Millennials, Managers Miscommunicating

Kachina Shaw

If Millennials feel misunderstood by their older colleagues, it’s not because nobody is trying. Yet another study of the workplace communication issues Millennials have with their managers has arrived, this one from a firm focused solely on this cohort, Millennial Branding. Expanded insights will be included in Millennial Branding founder Dan Schawbel’s new book, “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success.”

Let’s take a look at a few of the numbers and opinions the firm found in its survey of 1,000 22- to 29-year-old employees and 1,000 managers in U.S companies in a variety of industries.

Face-to-face communication made a surprisingly strong showing among both managers and Millennial employees, given that the younger group is very comfortable with using technology for a variety of tasks. When it comes to meeting with their managers, 62 percent of surveyed employees said they prefer to meet in person and 66 percent of managers said the same. Email was the second most popular method for both groups. Common ground may have been found, and in a very key area, too.

Fifty-three percent of Millennial employees said they would value a mentor to help them be better contributors. At the same time, 48 percent of them said they were very interested or extremely interested in moving within their company, while 73 percent of managers said they were willing or extremely willing to support those moves.

Managers and Millennials agreed that soft skills are the most important when promotions are considered. Managers are also looking primarily for the ability to prioritize (87 percent), a positive attitude (86 percent) and teamwork skills (86 percent).

For Millennials looking to polish those soft skills, in addition to Schawbel’s insights, Lisa Orrell’s career guidance and tips can help Gen Y employees be seen as confident, effective leaders by their older peers, colleagues and managers. An excerpt from one of her books, “Millennials into Leadership,” is available for free download in IT Business Edge’s IT Downloads.

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