Learn How to Impress Your Millennial Boss

Learn How to Impress Your Millennial Boss

Do you have a millennial boss?

Welcome to the new normal.

Yep. You read that right. The generation that you called snowflakes, privileged, and out of touch is now in charge of your schedule and your paycheck. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Now, before you start your search for a new job, take a breath and try to sift through the rumors you heard and the truth about this generation. After all, according to the Pew Research Center, millennials are one of the most misunderstood generations.

They’re not lazy, entitled, or disloyal. In fact, the majority are creative, respectful, and actually good at their job! I know. It’s a lot to take in.

If you’re a Gen Xer or baby boomer, it’s no longer an option to work with millennials. You can’t avoid 75% of your workforce.

Millennials are here to stay. And if you give them a chance, you might be surprised. So, welcome to the new bosses on the block––I mean the workplace. Here are nine things millennial managers expect from you:

1. Embrace Change

Unlike Gen Xers and baby boomers, who have been in business for over 20 years, millennials don’t come into work with a lot of preconceived notions about what works and doesn’t work. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Millennial bosses are not afraid to bring about change from the ground up.

Yes. This means that they’re highly unconventional. But it also means that millennials are highly driven to meet their goals––even if they have to think and operate outside of the box.

If your millennial boss tells you to do something a different way, adapt.

They know what they’re talking about!

2. Be Available

Your workplace no longer has a weekend. If you’re lucky, you might get a few hours for lunch and dinner. But overall, since technology came on the scene, you’re long weekends went out of the door.

Now, I’m not telling you to become a workaholic. But, I am tellin’ you the cold hard facts. Now, more than ever, businesses operate 24/7 365 days per year. This might not be comfortable for you, especially if you grew up with a strong line between work and play. But, this type of balancing lifestyle is second nature to your millennial managers.

If you want to show your new boss that you have their back, then you need to prove that they have your access. It’s simple. If you take the time to be available for meetings outside of work, you’ll rank high on that next assessment!

3. Be Proactive

If there’s one thing that’s positive about millennials, is their ability to follow Nike’s mantra––they just do it. They don’t wait around for permission. No one has time for that.

Millennials grew up with autonomy and self-motivation. And when they started their first jobs, they operated the same way.

They don’t climb ladders or wait around for the corner office to approve their plans. They map out a plan and then get it done––and they expect you to figure it out the same way.

Millennial bosses will not take the time to go through the proper protocols. There’s no such thing anymore. If you want to impress your younger boss, you must echo their same lateral leadership model. So, if your millennial boss asks you for something, deliver it to them within their timeframe or sooner. You don’t need to wait for permission.

4. Use Video Conferencing

When millennials were growing up, technology advanced exponentially.

As millennials entered the workforce, they brought with them an expectation of work flexibility. Welcome to remote working. Now, it might seem bizarre to not see your coworkers around the watering hole or attend endless weekly briefings. But, if you take a moment and look at your own experience, you’ll find that your own normal really was wasteful.

Millennial bosses want to cut out the fluff. They don’t want to waste their time or your time with in-person meetings that go on for hours when one Zoom meeting would suffice.

This is why one of the best things that you can do is to familiarize yourself with video conferencing. Your boss will still call you in for meetings and ask for your feedback. But gone are the days of dragging yourself out of bed just to sit across your fellow colleagues for an hour over stall donuts. Now, you can enjoy your own coffee, in your own home, and not even worry about wearing pants.

5. Embrace Technology

Your millennial boss grew up with technology. In fact, they’re a pro at using the latest gadgets and apps––and they want you to be just as savvy.

They’ll expect you to know how to use your tools efficiently and competently, whether that’s video conferencing software or accounting software. And if something goes wrong with one of these tools, it won’t be an issue for them. They’ll figure out how to fix it without too much trouble.

But if you can show them that you’re tech-savvy too, then this will really put you in their good books! This means staying on top of new advances so that you can bring fresh ideas to the table when needed.

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Your millennial manager might be under a lot of pressure from the company. They’re expected to deliver results and make decisions fast. But they don’t want you to waste your time trying to figure out things that can be automated or outsourced––and it’s up to you to identify these processes and streamline them. By showing your boss that you can work smarter, not harder, you’ll demonstrate that you are an asset who knows how to get things done while still making the most efficient use of their resources (i.e., their time).

7. Be Open To Change

The world is constantly evolving and changing, which means so are businesses. Millennial bosses understand this better than anyone and they expect you to be flexible and open to change.

Your millennial boss may ask you to take on projects that are completely new or unfamiliar to you, but if you don’t try, then how will you know? The same goes for processes that need to be streamlined or changed. Don’t be afraid of trying something new –– your boss will appreciate the effort.

8. Respect Transparency

Millennials value transparency and communication more than anything else in the workplace. They want their team members to feel like part of a family, which means trust, honesty, and respect should always come first.

So when your millennial boss is asking for updates, don’t just give them the data––give them the context too so that everyone is on the same page. When you present information, make sure it’s clear and concise so that everyone knows what’s going on and why.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Finally, your millennial boss won’t expect you to know everything. In fact, they’ll appreciate it when you ask questions and challenge the status quo.

Millennials are looking for individuals who can think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions––so don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts! After all, that’s what collaboration is all about.

So there you have it –– nine things that your millennial boss expects from you in the workplace. Now go forth and impress them with your knowledge and creativity! With these tips at hand, managing a millennial boss shouldn’t be too difficult! Good luck! You got this.

Do you work for a millennial boss? What are some things that work for you?

Check out these three articles if you want to impress your boss this week:

Dr. Colleen Batchelder
As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.