Most of us have witnessed the older generations’ struggle in learning to effectively manage Generation Y. However, a growing trend arising as the millennial generation continues to enter the workforce is young Millennials managing older Boomer generation employees.
We’ve stumbled upon one blog that attacks the issue by offering guidelines for Millennials having trouble managing Boomers.
GUIDELINES FOR THE MILLENNIAL
- · Respect Boomers’ experience and use it. Ask them about the history of projects and relationships. Rely on their expertise.
- · Don’t worry about being talked down to. It’s hard for me to type that, but I’m sure that Boomers probably come across as patronizing when addressing a Millennial boss. The Boomer’s generation valued experience and time on the job. That won’t change overnight.
- · Prove you can learn. Engage a Boomer as a confidante or mentor in his or her area of expertise. Lead by learning.
- · Use your natural collaborative tendencies and engage Boomers as fellow teammates. Help them work together. Your understanding of teamwork is very different from theirs.
- · Don’t assume their way is like yours. My part-time Millennial staffer just accused me of trying to make something harder than it needs to be. I won’t admit to TRYING to make it harder, but that was the effect. The Millennial is right.
GUIDELINES FOR THE BOOMER
- · Let go of your ego. Think about all the performance reviews you don’t have to deal with because you’re NOT the boss. Think about how much better you can sleep at night, because the Millennial boss has the problems.
- · Stop parenting. If you want to give advice, ask permission first. Something along the line of “Is it OK if I share with you what I’m thinking?” Or “Do you want to hear how I would handle that?”
- · Don’t dig in your heels and refuse to change. Business and life are about constant change these days. Deal with it. Solve problems rather than create them.
- · Offer the benefit of your experience, but do so in private. This is similar to “stop parenting.” Don’t embarrass your Millennial boss by correcting him, based on your experience, in front of others. You may be right, but spectators will think you’re a fill-in-the-blank. And it isn’t good.