Submitted by drenn18 on
"Today’s busy manager doesn’t have time to spend weeks or months learning how to supervise today’s young professionals."
That's author Alexandra Levit's intro to her book Millenialtweet. She was featured in a recent fox business article describing the "deserver" mentality of the newest generation of professionals. This is my generation so I'm biased but I think this is a disgusting (ineffective) idea. I read it as "today's manager doesn't have time to do their job". What do the more experienced managers think?
Yeah, she's wrong
I think the MT guys have said this many times - you don't manage groups, you manage individuals. I also don't manage someone's "mentality" - I manage their behaviour. She's making a characterisation of behaviour which could come from any person of any age group.
I think you can skip that book.
Wot 'e said
MarkMT's hit it on the head -- trying to manage an entire generation of people by using the stereotypes popularised by someone who is trying to sell a book (and is thus probably *trying* to generate controversy and hence publicity) is never going to end well. Skip the book, and learn how to deal with individuals as individuals.
Gen Y's are bad, but some of us are good!
I'm 29, and in this group. The real world has been a shock to me (and the rest), because we grew up in a politically correct world of participation trophies and warm fuzzies. "Everyone's a winner. You're all awesome (even little Johnny, who picked his nose the whole time)."
I've had some of that entitlement in the past (i'll own it), and at age 26, started seeing the trend in my MBA classes. All the under 30's had the same attitude, and as I advanced in my coursework, it got harder to accomplish team goals, because of the selfishness of others. Eventually, I left them behind and started looking out for myself.
It makes me sick fighting this stereotype as I look for work; just leaving a contract job recently. I've finally had good bosses that appreciate my no procrastinating work ethic and desire to be left to my work.
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt
"Public opinion is a weak tyrant to that of private thought." HD Thoreau Walden
There's slackers everywhere
JM, the chances are the older people in your MBA class were just as selfish as their younger counterparts, they had just had more practice at hiding it, though long years of slacking. There's also a certain amount of maturation that goes on -- as you yourself admitted, you have become more effective as you've gained experience. These under 30s are, in many cases, still finding their professional feet. There is a lot less on-the-job training and mentoring/role models these days, which reduces the ability of those new to the workforce to quickly learn good work habits.
Generation Y - perceptions
I used to think there were generation differences and generation Y had a stronger need for recognition and a lower threshold for frustration than "we" generation X had. After listening to manager-tools, observing and reflecting about it I came to realize it was more me judging their intentions based on what would drive me to that behaviour rather than a real need and lower tolerance on their part. And also due to them judging their direct bosses intentions or judgement based on what would drive them to have that behaviour.
I think the only good thing about thinking in terms of generation Y is to grasp the idea that what one person values may not be necessarily what the other one values. And the experiences one person goes through does not need to be the same experiences another goes through to get the same job done. And that "more communication is better". But, that holds true between different people of the same generation too.
As per "not having time to learn to supervise young professionals", best part of my job as a manager (10 years managing young engineers) was to spend time with and learning to supervise young professionals!
Great young engineers
I have the pleasure of working with some great young engineers. They are smart, hard working and eager to learn. I'm happy to help them succeed.
It's unfortunate that Ms Levitt doesn't have the same experience.
Makes it easier for me
I'm 30 so I guess I'm in this "group".
I think it makes it easier for people like me who have drive, effort and determination. Like Mark says, "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king". If all of my counterparts and lazy and unmotivated, it makes me look that much better. When it's time for promotion, guess who's first in line?
In reference to managing our lazy generation, can we not state it's the experienced generation's laziness (not getting to know the individuals, assuming the are cardboard cutouts of themeselves) that's at fault? Ironic, don't you think?