THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Demanding young 'uns: Managers must manage millennials
It's official: Young people are in the driver's seat in corporate America. Job offers are plentiful, and hiring managers are scrambling. USA Today reports that most hiring managers believe they have to persuade a candidate to take their job. And one-third of employees are looking to leave after six months.
The rules of what makes a good candidate are changing, and so are the rules of what makes a good manager. Good candidates provide high value on day one, a key since they are more likely than ever to leave early. And a good manager knows how to give employees what they need to be effective every day. We're watching the emergence of a collaborative, hands-on, caring approach to management, and the result might be a more productive and fulfilling workplace.
The energy fueling this change? Millennials refuse to stay in jobs that don't help them grow, and businesses are desperate to recruit and retain young employees. Big firms such as Ernst & Young recruit via Facebook, text message, and video blogs.
Author Bruce Tulgan is evangelizing a new kind of management– where people actually do it.
"We have an undermanagement epidemic," he says. "Managers walk around saying, ‘I'm hands off, I'm letting you do your own thing.'" What they mean is, "I'm busy. I'm doing my own thing. I cannot hold your hand."
Tulgan says that today's workers want flexibility and customized work environments. And "There's no chance on earth that a manager who's not engaged can be flexible and generous."
If checking in with employees makes you cringe, you're probably not in your 20s. Millennials were raised to have adults training them, coaching them, and making sure the world went smoothly so they could learn and grow.
So it's no surprise that this is what young people want at work. Annemieke Rice is a great example of a millennial at the office: a highly motivated, tech-savvy, educated employee who wants a lot of face time. She's willing to work for a lower salary just to have a boss who mentors her, challenges her, and opens new doors.
Rice expects regular feedback and guidance so she's always on a productive path. Previous generations saw a manager as someone who collected dues early on— a ticket-taker for the ride up the corporate ladder, someone to be avoided at all costs.
Rice, however, would never think of waiting to start learning. She wants to see her boss regularly because Rice views her as a teacher for the adult world.
Managing someone like Rice is a lot of work. But young people today are consumers for everything– even when it comes to shopping for a boss. If you want to hire top talent, understand that top talent wants to be managed by top talent. And you're not top if you're not hands on.
Before you say you don't have time to manage, understand that Tulgan has heard it before. "Managers who think they don't have time to manage spend their time managing anyway, but it's all crisis management that could be avoided if they were hands-on managers every day."
Here's a list from Tulgan of five how-tos for managers:
1. Manage every day, not just on certain occasions.
2. Solve small problems every day so they don't grow into big ones.
3. Have lots and lots of boring conversations instead of one big conversation.
4. Reward people for what they accomplish; don't treat people equally. accomplishments are not equal
5. Think of empowerment as helping someone succeed instead of leaving him alone. Tape the list to your keyboard if you're a manager. Email it anonymously if you're poorly supervised– and if nothing changes, shop for a new manager, of course.