By Jim Wong, CPA | February 17, 2016


“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” –Steve Jobs

There’s no denying that millennials are making their presence in the workplace known in large numbers. According to a 2015 study by Pew, millennials have officially overtaken Gen-X as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.

With this large increase of millennials in the workplace, it’s no surprise that the young generation will continue to make waves in the corporate landscape as we know it and begin to take on leadership roles – if they haven’t already. That’s why, when I saw a Forbes’ article 7 Ways Millennial Managers Will Change Work, I knew that it was a topic I could speak to.

I have personally witnessed the rise of millennials – both internally at Brilliant and among the clients and candidates we represent. Recently, I gained some insight into innovative ways for managing millennials with none other than a leading millennial.

Millennials are entering all industries, including accounting, finance and IT, and all professionals need to be prepared as well as to adapt to the concept of working for a millennial.

Below are a few of the ways that millennial managers will change the workplace according to the article along with a few thoughts of my own.

1. Say goodbye to work-life balance. 
This might sound like a frightening concept, but it doesn’t have to mean that there will no longer be balance. Rather, millennial managers will continue to blur the line between work-life and personal-life. Many people already access their work tasks during their personal life through smart phones and laptops. This will hold true even more as millennials occupy more and more of the workforce in leadership roles.

2. Focus on flexibility. 
As previously mentioned, many professionals are already spending their personal time performing work tasks, be it checking work emails, contacting colleagues etc. What this translates to is an increased demand for flexibility. In the future, we should expect to see an increase in flexible work environments.

3. Metrics are in. 
As flexibility becomes more transparent in a work environment, the need to make sure each colleague is pulling their weight, will be essential. How will millennial managers do that if they don’t check attendance each day? Through metrics-based reviews, managers will be able to check in on their team members and ensure productivity, despite the flexibility and blended line between work and personal life.

4. Enhanced understanding of development. 
Most of us have heard the stereotypes surrounding the work ethic of millennials including the thought that they change jobs frequently. While this is not necessarily something that other generations understand, or agree with, the millennials’ motivation in changing jobs is often driven by the desire to have more opportunities to grow professionally. Specifically, they are seeking more broad professional experience – not necessarily the traditional vertical career progression. As a result, when millennials are managers they will be keen to allow their staff opportunities to take on more broad responsibilities and experiences. Rather than rejecting the idea of personal development, millennial managers will instead embrace the possibility and opportunity to help their teams grow.

5. Performance reviews: A thing of the past. 
Instead of waiting months for a manager’s feedback during a performance review, millennial managers are much more inclined to ask for help along the way. In the workplace, millennials tend to be more collaborative than their Gen-X counterparts; meaning, they want to generate ideas and hear from their manager right away. Similarly, they prefer to collaborate with their employees on a frequent basis. This type of coaching is already on the rise and has tangible results. It’s only a matter of time for millennial managers to fully adopt this style of leadership.

6. Expect radical transparency.
The article suggests that eventually, companies of all sizes will become more transparent with their employees’ salaries. Thanks to the rise of websites such as Glassdoor or PayScale, millennials are already beginning to see how their salaries stack up to others in their industries. Brilliant is also dedicated to keeping accounting, finance and IT professionals up-to-date on market data and compensation details through our annual salary guides.

7. Contractor and employee will blur. 
As the rise in remote professionals and offices continues to increase, most likely millennial managers will blur the line between contractor, freelancer and employee. All of the above will be viewed as equals in a company.

What are some other ways that millennial managers will shake up the workplace as we know it? Comment below and let us know!


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