Management: 5 Traits Gen’s Y and Z Want Most in a Leader

Management: 5 Traits Gen’s Y and Z Want Most in a Leader

A Randstad study published just over a year ago which polled 4,000 global gen Y and Zers, identified 5 common top traits this tempestuous and dominant portion of the workforce is expecting from their managers. Strangely, up to 36% of the current millennial workforce is now working in management, meaning employers need to be extra vigilant in their leadership approach in order to avoid complete upheaval in their ranks!

Nailing the right mix of leadership traits is essential when dealing with the established gen Y and emerging gen Z employee, as it’s now been well documented that neither has the desire to remain with an employer simply for the paycheck.

Here’s the 5 traits that both gen’s Y and Z said they wanted most, followed by an infographic showing the facts and figures extracted from the study.

1. Honesty

“Honesty is the best policy,” and will forever remain one of the most dominant standards required for successful human-to-human interactions. While I wasn’t surprised to hear this from the millennial working crowd, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit being surprised gen Z values honesty so strongly.

After all, they are the first full-on, 24-7 digitally connected generation to grace the planet (as far as we know, anyway.) It’s great to hear honesty is maintaining its value in a world where anyone can claim to be something they’re not, or tell a little Internet white lie from the safety of their home or cubicle without too much worry of retribution.

2. Communication

Not a surprising revelation, but the big shocker here is that both generations prefer face-to-face over digital methods. Email, phone, and IM were the respective second, third, and forth preferences, but were nowhere near the 39% consensus among both for in-person communication.

Roughly 62% of the survey’s respondents wanted to work around other human beings on a daily basis, with only ~20% on each side of the generation gap wanting to work from home as opposed to a corporate or co-working environment.

3. Approachability

My hope is that there isn’t a single leader out there reading this who isn’t already aware of the importance of being approachable as a leader. Sadly, there’s likely still a few holdouts from the industrial era who like to sit in their office and be some faceless entity that only shows themselves when the poop hits the fan.

Gen’s Y and Z both agree they prefer to work for people who they can approach like they would their own parents and friends.

4. Confidence

Not much to mull over with respect to the importance of confidence in those who lead us. Inspiration is born from confidence.

If you can’t convince others you know what you’re talking about, good luck motivating them to do their best each time you ask them to step up to the proverbial plate.

5. Support

Support comes from a leader in countless ways, depending on the situation at hand. Gen Y and Z employees told Randstad they want to work for leaders who support them in every way needed including encouragement, feedback, above-board healthcare, vacation time — and all the modern tools and technologies they need to do the best job possible for their employer.

Supporting your employees will lead to less time off for sick days and burnout, faster and more desirable project outcomes, and a happier and more supportive all-round corporate culture.

what millennials and gen y want from management
Infograph Credit: Randstad

What do you think?

Do you have what it takes as a leader to make both these groups — the future of your business — happy and fulfilled?

Main Image Credit: Commscope/Flickr

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