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Young People Take Charge In The Office
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The young chiefs are here. They are highly qualified, team, collaborative, flexible and dominate digital environments. Or at least that is what is said. And it better be true. Because according to a recent Infojobs survey, 22% of workers in Spain already have a superior at a younger age than them. A percentage that goes up to 54% in the case of professionals over 50 years.
It is a relatively new situation . Until not so much the usual thing was that the gallons were correlated to gray hair. But the digital transformation has reversed the factors of the age / hierarchy equation, driving the most inexperienced to positions of responsibility. Because the profile of young leadership fits perfectly into current organizational models. "They prefer to influence to impose, cohesive to divide, guide to give instructions, make team to micromanage ... Their leadership is more authentic",.!
Angeles Alcazar, managing partner of the Generation and Talent Observatory, includes some innate communication skills in this list of virtues: "Active listening and quality feedback are tools that new generations use naturally and put into practice with their teams in a way that informal". Juan Carlos Cubeiro highlights the digital expertise of these young leaders as another differential factor, but always, he points out, that does not suppose a barrier with his team, but a cohesive element. "Technology is a means, not an end. Millennial leaders have to train their collaborators in new technologies and their application to business models, and also encourage cross-mentoring, learning from the experience of the elderly, "he advises.
There are also dark areas in that ideal portrait. Aspects that can make sparks jump when they collide head-on with veterans who have already seen everything in the organization. Nothing to enter the apartment like an elephant in a china shop. "You can not try to impose your criteria without listening to your team or without taking into account the knowledge and talent they treasure. Do not seek to change everything and quickly thinking that the old is not worth it, or that you are the best option when you have not shown anything yet, "warns Eva Collado, a strategic consultant for human capital. Angeles Alcazar also points out that precisely the desire to prove that they are suitable for the position can lead many inexperienced bosses "to overload their teams and to set short-term objectives that are very demanding but unrealistic"
The arrival of a fledgling superior often generates resistances in the collective in which he lands. "Different visions, different ways of doing things ... varies up to the rhythm or times that each generation handles in its daily operations," says Pedro Arellano, member of the board of directors of the Spanish Association of Directors (AED). Although, it qualifies, the main resistance comes from the very concept of authority, put to the test each time an inexperienced commander tries to direct a more experienced team. "In a way, the young boss must win the authorization of his team to be led," he argues. Something that goes through "demonstrate technical competence, share a set of values and be able to generate a context to work and achieve results together," develops.
The emotional part is fundamental. The self-esteem of a worker who has given the company many good years can suffer a serious setback when he sees that a "kid" passes by. Eva Collado believes that most of the intergenerational problems come from the lack of transparency in the companies in terms of career possibilities. "The most veteran employee is created a series of expectations that are frustrated when he suddenly finds that a less experienced person has stolen the position he aspired to."
In fact, the formula will never work out if seniors do not do their part. Generosity and height of view will be more necessary than ever. "It would be a serious mistake to prejudge the new boss just because of his age, to pigeonhole him, without knowing him, as someone who is impossible to do better than us. It is much better to contemplate their arrival as an opportunity to generate change and new opportunities. And help him achieve it, not turn his back ", underlines Eva Collado. The unjustified criticism, the opacity in the information, the sowing of rumors to discredit him or the sabotage to the initiatives of the new manager will not help in that mission.
But beyond their differences, one and the other can enrich each other. "A young boss, reactivates the curiosity of a veteran collaborator, gives him a new way of seeing things," says Rafa Diaz, Business Manager of Right Management, while the more traveled professionals, he continues, contribute to the Novelties "his experience, more courageous approaches and a very valuable knowledge of organizational life and his internal relations".
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