Topic of the Week Millennial Bosses
Millennial Bosses: Coping With a Younger Boss
If you haven't already worked for a younger boss, it won't be long. Because a recent poll found a third of us currently work for someone younger. And 15% working for someone a decade, or more, their junior. Which reminds me of Tata, who recently opened a salon in SF specializing in the traditional Thai art of face-slapping. For just $350 you can get a ten minute regime of strategically placed slaps to the face to help with your frown lines and droopy skin. Masochists are not welcome for treatment, or as Tata says, "If you want someone to hit you, go on Craigslist."
Working for a much younger boss can feel like you're getting slapped around. But with 80 million born after 1980, Millennials will make up half the workforce by decade's end. With many in leadership positions. So the days of forcing younger employees to adjust to the rest of us are in the past, it's now our job to adjust to them. That's why I've included the four "C's" below to help you thrive in a challenging workplace.
Communication. A recent poll of adults in the U.S. found that 41% don't text. While millennials average about 20 texts daily. It is important for all of us to adopt the latest and most effective communication techniques to remain relevant. Just the words Facebook and Twitter can send many of us into a cold sweat. But today we don't have the choice to sit out the social media dance, or risk being seen as being behind the times or technology resistant.
Change. Okay this will be hard for some of you to read. Millennials have been called one of the most diversity-friendly generations ever. When the boss is accepting it just won't fly for his people not to be. So we all may need to reevaluate our biases and explore how to become more open-minded.
Collaboration. Boomers and Gen Xers know how to collaborate, but millennials take it to an entirely different level. Because they were raised on social media and advanced technology. Create, nurture and check on your online presence on a regular basis and keep exploring and experimenting with new ways to share ideas and move projects to the next level.
Churn. 91% of Millennials expect to be in a job for less than three years. We might as well put revolving doors on all of our workplaces, because there is going to be a lot of job hopping in the future. It probably is hard to believe, but loyalty will continue to be chipped away in corporate America.
Which brings me to the notion of "reverse mentoring." We've all heard of mentoring, that's where you seek out a gray haired guy or gal to learn from them about how work really works. But mentoring shouldn't be solely focused on gray hairs, it should also look to learn from younger staffers. And that's probably the ultimate slap in the face, we can all learn something from each other.
Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.