"With the blurring of work and life, millennials are bringing a more casual way of dressing, writing, communicating, and managing to the workplace."
Finally! A management book written specifically FOR millennials!
Millennials are emerging more and more into management and leadership positions, Manager 3.0 illustrates how this generation (born between 1982 and 2000) is rewriting the rules and disrupting the traditional way that companies view and do management.
With a straight-forward, well researched examples and relatable stories, this is a book that provides the reader with insight, perspective and tangible actions around how to be a better manager, a more effective leader, and ultimately, help contribute more to your company or organization—as well as your career!
Very early in the book, Karsh tells a story of how Millennials are often referred to as the “leaderless generation”. With more and more millennials starting to enter management and leadership positions, this book helps the reader navigate the sometimes choppy waters of adapting your management style to situations and work demands, as opposed to generations or people.
The Big Idea
From individual contributor to manager
"You must start to think more in terms of what can I do for my team and my company instead of what can the company do for me?"
The transition from a front-line employee to a manager isn’t an easy one. It’s shown to be particularly challenging for the millennial generation. Why? Part of the reason, the authors suggest, may be because of the significant change that we go through from being an individual contributor – someone who is really only truly responsible for their own actions, contributions and results – to a manager – now responsible for the actions, contributions and results of those they manage and lead. Factor in that millennial managers are often managing their peers, and you’ve got yourself a pretty significant challenge.
This book provides actionable advice and strategies around how to navigate that. We’re talking everything from how to establish expectations with new staff as a manager (do it right at the start, set clear boundaries, provide direction, and set goals to achieve along the way) to the types of feedback you want to provide and what’s involved in each. Here’s what I mean:
- Day-to-day Feedback – This is the kind of feedback that you give immediately. The moment you see your staff doing something right or there’s an opportunity to course correct. This is the best kind of feedback when it comes to encouraging or discouraging a particular behaviour.
- Informal, regularly scheduled – Regular feedback is one of the best ways to get your team to high performance. The focus is on the direct report and how they are doing at work.
- Formal – The most important thing to do is not to wait until an annual review to provide feedback. Think of these as an investment in your people. It’s going to take time and lots of preparation to provide them with a clear picture of their performance. Oh, and it should always be documented. Always. If not you could put yourself (and your company) in a pretty sticky legal situation. On the lighter side, documenting these formal reviews provides your staff with a guide that they can refer back to over time to make sure they’re on the right performance path.
The first few years of becoming a manager are really about focusing on learning, growing and developing. Millennial managers are characterized as having a management style that is collaborative, flexible, transparent, casual, and balanced.
Knowing how to manage your peers, manage, grow and develop others in an intergenerational workforce, and how to bring your strengths to the job are all key to developing in a successful career yourself.
Engage and empower
"It’s all about building a team culture that is rewarding, inspiring, and inviting. You want people to want to do an amazing job!"
The terms “employee engagement” and “empowerment” are thrown around so much now that they’ve seemingly lost their meaning. What does it truly mean to engage and empower our workforce now?
It’s easy to mistake engagement for employee happiness or employee satisfaction. But is that really what it is? Not according to the authors.
Karsh and Templin suggest that the definition of engagement goes much deeper than that. In fact, it’s been shown that the cost of hiring and training a new employee varies anywhere between 25 and 200% of their annual compensation!
I’ll let that sink in for a second.
Turnover costs can be so high, that it’s in any companies’ best interest to do everything they can to keep their teams and employees engaged.
When it comes to engaging millennials, what’s being found is that most leave because they’re bored, disengaged and ready for something new. If you want to understand what engages your millennial workforce, ask them. Find ways to keep them engaged: provide stretch projects, job-shadowing opportunities, help find them a mentor or offer them training that will help them get to the next level in their career.
When we make the time to engage our staff more intentionally, what is found is that engaged employees produce more, they are stronger team players, and the culture of the organization is more enjoyable. #winning
Adjust your approach
"A good team has diverse people who have different ways of thinking and operating; you need to understand these idiosyncrasies to get the most out of your team."
There’s an outdated belief that employees should adjust themselves to the management or leadership style of their manager or leader. That might have worked at one point in time, but that’s not going to fly with the millennial workforce.
As was mentioned above, one of the best ways to engage your employees is to get to know them. Take the time to know them and to understand their preferred style of being managed. Not everyone appreciates being told exactly what to do when – but some do. Just like not all people appreciate being given little direction and boatloads of autonomy (early in their careers). The point is, as managers, we need to better understand those we managed and lead and adapt to that. It’s imperative to achieving the results we’ve set out to produce.
To start, Karsh and Templin provide some great questions that you can ask your team at your next meeting or during fun team-building events. Questions like “would you prefer to do 15 things adequately or 9 things perfectly?” or “Do you talk more than you listen? Or do you prefer to ask questions?”
By taking the time to have these kinds of conversations, you’re not only getting to know your employees so you can do your job better, you’re showing them that you value them as individuals and as a team. It provides valuable insight into how they work and how they view work.
Though the intended audience for this book seems to be millennials who are coming into management and leadership positions, I feel as though anyone who works with millennial and wants to better understand them as a generation would benefit from this book. It provides great analogies, stories and insightful perspectives that encourage the reader to re-think how we are managed and manage others. The world of work is changing and the millennial generation is quickly becoming the largest generation in the workforce. We may find that Manager 3.0 becomes a foundational management book for all managers and leaders.