It is important to study the impact of generational gaps on leadership styles because ultimately leadership styles define the success of an organization. The leadership approach most appropriate for Millennials is situational leadership. Performance of an organization depends completely on its people, and if the leaders are not adapting to changing requirements of the workforce then the organization cannot be successful (Ceil, 2019, p. 1). As we learned in our readings for the week situational leadership focuses on how different situations call for different kinds of leadership (Northouse, 2016, p.93).
One of the reasons this is important is because team performance depends on how the leaders and members get along together. The employee-supervisor relationship is an important aspect of corporate success. With generational gaps, the leadership styles need to modify to manage the Millennials effectively (Ceil, 2019, p. 2). Millennials will perform best when they are motivated by leaders who understand their requirements, adapt themselves to the individualistic needs of the employees, and also exhibit some of the traits of the Millennials. This form of leadership is unique to the challenges of the 21st century and can be best solved by situational leadership (Ceil, 2019, p.3). The situational approach stresses that leadership is composed of both a directive and supportive dimension, and that each has to be applied appropriately in a given situation. Leaders should change the degree to which they are directive or supportive to meet the needs of the followers (Northouse, 2016, p.94).
With my degree path being in HR this article was important because it broke down how HR professionals can adapt and prepare for changes. The recommendations made for human resource management focus on providing realistic expectations to Millennial employees, lowering their expectations and providing work-life balance. Today, most human resource managers showcase that they have pool tables, gym, and other features that enables Millennials to value the workplace. Compensation is now just one part of the deal. Millennials are lured with extrinsic rewards that have more value to them. They are also looking for opportunities that allow fast growth and lateral promotions. Millennials are always in the hurry and they are quick to move from one job to another unless their demands are met. Most companies today have active social media pages and they are constantly showcasing their employees through social recognition. This builds trust and a reward system for the Millennials. Human resources should also note how feedback is important for Millennials and what form of feedback would be best suited to meet their needs. Lastly, human resources should also train and offer guidance to existing employees about how to adapt to the changing workforce. I think it’s important to understand your employees because not just the amount of education they have that affects their development style and that would be their age and I think in order to be an effective leader you must make sure you understand and adapt.
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Chapter 5: Situational Approach. P. 93- 114. 7th Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.