These days, it is quite possible that someone in their twenties to thirties will be the boss of people 10 to 20 years older than them. And while this scenario is becoming more common, it often comes with tensions and requires extraordinary tact.
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What causes a problem with managing older people?
When a manager is considerably younger than his subordinates, situations have occurred more often lately. And the reasons for this are apparent. Changing market conditions force the introduction of new approaches to company management. Significant changes occur precisely at the time of a radical shift in leadership.
A young executive is a bold and competent management decision. First of all, a specialist who works as an executive must be stable and experienced. And experience means time, which often means the appropriate age. At the same time, a manager must have the qualities of a leader, energy, and a share of risk in decision-making.
The importance of information technology in any line of business is of paramount importance. Therefore, among the skills of the expert, today is highly appreciated not only experience and knowledge but also the ability to use modern technologies – Internet networks, gadgets, multimedia equipment.
No matter how you look at it, a young specialist is cheaper for the company. It is not that “because of his age” he will be paid less by the company. His eagerness and his desire to achieve high goals are already there. It is incorporated in his methods and approach to work, which is not the case with experienced professionals working at a monotonous, familiar pace. It is not easy, and it is not cheap for the company to make them “move.”
It used to be that the boss was always older than the team. And now, more and more often, a young executive manages more mature people and doesn’t know how to handle it. For more information visit https://layboard.in/vacancies/jobs-in-uae
Of course, the young manager feels excellent because he has been promoted! However, there is a real problem that almost every newly minted boss forgets about: lack of managerial experience. In addition, the employees who are subordinate to a young manager do not act as a “nice bonus” to the new position. However, their work determines the development of the manager’s career and, by and large, the advancement of the entire organization.
The first thing to consider is when a reasonably young employee is promoted to a new management position. At the same time, some people are much older than the newcomer among his former colleagues. This may result in so-called professional jealousy, which will plague the more senior employee for an extended period. More specifically, the main thought of the older employee will be something along the lines of, “Why is he the boss and not me? I have more experience, work harder, and know-how to lead!” And even if this person later recognizes the high level of professionalism of the new manager, envy can continue to take over. The young manager, in turn, may also guess what his colleagues think about him. The whole department promoted him, although everyone thought they were worthy. Without any doubt, people will blame everyone around them but themselves for not getting the promotion. Understanding this, the young boss may feel discomfort psychologically guiding his subordinates. In such a situation, the new supervisor is not at fault. If employees constantly think that the new supervisor is no better than themselves and he is not worthy of the position, they need to ask themselves, “Why not me?” in the first place. The answer to such a question will immediately be able to put everything in its place. After all, it is essential to realize that you must seek the problem yourself if someone else is promoted. It could mean that the person didn’t work as hard, had some situations that reduced his effectiveness compared to other employees, etc.
Intergenerational differences play a huge role. So how do you get the job done? First, the correct approach to the representatives of different generations, study the qualities of the majority of employees – a competent manager will not miss this feature and will be able to build relations with each employee despite their age.
Tips for a manager
To reconcile employees of different generations, the head of the company should turn to the following methods:
- Introduce innovations gradually, taking into account the rhythm of the former work of colleagues. Do not forget to say that the changes are necessary, give specific examples, and invite experts to talk about the possibilities of new technologies and techniques. Daily “propaganda” of improvements, which will inevitably be seen after the introduction of the new system, will reduce the “radius of resistance. It is important to convey to the “aged employees” that it is necessary to keep up with the times, and that ignoring innovations will not lead to anything good.
- Form several mixed teams, where young employees work on an equal footing with experienced ones. Despite the challenges, multigenerational groups have a better chance of succeeding and working together productively. This is because they have something to share: the young will benefit from the experience of the “old” employees, while the latter will be interested to learn something new from more “advanced” colleagues. For example, some will share their experience, while others will teach their colleagues how to use the Internet or communicate via Skype.
- Create an open corporate culture based on mutual respect. To apply this technology successfully, organize special training sessions, and invite experienced trainers and coaches.
- Gain credibility with “old” colleagues. Prove your right “to manage,” not with words or sign an order. Show in practice how you can build a line of conduct in challenging working situations, masterfully conduct a successful project, and show your “baggage” of knowledge. Old-timers, seeing your professionalism and unconditional leadership skills, will listen to your opinion.
Take the time to determine what kind of team is already in place and how it works. Employees already know the corporate culture needed to succeed. Their years of experience can help you navigate new responsibilities, develop management skills and avoid difficult situations. But don’t let them pressure you. When you are younger than your colleagues, even if you are their manager, it is sometimes easy for them to manipulate you, especially if you are new to management. Older workers often begin to play young professionals by saying to the boss: “Well, you know better about technology.” At the same time, they try to shift their responsibility to him. Here, the young manager needs to draw a managerial line between providing support and doing the work for his subordinates.
Actively share your leadership style and what you expect from your team so that they are not left in the dark. Instead of just giving directions or leading, embrace the idea for yourself that you are a coach and your primary job is to remove obstacles in your team’s performance. But don’t try to change everything on day one. Instead, experts recommend asking everyone, “What’s the one thing you don’t want to see changed, and what do you think should be changed?” This will give you valuable information about previous attempts to make changes that didn’t work, and it will save you the hassle and inconvenience of making the same mistake.
It is necessary to be ready to listen to advice, accept help, to engage in dialogue. The inner maturity that distinguishes an adult is not the number of years lived but the number of independent decisions.
You may not be able to cope with a subordinate’s fear or unwillingness to learn new things. Then try to make the most of the subordinate’s strengths; if it is impossible to use the existing knowledge, experience, and competence, part ways. Ethically, with mutual respect, but part ways. You are a manager, you are responsible for the viability of the business, and you must make unpopular decisions.