share them with you because they are direct communicators. Many of Gen X are in management positions due to their length of time in a role and they
Millennials prefer to work hours that suit the task they are working on. This means they are less keen on sitting at their desk for 8 hours. Remote working works perfectly for this generation as it affords them flexibility within their roles. Millennials tend to prefer a collaborative style of leadership and want to bring the whole team along with them. They are also very sociable and like to spend time with the team. To make sure remote working doesn’t get in the way of this style of working, ensure that the team have access to collaborative technology where they can see what other team members are working on and allows for project team builds. The also are known as the generation who are more often on the move jobwise so show them career paths and opportunities within the business and offer upskilling opportunities whenever possible. Also provide positive feedback where possible (they grew up with gold star systems and rewards so prefer this style of communication)
Gen Z data is still coming in, however generally speaking management styles that suit this group tend to focus on continual communication. They have been brought up by parents, teachers and social media to follow their dreams and live their passions and this translates through to the workplace. You may find a few disillusioned team members who move on as they find their passions don’t align with the role. Experts also warn that this generation can feel particularly devastated when they find a dream “fit” and then something goes wrong with the culture. They may observe how power can be misused or how company actions don’t match public statements. They may be shocked by the amount of heavy lifting or mundane work that is involved in a role, or they may be overwhelmed by office politics or the number of unwritten rules. You can help by laying out expectations clearly and how the business works as well as finding out which part of the job they enjoy or not and helping them understand how it impacts on the rest of the business so they can see the value in it. When providing feedback, ensure it is clear and direct.
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