Company manager shakes an employees' hand on the assembly line floor.
Management approaches that worked for managing baby boomers won’t necessarily resonate with millennials and younger generations, like Generation Z. — Getty Images/Drazen Zigic

The oldest members of Gen Z are around 24 years old, yet they’re impacting the way we work. This diverse generation wants workplace inclusion, seeks a supportive company culture, and is willing to leave if they don’t see opportunities to grow their careers.

As Gen Z continues to enter the workforce, business leaders would be smart to adjust their management techniques. What worked for managing baby boomers won’t necessarily resonate with millennials and younger generations, like Generation Z. With this shift in mind, here are some outdated management techniques to retire, and what to do instead.

Equating physical presence with hard work

In the past, employees were considered to be hard workers if they stayed at their desks until after their manager went home. It was expected that employees be present from nine to five with no exceptions. This attitude should change with the rise in remote and hybrid work.

“All too often, however, leaders have a mindset that if they don't see you in the office, then you aren't working,” John Knotts, founder of Crosscutter Enterprises told Forbes. “This makes leveraging a virtual workplace very difficult, and employees today expect this as part of the benefits of working with a company. Leaders should focus on actual results and not physical presence.”

It’s easy to fall into the trap that someone must be present to be productive. Instead, set metrics that are performance-related to incentivize actual results.

[Read more: 5 Ways to Be a Great Manager When Your Business is Brand New]

Using money to motivate your team

McKinsey recently conducted a study about the Great Resignation and why so many companies are seeing high employee attrition. What they discovered was that rather than investigate the reasons why people were leaving, many companies were looking for a quick fix: a pay bump or financial perk, such as a “thank you bonus.”

“Rather than sensing appreciation, employees sense a transaction. This transactional relationship reminds them that their real needs aren’t being met,” wrote McKinsey.

Yes, employees always want to get paid more and appreciate year-end bonuses; however, only using financial incentives can make an employee feel like just another number. Look for more meaningful ways to engage and support your team.

[Read more: How to Create Loyal Employees (and Why It Matters)]

Transparency is the new normal, and executives who hoard information have to adapt. The more information they hold back, the less knowledge their employees will have, which puts them in an unfavorable position to make better decisions.

Inc.

Offering feedback once a year

Many enterprises rely on the annual review to provide feedback, new opportunities, and areas for improvement to their employees. It’s frustrating for employees to hear, after 12 months of work, that something they have been doing is wrong or inadequate. It can be equally disheartening to only receive positive months after an accomplishment.

Instead of waiting until the annual performance review, give feedback that’s specific, timely, meaningful, and candid. These attributes, identified by psychologist Victor Lipman, will help your employees stay on track and engaged with their work.

Only sharing information among senior leaders

As you make critical decisions that impact the future of the company, it can be tempting to keep a tight rein on information and insights that could affect everyone. Today’s workers, however, value transparent leadership.

“Transparency is the new normal, and executives who hoard information have to adapt. The more information they hold back, the less knowledge their employees will have, which puts them in an unfavorable position to make better decisions,” wrote Inc.

Be honest with your managers, employees, and shareholders to empower those who support your business to innovate and function well. Access to relevant, timely information can only help everyone in your company succeed.

Prioritizing tenure over talent

Of course, experience matters when it comes to making key business decisions. But, rewarding someone for their tenure is different from rewarding someone for their professional experience. As you consider who should advance in your company, look at performance results rather than time spent at the company.

“​​Today, we know some very young, new-to-the-firm talent can outshine long-tenured team members. It is critical that managers employ a ‘leapfrog’ strategy where the person with the best performance and potential is promoted ahead of those who may have been here longer,” Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC told Forbes.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Where business leaders go to grow

CO— is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Published May 11, 2022