New research confirms Millennials are now the largest living generation. They’re dominating in the workplace, too. They currently make up over 50 percent of the employees. What’s not being talked about is how the generation above them, Gen-X, is less than half their size. In other words, as baby boomers, the oldest generation in the workplace, retire, businesses will not have enough seasoned managerial talent to replace them.
4 Mistakes We’re Seeing From New Millennial Managers
It’s no surprise Millennials are being promoted into managerial roles before they’re ready. Besides not being formally trained in management best practices, they also lack the professional experiences (i.e., years of working) necessary to shape a leadership style. As a result, we’re hearing about a significant increase in managerial mistakes from Millennials. Here are the four most common:
1. Inability to provide constructive feedback. It can be awkward and uncomfortable to give former peers feedback on their performance–especially when the feedback is negative. Young Millennial managers may fear they won’t be taken seriously. Or, even worse, they may be worried about the impact it will have on their ability to maintain a friendly relationship with the employee.
2. Inability to manage their stress and keep emotions in check. The increased pressure and responsibilities of leading a team can really mess with a Millennial’s already time-crunched schedule. Juggling their own jobs while leading others will be 100 percent overwhelming at first. This could result in emotional outbursts in the form of angry rants, the silent treatment, calling in sick, or even crying.
3. Selecting teammates based on likability instead of skills and abilities. Millennials love to work in teams and gravitate toward people they feel most comfortable communicating with. Instead of learning how to work with all personalities and choosing teammates based on their fit for the role, they may gravitate toward people they feel are most like them, weakening the diversity and effectiveness of the team.
4. Failure to engage in conflict to bring about resolution. Millennials tend to avoid conflict at all costs; for instance, they would rather text something difficult instead of discussing it face-to-face. As a result, their conflict-resolution skills are lacking. This could make it more difficult for them to handle intense situations in the office, as well as work through them efficiently and effectively.
Solution: Provide Experiential Learning as a Benefit
Companies that plan to promote Millennials should be focused on offering management training as early on as possible. Teaching Millennials how to get results as a leader without feeling like they are compromising their values will be important. Many Millennials do not wish to manage the way they have seen previous generations do it. And yet, until they’re actually in the management role, they won’t truly understand all that’s involved. Providing them with perspective in the form of experiential learning (i.e., scenarios they can work through) in advance of these situations occurring can help them handle the management challenges listed above more effectively.
Why Millennials Will Love You for This
Unlike generations before them, Millennials don’t see coaching and training as a sign of weakness, but rather, a path to greatness. Offering them management training now as an employee benefit will excite them and build loyalty–and, of course, make them better managers when the time comes.