Millennial leaders will continue
to invest in their people, Flickinger
says, because they “know that if they
don’t, employees will leave and find
somewhere that will invest in them.”
And Dan Schawbel, an author
and research director for Future
Workplace who often speaks on the
topic of his generation, says millennials
are actually much more “old-school”
than “new-school” when it comes to
“In-person communication will
still be desired regardless of age or
generation,” he says. And despite their
penchant for flexibility in work options,
he says, millennial leaders will not
bring an end to working in an actual
bricks-and-mortar office building.
“Corporate offices are still going to
be around,” he says. “That’s not going
It’s what’s going on inside those
buildings—particularly in the HR
offices—that will be different from past
generations, Schawbel says.
“Millennial HR leaders are
going to be more strategic and less
administrative,” he says. “So much will
be outsourced by then that millennials
will spend more time being strategic,
creating a strong employer brand and
helping HR be even more of a business
adviser than before.
HR is not going to be siloed in the
future, he adds, because that’s not how
“Every aspect of the organization
needs to be incorporated into making
the right kinds of experiences for
workers,” he says.
The More Things Change
So will millennials fare better or
worse than previous generations when
they reach the highest rungs of the
“It’s hard to say, but they will be
very different,” says Shook. “Their
emphasis on emotional intelligence will
be one of their standout traits, because
the more digital the world becomes,
the more human connection becomes
important. Millennials recognize
that and it will be transformative for
organizations and for people.”
Meanwhile, Elease Wright, a co-
author of the Divergent Views report
and consultant with RW2 Enterprises,
says it shows that the more things
change, the more they stay the same.
“We are of a mind that this generation
has more in common and less that
is distinctly different from previous
generations,” she says, adding that most
differences the report highlights are
attributable to life stage, as opposed to
inherent generational differences.
She also dismisses any negative
stereotypes elders have attached to
“Everyone talked down about the
next generation,” she says, “all the way
back to the ancient Greeks.”
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• Development programs for
first-level leaders should have strong
emphasis on developing emotional
intelligence. Continually reinforce these
concepts through practice sessions,
peer coaching, and short, micro-learning options with increasingly
• Review leadership competencies,
current leadership programs and
developmental experiences to ensure
they reflect these leadership skills; adapt
• Review performance-management
processes and hold leaders accountable
for emotional intelligence (the “how” of
what they accomplish) as well as the
rising levels of engagement and the
advancement of their team members.
Consider a shift toward frequent
managerial coaching sessions to
augment decreasing emphasis on the
traditional performance review.
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