CHANGES IN 2019: The End of the Traditional Manager

CHANGES IN 2019: The End of the Traditional Manager

This past year, I have had the pleasure of working with leaders whose companies are hitting the tipping point of having more Millennials in their workforce than not. They are noticing the cultural impact and managers are hitting their heads in frustration with this mind-numbing reality in which this generation approaches work. The reality is however, it is not just Millennials, it is current culture encompassing many generations. I believe Millennials are just most clearly reflective of the new era we are in.

Regardless of your generation, most people in the workforce today are echoing similar values.  They have a desire and quest for freedom, independence and flexibility. While they desire this “ideal” work design, they also want:

  • work that is significant and meaningful (what “I” do matters)
  • collaboration (a seat at the table where their voice is respected, matters and is heard)
  • connection to the team (community and connection with people matters – likely digitally or remote)
  • social justice (causes and helping those who struggle is a must)
  • diversity (respecting differences and being open to different perspectives and thoughts)
  • personal not institutional (it isn’t about old organizations, clubs, clicks and societies rather it is about relationships and connection, not traditions and organizational habits) (this often shows up in the faith world church, religion vs. spirituality and a relationship with God)
  • opportunity to grow and learn (highly educated, but have information at their fingertips and learn outside of the traditional learning platforms – again not about “institutional experts” rather learning to make a difference vs. learning for status)
  • authentic and transparent leadership that is ok with questions (there is a general sense of skepticism and mistrust – organizational authority is not trusted and motives are assessed – trust grows when there is a clear message of care and concern, leaders walk the talk of care and concern vs. telling, dictating, debating and demanding conformity)

I know this list can be overwhelming and feels so exhausting for the leader trying to get work and business done. Can’t people just do their jobs? Shouldn’t they just be thankful to have a job? Is this babying people and don’t they need to just grow up? These feel true, but they are all part of the old thinking and trying to stay in the performance, productivity, conformity box. People are not working in the box anymore and the longer you stay in the box yourself the more it is confusing how to connect and engage with the workplace of today and tomorrow.  Want to learn more? Check out Gallup and some of their thoughts and courses: