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Managing Millennials: ‘Older’ vs. ‘Younger’

When it comes to managing millennials, especially in a tech-driven industry, it’s important to understand that though they are often lumped together in one group, younger and older millennials differ in many ways other than their age. Some of these differences include:

Dissimilar Views on Career Path and Trajectory

The older end of the millennial spectrum was a part of the workforce when the housing bubble burst and caused the ‘great recession’ of 2008, which likely created a situation in which a career or lifestyle change was necessary. This taught the ability to restructure and also imparted a certain respect or perspective on simply being employed. Older millennials tend to believe more in starting at the bottom of a particular company and working their way to the top, as the idea of a young CEO did not exist in their minds at the time of the recession.

On the other hand, younger millennials hold an almost opposite view. They subscribe much more to the thought that their performance in the moment is much more important that previous experience on a subject. As a result, the repetitive work that older millennials value as part of their path to the top, seems like some detriment to the rise of a young millennial’s career path.

Expectations of their Management

A common thought about the millennial generation is that they have a higher expectation of what they want from life, but this isn’t necessarily true for all. Older millennials tend to see management as humans who are inherently flawed – as we all are. They also tend to have some lower expectations on certain aspects of life to help avoid disappointment, which is great in some cases, but it does have a tendency to produce somewhat lower performance.

In turn, it is the younger section of the millennial generation who have the highest expectations of life, their work, and their management. Young millennials tend to see their management as a partner to help them realize their full potential.

 

With millennial employees said to make up the largest share of American workers, it is important to understand these differences to increase productivity in your workplace.