Tips on managing 20-somethings
May 11, 2007 4:37 AM Subscribe
Can someone with experience managing younger people (20-29), or young people with experience being managed, offer some helpful tips and some things to be mindful of?
posted by psmealey to work & money (30 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
So, I'm starting a new position on June 1 managing product development of a website for a major international brand.
In this job, I am inheriting at team of 6 young people (skill sets: production, design and technical), ages 20-29. I am about 15 years into my own career, and have some pretty extensive experience managing people in their 30s all the way through their mid 50s, but never have I before worked with a team so young. Having read a great deal on managing the so-called "net-Gen" of late, I'm a little skeptical that things are so different for this generation than they were for my own and those that came before, but this seems to be the general theme, so I cannot ignore it.
I would characterize my style as laid back, but demanding when I need to be, always attempting to build consensus, but happy to push people in a direction when consensus breaks down. I have always received high marks for mentoring people through difficult tasks, and if I have a weakness, it is that I can be a bit too empathic at times. I have in the past let connivers take advantage of my good nature, and in those situations, have had to double back to re-establish the manager/line employee relationship.
The team has been somewhat adrift with only a part time manager for the past 6 months (and a terrible, disorganized manager in the 6 months prior to that), so my boss (a company board member) has indicated to me that they need structure and strong leadership to refocus them. Implementing those things have always been a strong suit for me, so I am confident in my ability to do that, but it would be very helpful to me if people could offer any tips/advice specifically working with technical and creative members of this generation. Thanks in advance for the help!