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Know how: How Gen X managers can better prepare the next generation for leadership


Consider this: By 2020 Gen Y will make up a third of the global workforce. Every quarter, more millennials move up the management ladder, climbing closer to CEO and other C-Level roles.

According to 15Five, a performance management solution that makes continuous employee feedback simple, boomers and Gen X need to communicate their hard-earned wisdom and meet millennial needs such as career growth and professional development.

Chances are your company has a millennial standing at the door of upper-level management. Here’s how to teach them to lead effectively:

1. Give criticism but keep it constructive.

Research shows employees who receive feedback on weaknesses are 20 times more likely to be engaged, while those who receive feedback on strengths are 30 times more likely to be engaged. Forty-one percent of millennials say they want feedback at least once a month but keep your criticism constructive.

2. Promote creativity, but also sweat the details.

Millennials are mission-driven. This spurs innovation but also breeds disdain for routine work. Give creative leeway but make it a point to keep your mentee focused.

3. Mentoring is key.

The mentorship model is timeless, not old-fashioned. Most millennials interested in leadership still believe mentorship works.

4. Communication is good, procrastination isn’t.

Millennials’ phones are extensions of their hands. Take advantage of your millennial protégé’ s tech fluency, but also set boundaries on phone use during work hours to create space for deep work.

5. Listen, but push back too.

Millennials grew up with the ethos all opinions are valuable. Recognize your millennial employees’ contributions but make it clear that convincing ideas are backed up by facts.


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