One would think with the number of Slack App downloads, every company in the world has adopted a new-gen management style. Open, collaborative and teamwork oriented organizations are en-trend but there is still a gap between the new worker generation we call Millennial and old school management techniques where they work. A 2015 Gallup study found that about 50% of the 7,200 adults surveyed left a job “to get away from their manager.” You risk losing out on the generation because of an outdated and rigid management style. If you feel a disconnect with your workforce, a total management overhaul sounds pricey. Start with these 5 tweaks to get your office on track now.
AVOID THE SILO
When employees are categorized into a department and subsect of that department, it can stifle teamwork, and frankly, minimize collaboration. Not to mention physical dividers (i.e., cubicles) that can segment employees even more. Millennials crave collaboration, team-based work projects and an unstructured flow of information at all levels. Open up projects by intermingling departments and group members. Don’t fret if not every last thing is organized and nominated. Your Millennial employees will welcome a learning and synergetic work style where a good idea can be pulled from any department.
Employees will leave solely because of a bad manager. Don’t be one! Take a step, or two, off of your employees’ backs and don’t be the M-word (and by that I mean ‘micromanager’). Give them the freedom to get their work done and trust them to do so. You hired them for a reason, right? Now let them show you why they’re here. Assign them a task with a due date and restrain yourself on checking back in until they are ready to show you. Did they make a mistake because you were not there hovering? That can be a good thing.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” —Theodore Roosevelt
CUT OUT A MEETING OR THREE
Take a fresh look at which meetings are necessary, which meetings are trivial and which meetings are formalities; 47% consider too many meetings the biggest waste of time. Don’t feel constrained because “that’s how things always have been on Wednesdays.” Can you accomplish everything in one less meeting? Can it be explained in an email? Or best yet, can it be worked through a collaboration tool or communication app? Even a minimal effort in reducing meetings can reap a positive outcome that your Millennials will thank you for (don’t expect a memo, they will just tell you).
Skip the suit, loosen the tie, (why are you dressing so formal, anyways?) and stop watching the clock. Give the reins some slack and stop caring so much about rigid and probably outdated practices. You’ve hired good people, let them try to do things their own way. Is someone relocating for a significant other’s job? Research if you have the ability to keep them on as a remote worker. Have a new father who would rather work less, but still stay with the company? Look into job share or adjusted hours to fit his schedule. Employees aren’t blind to measures you take for their best interest. Work hard for your employees and they will work hard for you.
GIVE FEEDBACK SOONER
You don’t have to wait until the end of Q2 for a review. If you notice something and you think “I will make note of this and bring it up in the annual performance review.” Tear up that note, recycle it, and stop by or email them NOW to tell them. Waiting until something has been long forgotten is a missed opportunity. Be direct, be logical and move on from there. Millennial employees crave timely feedback, whether praise or criticism. Why wait?
When it comes to giving praise or criticism, be direct, be logical and move on from there.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT MILLENNIALS
Thinking about work in a rational and efficient way is a bandwagon anyone will jump on. You don’t need a ping pong table or free lunches to create a stimulating and positive environment for your employees. A few tweaks to long-standing traditional management techniques may be all it takes to blend your new workforce with the ‘way things have been.’ Lead in a way that makes sense to you and retain the employees that will grow with it into the new age.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” —Jack Welch