5 Management Tips From An Entitled, Know-Nothing Millennial
Aside from wrangling the occasional intern or freelance contributor, I have next to no management experience. But I know a thing or two about being managed, having been gainfully employed in some respect since the age of 14.
Speaking of being 14, that was in 2004, which means I was born in 1990, which makes me a millennial, which according to a significant number of media outlets, makes me spoilt, entitled, ignorant, and narcissistic.
It also makes me something of a coup for brands, who just can’t seem to crack the cipher of how to market to us and our “enormous purchasing power”. Google around and you’ll find countless guides on how to seize the millennial market.
Equally abundant, it seems, are guides on how to manage us. Apparently we prove something of an enigma in the working world as well and managers are pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to get through to us.
It’s not that difficult. We’re pretty much like any other employees but with better headphones. But if you really want to impress us, there are a few things you could do.
1. Don’t Talk About People Behind Their Backs
We may be your lowly employees, but we’re more than capable of putting two and two together. After all, you hired us for a reason, so you have to think we’re pretty switched on or you wouldn’t waste your time or money on us.
When you talk about people behind their backs, whether to us or someone else, most of us immediately assume this is just something you do and we’re not exempt from such treatment.
After all, if you’re talking to me about Mark and Alicia behind their backs, it stands to reason that you’re probably talking about me to Mark and Alicia when I’m not around. Or perhaps, to Sarah and David, just not to Patrick* because nobody likes him.
2. Be Consistent
We tend to criticise politicians who change their views and opinions as “flip-floppers”, but it’s actually a good thing to let your opinions change and evolve as more facts and data come to light, so long as this is why they changed.
You’re allowed to change your mind, just be consistent about how and why you change it. That is, change it because it’s truly for the good of the company/project/whatever, not because you arbitrarily made a decision and now have to make more, increasingly contradictory decisions to make up for that first one.
Such situations, which are incredibly frustrating for your employees and more importantly your customers, can usually be avoided by making measured and informed decisions based on the best information available and not whatever mood you happen to be in that day.
Speaking of which…
3. Don’t Be Moody, It’s Unprofessional
Being a manager grants you certain freedoms and one of the more unspoken liberties is that you effectively get to be as moody as you want every day. But take it from an entitled, know-nothing millennial, don’t. Don’t be moody, even if it’s your company.
This isn’t a matter of being pleasant to work with. When your employees aren’t sure of what state you’ll be in on a given day, it compromises your authority and makes your workers lose respect for you because you and your decisions appear inconsistent.
The key word here is professional. Being moody is simply unprofessional. When we come into work, we leave our personal and even professional problems at the door and concentrate on getting work done.
Granted, the higher up you are in a company, the more pressure and responsibility, and the more likely you are to be in a bad mood about something. But you’re a manager. Us lowly peons look to you for leadership, and leadership requires strength.
4. Don’t Be Jealous, Especially Of Competitors
Jealousy is an unattractive quality because it denotes insecurity and no one wants to think their boss is insecure about the position their company is in. That goes double if it’s your company.
It’s important to be honest with your employees and it’s important to keep tabs on your competitors, but it’s also important to be stoic and pragmatic when a competitor happens to be doing better than you. If a competitor is doing better, it’s best to figure out why, soberly explain the situation to your employees, and formulate a solution.
Hopefully, your employees believe in and enjoy the work your company does. By making snide, obviously jealous remarks about other companies, you’re undermining that belief.
5. Don’t Manage For Managing’s Sake
Management is important. Hierarchy is important. Leadership is essential. Those workplaces where everyone owns a share of the company sound cool, but everyone still has a boss, someone they have to report to.
We’re not here to discredit the work of managers, but there’s managing and then there’s managing for managing’s sake.
You know what we’re talking about. Like when an employee completes a task perfectly but you haven’t said anything in a while so you nitpick some inessential part of the assignment in order to get your two cents in.
There’s no need to justify your job, we all know why you’re here and if you’re good at what you do, we already respect you.
*No offence to people named Patrick intended.
Image: Andres Figueroa Diaz