Keep calm, be patient and learn from mistakes to provide innovative solutions.
To be an effective Gen-Y manager, one should keep in mind certain points.
1. Understand demographics
Gen Y should always understand and take into account the different demographics existing in the company, factory location or branch office. If handled tactfully, by virtually stepping into their shoes, the employees may actually prove to be an asset. The demographic dividend can give the competitive edge while handling the team.
2. Relate to different age groups and backgrounds
There are different characteristics and trends exhibited by employees of different age groups. Gen-Y managers should be able to relate to their backgrounds and also try to evaluate and understand the origin of their beliefs and thought processes. This will help them nip the problems in the bud, establish equilibrium and also come to terms with the employees. Once this is done, all positive energy can be channelised towards effective delegation of work to the employees.
To cite a personal experience, there are many employees (specially, from the payroll section), who like to work in total silence as the work demands confidentiality, utmost attention and minimal disruption. Hence, they choose to complete their most crucial tasks either before the shift starts or after it ends. In such a scenario, the compulsory shift timing or work–life balance concepts, which go against late sitting, might not appeal to such employees. Understanding this psychology and giving them the flexibility and freedom to work, will indeed bring a manager closer to them, leading to a more efficient team.
3. Learn from mistakes
It is important to learn from the experiences of the past, that is, with previous employees. This enables one to provide different and better
experiences to the younger talent in the organisation. Simply put, a manager must understand and learn from earlier mistakes to improve and provide better outcomes for similar issues in the future. The strategies adopted for resolving any impeding issues should act as a ready reckoner for managers to be able to provide better solutions within the limited/stipulated time. By learning from the past, the manager ends up producing better results and also earning accolades. In some technology companies, the team leaders maintain a sort of ‘query log book’—a database of the mistakes made by the team members and the effective solutions provided through brainstorming, and encouraging creative ideas and out-of-the box solutions. The document becomes so vital and enriching that new team members, after their induction, refer to this log to enhance their knowledge.
4. Maintain calm and remain patient
Patience and persistence are essential for Gen-Y Managers. The hi-performance managers expect all the team members to match their own speed. This is not the right approach. The members might need some more time to perform at the expected pace. Many managers wish to perform tasks at a pace faster than their predecessors. While this competitive and progressive spirit is always welcome at any growing corporation, it is equally important to remain calm and patient so that no mistakes are committed, which, in the end, might cause bigger issues. My home town, Aurangabad, is known for the world famous Ellora caves, built more than 1500 years ago. Their beauty and symmetry keep the visitors spellbound even today. After all, it took over 200 years to build these marvellous caves. Clearly, it takes time to create something perfect. Therefore, a manager trying to ensure timely completion of projects and tasks should not forget to be patient and provide the required human touch.
5. Keep improving
The ability to ensure continuous improvement is a virtue of the managers of this generation. Continuous learning and implementation of the best possible solutions will leverage the positives and also improve the overall business situation.
6. Adhere to ethics and values
In order to be trusted managers, Gen Y should exhibit a high level of ethics and promote the values of integrity and honesty amongst the team members, especially the circle of influence. Thorough knowledge of the field and area of operations will enable the managers to refrain from any activity which is not in line with the organisation’s vision and mission. Respecting government statutory bodies by filling timely returns and maintaining transparency in operations will surely help in the long run.
7. Provide innovative solutions
As a famous saying goes, ‘progress can also be made by lazy employees who find simple solutions to complex routine problems’. Innovation is the key to progress in today’s times. Therefore, it is important to invest in upgrading one’s own knowledge to be able to come up with innovative solutions in the longer term.
(The author is himself a millennial and senior manager, HR, at Siemens).