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How To Make Millennials Into Managers


As the tides of time set more and more baby boomers on the pathway towards retirement, millennials are rapidly taking over America’s labor market in greater numbers. Few of today’s business owners or experienced managers know how to cultivate millennials into the next generation of leaders, however, and even fewer know where to turn to for advice.

So how exactly should America’s most tech-savvy generation be bred into leaders, and what steps should business owners be taking now to ensure that their newest crop of employees grows into a healthy harvest of capable managers? By following these steps and remembering not to patronize the business leaders of tomorrow, your company will have capable millennial managers running things in no time.

Setting them up for success

Setting millennials up for success is often easier said than done; as a generation that was raised on the internet and views anything further back than the 1990’s as ancient, millennials and their habits can be confusing for older managers trying to train the next generation of leaders. Giving millennials the tools they need to become tomorrow’s managers isn’t too hard, however; you just need to understand them without patronizing them.

The first step managers should take is mentoring millennials to be more independently-minded. Millennials are a generation of collaborators, happy to work with others and search the extensive web for whatever solution best fits their current challenge. While this is a boon for America’s workplaces, it often means that it can be harder for them to assume positions of leadership that require them to make independent decisions. Stressing the importance of being a good role model, then, and highlighting how vital independent-decision making is to be a successful manager should be some of your first steps.

Millennials often want coaches more than managers. They’ll take the lead from managers who inspire them more than they will from those who will dictate over their every move. Meeting them in the middle and teaching them your generation’s leadership values while also accepting that many of their ways of doing things are more suitable for a 21st century workplace than old techniques will thus go a long way towards bringing them up to snuff as managers.

Simply put, to cultivate millennials into managers, you’ll need to understand how they tick. This is a generation of workers who have grown up a world entirely removed from much of the 20th century, with vivid insights into the markets of tomorrow and high ideals that will guide their business decisions. Before you can hope to mold them into successful managers, you’ll need to understand and embrace their values.

Building tomorrow’s managers

Only after your current managers and business leaders understand the values that drive millennials, such as their use of mobile CMMS, will they be able to properly guide them to success So now that you understand them without being patronizing, how do you turn them into business leaders?

Common leadership-building steps can be applied to a millennial audience with great success. Spelling out the specific demands that leadership will place on them, and giving them first-hand experience by letting them shadow current managers, will go a long way towards preparing them for the tough job of helping run a business. Frequent check-ins with your millennial employees is always important; your managers-in-training will need constant guidance, and you’ll need to occasionally step in to correct their errs or show them better ways of dealing with inefficient employees.

The best way to reach an audience as tech-oriented millennials is by embracing the platforms they love the most. Multi-media content that’s easy to access on computers and mobile phones alike, for instance, is likely to appeal to millennial’s preferences, and lure them into reading what they otherwise might blow off. Embracing a well-funded IT infrastructure, then, will be critical towards grooming your crop of future millennial leaders.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of taking a tech-based approach towards educating your millennial would-be-managers is the instant feedback generated by tech. Your millennial employees can offer you instant, anonymous feedback on your training programs to better help you find flaws in your training process, for instance.

Millennials aren’t kids anymore; they’re rapidly taking over today’s labor force with dreams of becoming tomorrow’s CEOs. Help your younger employees reach these goals by embracing a tech-friendly atmosphere to your business operations and by meeting them halfway through the training process; the alternative is an unmotivated workforce ill-prepared for the demands of 21st century leadership.

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