By Evan Hackel
An excerpt from my new book Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation
Members of older generations generally are generally cautious, and often observe organizational hierarchies before proposing ambitious plans within their organizations. Why? Because they have been taught to do so in their professional lives. And they are generally cautious. In contrast, younger generations like to take risks, act independently, move ahead, take ownership of their work, and get things done.
The Best Employees Ever . . .
Millennials are the best workers who have ever entered the workforce, and Generation Z will only be better.
Without a doubt, it takes more thought and effort to manage the younger generations. It’s easier to manage people who don’t question authority, don’t offer innovative ideas, and who are loyal just because they feel they should be. That alone, however, does not make them great employees. In contrast, younger generation workers want to make a difference, are independent thinkers, care about the company and what it does, and are loyal when they feel it is deserved. They may be harder to manage at times, but far more productive and healthier for the organization.
Generation Z offers many of the traits of the millennials, but they are more team players, less risk-averse and more likely to look for longer-term working relationships. In my opinion, that will make them the best generation to ever enter the workplace.
To unlock the benefits of those outlooks, try to lead them in these ways:
- Have the courage to let them take risks.
- Cut rules and restrictive red tape that cripple ingenuity and ambition.
- Instead of using traditional reporting relationships, create multifunctional task forces of people from different parts of your organization—teams of energetic younger generations.
- Reward younger generations, thank them, and let them move on to new challenges. In general, younger generations want to keep moving forward instead of looking back at what they have accomplished in the past.