Millennials as leaders

Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. The Millennial Generation in the workplace demonstrate different attitudes, values, beliefs, and aspirations compared to previous generations. Research has shown that Millennials demonstrate higher levels of individualism than collectivism and have higher levels of overall company satisfaction and satisfaction with job security, recognition, and career advancement. They work well in team settings, are motivated by significant tasks, prefer open and frequent communication,
and comprehend communication technologies.

Understanding Millennials’ leadership style may provide insight for organisations into designing a work environment where leadership effectiveness is maximized, and therefore individual, group, and organizational performance is optimized. The research revealed that Millennial leaders have a different style of leadership compared to previous generations currently still in the workforce. The findings of the research indicate that Millennial leaders describe themselves as hands-off, prefer to delegate, are autonomous, motivational, and goal oriented. Millennial leaders are collaborative and use their skills in technology to expand their network. These leaders are passionate about their work and their commitment to social consciousness. They value family and friends over work and have a different perspective of work-life balance. Millennial leaders expect to have many mentors available and value the experience these mentors bring to guide them through their development as leaders. Millennial leaders learn their leadership skills through trial and error, often modelling their views of how things should be in reaction to a negative leadership experience.

Organizations will be challenged to keep the best of the Millennial leaders because they are
passionate about meeting their personal goals and expect to have careers that fulfil their desire to make a difference. Organizations must compete with one another to attract top talent by providing incentives that will retain key individuals. Businesses can support work-life balance by providing flexible work arrangements. They can build their internal brand to create a meaningful and responsive work environment by strategizing to build mission and talent connections. Through benefits and perks, the Millennial employees’ needs are addressed and personal and organizational development is rewarded.

To achieve success we recommend that organizations introduce or encourage reverse mentoring.

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