Whenever I meet up with a fellow millennial, either someone I have known for years or someone I just met, without fail, the conversation will always land on work. Millennials love to talk about their job, especially if they do something that they are passionate about. You worked hard to find it, of course, you’re going to want to brag about it! Now, I am not just talking about topics like salary, vacation time, or a flexible schedule – of course, these are important! But what millennials really love to gloat about, especially American Millennials, is their managers’ leadership styles – their relationship with their managers and the numerous opportunities to learn. BUT, is this really the same for the millennials around the world? Due to this generation being large and diverse, there are many differences in the way millennials want to be managed on a global scale.
Last time on Millennials Around the World, we discussed work-life balance and priorities. In the last blog of the series, we are going to look at millennials and how preferred management styles can differ from country to country.
A lot of managers feel that the only/best way for them to know what is going on with their employees is to micromanage. However, micromanagement is kind of a taboo word to MOST millennials. The majority of this generation likes to be lead, not managed. This is particularly true for American and European millennials. They like to have a manager that will guide them while allowing them to have the opportunity to make decisions. However, this is not necessarily the same for millennials in the Middle East. They don’t mind working for a manager that has more of a micromanagement style. They prefer to turn to their managers for direction and answers.
As the business world continues to evolve, so has the approach supervisors have taken to manage their employees. Managers have started to move away from giving a directive and detailed orders, to more of an encouraging and empowering method. Most people would automatically assume that this is the style ALL millennials want in a leader. Now, if you are talking about American, European and African millennials, you would be correct. In all three of these groups, at least 40% expressed that they want managers that will empower them. On the other hand, only 12% of Central European and Middle Eastern millennials value this. This group of millennials would rather work for someone who is an expert in their respected field, more than being motivated by their managers.
One thing that is unanimously consistent throughout the millennial generation is communication in the workplace. This generation wants but also needs their managers to be transparent when communicating about their career progression. Due to millennials being invested in what they do, it’s no surprise that they like to know how they are doing on a regular basis. About 35% of Central/Eastern European, 31% American, and 30% Middle Eastern millennials, all expressed that they like to receive regular and even weekly performance reviews.
The millennial generation is such a fascinating group to observe and learn about because we are so much more than what meets the eye. As international business continues to grow, people will continue to travel, move, and work remotely. Companies need to remember that this group, that is uniquely complex, full of different experiences and influenced by their cultures, will have different priorities, values and respond differently to management styles.
To this day, this group is and will continue to be the leading force in the workplace. Remember to look past the basic stereotypes of the millennial generation and instead, take the time to really understand and devise an authentic plan that will fit the background of your millennial employees. Once you invest the time, you will, without a doubt, get the most out of your millennials!