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Why Do Millennial Employees Need Strong Leadership?

New data shows that Millennials have surprisingly little faith in their managers

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the workforce, and they have a surprising lack of confidence in their managers.

According to a recent national survey conducted by Ultimate Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK), 80% of employees said they could do their job without their managers.

High Costs of Bad Leaders and Disengaged Employees

The evidence suggests many of today’s organizations are run by managers who aren’t particularly good leaders. And bad leadership leads to disengaged employees, mediocre performance, and higher attrition.

According to Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across all business units. Additionally, disengaged employees cost up to $500 billion annually in productivity losses.

Trusting Leadership is Essential for Millennial Employees

Employers understand that managers substantially impact employee job performance, longevity and morale, but the Ultimate Software and CGK study confirmed that this relationship has a greater impact on employee satisfaction than any other factor.

Trust serves as the foundation for any relationship, and almost everyone surveyed said that having trust in their bosses was essential to workplace satisfaction. But while 80% of managers said they’re transparent with their teams, just 55% of employees agreed.

What stands out even more is that only 53% of employees felt like their managers actually cared about their well-being.

Invest in Leadership Development and Mentor Programs

To get the most out of all employees, regardless of generation, organizations must invest in leadership development. Less than half of today’s managers have a mentor to help them become a better manager; for Baby Boomers, it’s about one-in-four.

Plus, 45% of managers have never received any training at all. Many managers are expected to intuitively know how to coach and motivate their people, which clearly is not the case for most.

Managers Can’t Ignore the Data When Making Decisions

Hard data cannot be ignored in the workplace, either, especially when it comes to compensation. According to the Ultimate Software and CGK study, only 47% of managers use any type of data when making salary or promotion decisions.

Considering that almost a third of employees said they would quit if they deemed compensation decisions unfair, it’s crucial for organizations to equip managers with data, both for making unbiased choices and for defending them.

As Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, begins to enter the workforce en masse, it will be crucial for employers to improve the relationship they have with their managers.

Check out the full original study on manager-employee relations here!

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