Millennials are officially growing up, and many have even taken on leadership roles, creating a younger boss/older employee workplace dynamic that was uncommon in previous generations.
As managers of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, millennials have found themselves in the interesting predicament of managing older staff members who have been working much longer than they have. Finding that balance of being a manager that needs to be taken seriously while also respecting the fact that the employee has a lot of industry knowledge can be tricky. Here are three tips for millennials who are now bosses that can also be helpful for employees who are being managed by this younger generation to also take into consideration.
Don’t Try to Be “Cool”
Everyone wants to be liked, but making that a priority over getting a job done will reflect poorly on your management skills. Plus, it will be hard for your employees to take you seriously if they see you as a friend instead of a boss. You have to live with the fact that your employees will sometimes dislike the way you manage, which is why communication is always key. Having weekly check-ins with employees can really help you create a management style that works for everyone involved.
Find a Mentor
If you work at a large enough company, finding a mentor can be crucial. Find someone who has a similar management style as you to help guide you into becoming a great boss. Don’t be afraid to go to this person when difficult situations arise because it’s likely they’ve seen these situations before and can help you learn from their successes and failures.
Remember to Give Positive Reinforcement
Employees respond well to positive reinforcement, so remember to give praise for a job well done. It’s often easier to remember to give feedback when an employee is doing poorly than when an employee is doing well. Make sure you balance out the two so that an employee doesn’t get too discouraged, especially if you’re a newer manager. You want to earn your employees’ respect, and the best way to do that is by showing them respect in return.