Managing Generations – Becoming A Young Manager

As a young adult, getting promoted to the position of a manager or getting a new job as a manager is set to take your career to a greater height.

However, the usual challenge in the millennium is that more old people are in the offices than millennial adults.  So the new manager usually ends up in charge of a team of individuals who are at least a decade older than him or her. The challenge is, how does s/he earn their respect.

As a manager, you’re certainly responsible for your team’s productivity. If you don’t lead well, your team won’t meet demands, and your superior will blame you, not the older workers you’re in charge of.

You might end up losing your job.

And if you can’t communicate well, then you won’t lead well.

Why does it look like your older subordinates don’t respect you?

As a millennial adult, you could seem proud to the older workers. This is because of the generation gap; the cultures are different.

In some other case, a young manager may be making an effort to be humble, so that s/he don’t come off as rude.

Either way, this won’t portray you as a confident boss who understands the rules of management.

You should know that you are not supposed to breach the gap between your generation and theirs. You are to understand them and learn how to interact with them effectively despite the gap.

So, here are some proven measures to apply;

Get to know them, create a relationship:

As I mentioned earlier, you should learn how to interact with older workers. And this is not learned by reading their profile.

You have to create a rapport, talk to them. Ask them about their jobs and be truly ready to listen.  Let them know that you’re always happy to work them through any technical issues that they might have. Never, make fun of them because they don’t know how to use modern technology, or speak modern slangs.

Don’t avoid confrontation and don’t be intimidated by them:

Stand your ground.

You have to know that it is not in all cases that these older workers intend to belittle your authority. So many times, they’re just about themselves thinking, what’s this new boss all about. And you have to let them know what it is you’re about.

The challenge is many times the same with what you would face if you were older or about the same age as them.

So talk to them boldly when necessary. And if you need to scold anyone because of negligence or any other prohibited act in your company. You should.

Never scold them like their children, you should not even scold young workers arrogantly too.

Don’t rub in your authority:

Now, that you can talk to them confidently, never rub it in. You are the boss, and they know, so don’t be petty by making all sorts of demands to prove your “Bossness” over them.

Complement them for a job well done:

Whenever you’re impressed by their performances, don’t hold back. Let them know, don’t worry, it won’t get to their head, they have been working long enough to have been complimented a few times. It will only establish that you are aware of their effort and you are glad to be working with them.

Don’t address old people with old people nicknames:

You don’t have to remind them that they are old or old enough to be your dad or grandma. So save them nicknames like; pops and grandma.

Make an effort to talk to them in person, not just text and emails:

Millennial adults really wouldn’t mind texting millennial adults were born in the era of internet, so most communication is done on the phone. But older workers would always choose to talk in person over texting.

Validate their opinions and suggestions even if it’s not the final decision:

First, ask for their opinions from time to time, they have more experience and have been in the firm long enough to know the company’s culture. So ask them.

And when you don’t use their opinions when making the final decision, explain to them why. Don’t let them think that you didn’t use their suggestions because they are old,  and you want only younger staff’s opinions.

And most importantly, be patient, you will eventually earn their trust. Be focused on getting the job done.