The modern workforce is largely made up of younger people. In fact, about three-quarters of workers in the United States belong to generations X, Y, and Z. Does your leadership style resonate with members of these generations? What is it that these cohorts want from a leader?
This individualistic generation has a tendency to be practical and adaptable. They highly value friendliness and approachability. As a result, Gen X workers expect their leaders to be the same. In other words, the ideal leader for a Gen X employee is one who serves as an excellent role model.
To make a good impression on your Gen X team members, show that you are pragmatic in your leadership approach. Rather than simply pressuring them to perform, approach them as a peer. Lead by example, not just with ideas and theories. If you get your hands dirty right alongside your Gen X teammates, they will respect you for it, and they will trust you.
When Millennials (also known as Generation Y) think of a happy and productive work environment, they envision one that fosters respect and positive teamwork. Millennials are the idealistic generation. They have a strong sense of both self and community.
Millennials want leaders who will bridge gaps. Someone who can create connections between teams while providing clear communication about expectations will do well as a leader of Millennials. Allow your Millennial team members to feel included in the company goings-on. Communicate with them about what is happening in upper-level management. Such small gestures of respect will go a long way toward earning a devoted Gen Y workforce.
Gen Z workers may be young, but they can bring a lot to the table! This generation is known for its fast-paced upbringing in the midst of unprecedented interconnectivity and technological advancements. This is why they are often referred to as Zoomers. They are just as quick and connected in the workplace as they are in any other setting.
If you find yourself in charge of Zoomers, do not be afraid to set high expectations. These “digital natives” are resourceful and will often find innovative solutions to the problems you set before them. Try including your Gen Z workers in regular meetings and check-ins. Zoomers thrive when communication is consistent and plentiful.
What are the keys to leading a team made up of members of different generations? One is flexibility–the ability to remain limber in your interactions with employees is important. This is the best way to ensure that you are considering not only your employee’s generational leanings but also their individual strengths. Remain flexible and respectful, and play to your workers’ strengths regardless of their age, and you will likely find that you are getting the most out of your workforce.
Generations X, Y, and Z are all bursting with people who can contribute in unique ways to a positive and productive workplace. LEAP Leadership Training can help you become the best leader you can be so that your team can excel. Are you ready to consider what younger generations expect and need from their leaders as you develop your leadership style?