Working for a Millennial Manager — What You Need to Know

The millennial generation has changed the workplace in many ways, and now millennial managers are becoming commonplace. As this group rises into higher ranks, management style and strategy will evolve. To keep pace with these changes, it’s essential to understand what millennial managers want from their employees. This blog post will discuss how millennial managers approach work differently from their predecessors and the different management styles of millennials. Additionally, it will cover what you need to watch out for when working for a millennial manager.

A good deal of this is cheeky. Sweeping generalizations are never productive, and neither are absolutes. Additionally, I find it interesting that the so-called “snowflake” generation, who appreciates and celebrates differences, is quick to shame those from other generations. You may find some of these traits in the millennial your work for, or you may find them completely off the mark. Additionally, you might find these traits in other generations you work alongside. For that reason, look beyond whatever label society puts on someone and come to your own conclusions.

What do millennial managers expect from their employees?

The millennial generation has brought many changes to the workplace, and one of the most significant is the rise of millennial managers. As this group moves into leadership positions, best-practice management will change. Therefore, to be successful under a millennial manager, it’s essential to understand what they want from their employees.

Most millennial managers desire a more collaborative work environment. They want employees who are proactive and can take ownership of their work. However, they expect constant updates and want the final say. They also place a high value on work-life balance, so you may find your millennial manager absent throughout the day. Finally, millennial managers like to look good in front of their boss, so they appreciate employees who think outside the box and propose new ideas for them to pitch to key executives.

How are millennial managers different from other generations?

One of the key ways millennial managers approach work differently is that they are more collaborative and want to include their team in decision-making. By including the team in decision-making, millennial managers can deflect accountability when things go wrong. They also want to see how their work impacts the company to gain accolades and public recognition. Additionally, millennial managers are less likely to tolerate a rigid hierarchy and prefer more flexibility in their workplace. Millennial managers don’t like hierarchy because they enjoy face time with key executives to progress their careers.

Previous generations focused on delivering results and confronting conflict head-on. However, millennial managers are conflict adverse. Instead, they prefer everyone get along. So when working for a millennial manager and conflict arises on the team, they will procrastinate addressing the issue. Additionally, they don’t like their employees to confront them about their behavior and shortcomings. Instead of focusing on results, the millennial manager will focus on feel-good and team-building activities.

What are the different management styles of millennial managers?

There are a few different styles of millennial managers. One style is the “mentor” manager. This type of millennial manager focuses on developing their team and helping them grow. They often provide support and guidance but are more hands-off.

A second style is the “driver” manager. This millennial manager is more task-oriented and focuses on getting things done. With this style, they take people and empathy out of the equation. As a result, they can be more demanding and have a shorter fuse when dealing with problems.

The third style is the “collaborator” manager. This type of millennial manager is all about working together as a team. They often have an open-door policy and are more communicative than other management styles of millennials. The collaborator style focuses more on positive motivation to encourage happiness and team comradery.

The fourth style is the “Laissez-Faire” Millennial manager. This type of millennial manager is more hands-off and prefers to give employees autonomy. They will mentor and guide but not get involved in the project itself or the final output. This style of millennial management believes that employees should work collaboratively and be proactive in their work. They don’t know the job well enough to manage, so they mentor instead.

The fifth millennial management style is the “affiliative” style. This management style is more relationship-oriented and focuses on team-building and cohesion. Affiliative millennial managers focus on employee appreciation and keeping the team’s emotions positive. The millennial manager, in this case, is likely to be more cooperative and diplomatic. They will aim to build consensus and get along well with their team. This type of millennial manager is often less directive and avoids criticism. As a result, this style runs the risk of underperformance.

What happens when you have a conflict with your millennial manager?

When it comes to having a millennial manager, conflict is always possible. For starters, millennial managers don’t manage. If you’re used to having a more hands-on manager, this may be a difficult adjustment for you. Additionally, millennial managers often want their employees to be proactive and take ownership of their work because they don’t want to get involved in the day-to-day details. So, if you’re the type of employee who likes to wait for instructions before starting anything, you may clash with your millennial manager.

However, you can resolve conflict with a little bit of communication and understanding. Try sitting down with your millennial manager and discussing your differences openly. If you can communicate effectively and work together as a team, you’ll thrive working under a millennial manager.

Working for a millennial manager isn’t really different from working for a manager from other generations. Every manager has their nuances. They each have different strengths and weaknesses. In addition, each organization has to answer to its board, shareholders, employees, and customers. As a result, each of them has different needs and wants. The art of management delicately balances the competing priorities, needs, and desires of everyone the organization touches. The millennial manager does this just as well and just as bad as managers from other generations.

Do you feel millennial managers are any different than other generations? Share your experiences with working for a millennial manager in the comments below.

Originally published at on January 6, 2022.




Changing the world by developing people professionally. Author who blogs about leadership, career advice, and coaching. #WhyYouNow

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Jason Cortel

Jason Cortel

Changing the world by developing people professionally. Author who blogs about leadership, career advice, and coaching. #WhyYouNow

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