Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Learn How to Impress Your Millennial Boss

Do you have a millennial boss?

Welcome to the new normal.

Yep. You read that right. The generation that you called snowflakes, privileged, and out of touch is now in charge of your schedule and your paycheck. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Now, before you start your search for a new job, take a breath and try to sift through the rumors you heard and the truth about this generation. After all, according to the Pew Research Center, millennials are one of the most misunderstood generations.

They’re not lazy, entitled, or disloyal. In fact, the majority are creative, respectful, and actually good at their job! I know. It’s a lot to take in.

If you’re a Gen Xer or baby boomer, it’s no longer an option to work with millennials. You can’t avoid 75% of your workforce.

Millennials are here to stay. And if you give them a chance, you might be surprised. So, welcome to the new bosses on the block––I mean the workplace. Here are four things millennial managers expect from you:

Related: How You Can Profit From 4 Different Generations In The Workplace

1. Embrace Change

Unlike Gen Xers and baby boomers, who have been in business for over 20 years, millennials don’t come into work with a lot of preconceived notions about what works and doesn’t work. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Millennial bosses are not afraid to bring about change from the ground up.

Yes. This means that they’re highly unconventional. But it also means that millennials are highly driven to meet their goals––even if they have to think and operate outside of the box.

If your millennial boss tells you to do something a different way, adapt.

They know what they’re talking about!

Related: 5 Simple Ways Companies Can Create Safe Spaces

2. Be Available

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Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

Your workplace no longer has a weekend. If you’re lucky, you might get a few hours for lunch and dinner. But overall, since technology came on the scene, you’re long weekends went out of the door.

Now, I’m not telling you to become a workaholic. But, I am tellin’ you the cold hard facts. Now, more than ever, businesses operate 24/7 365 days per year. This might not be comfortable for you, especially if you grew up with a strong line between work and play. But, this type of balancing lifestyle is second nature to your millennial managers.

If you want to show your new boss that you have their back, then you need to prove that they have your access. It’s simple. If you take the time to be available for meetings outside of work, you’ll rank high on that next assessment!

Related: 3 Things Every Business Should Do To Succeed With Millennial Customers

3. Be Proactive

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

If there’s one thing that’s positive about millennials, is their ability to follow Nike’s mantra––they just do it. They don’t wait around for permission. No one has time for that.

Millennials grew up with autonomy and self-motivation. And when they started their first jobs, they operated the same way.

They don’t climb ladders or wait around for the corner office to approve their plans. They map out a plan and then get it done––and they expect you to figure it out the same way.

Millennial bosses will not take the time to go through the proper protocols. There’s no such thing anymore. If you want to impress your younger boss then you need to echo their same lateral leadership model. So, if your millennial boss asks you for something, deliver it to them within their timeframe or sooner. You don’t need to wait for permission.

Related: 3 Ways to be a Kick A** Leader Who Lives A Balanced Life

4. Use Video Conferencing

woman in face mask having video call
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

When millennials were growing up, technology advanced exponentially.

As millennials entered the workforce, they brought with them an expectation of work flexibility. Welcome to remote working. Now, it might seem bizarre to not see your coworkers around the watering hole or attend endless weekly briefings. But, if you take a moment and look at your own experience, you’ll find that your own normal really was wasteful.

Millennial bosses want to cut out the fluff. They don’t want to waste their time or your time with in-person meetings that go on for hours when one Zoom meeting would suffice.

This is why one of the best things that you can do is to familiarize yourself with video conferencing. Your boss will still call you in for meetings and ask for your feedback. But gone are the days of dragging yourself out of bed just to sit across your fellow colleagues for an hour over stall donuts. Now, you can enjoy your own coffee, in your own home, and not even worry about wearing pants.

Millennials are the newest bosses in the workplace so it’s important to understand what millennials want from you at work. If you remember these four things, you’re sure to blend in, find your voice, and figure out how to enjoy the view with Millennials at the helm.

Do you work for a millennial boss? What are some things that work for you?

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As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.
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