Running a successful agency doesn’t only come down to polishing your services. You also need to adapt your environment to new workforce generations.
The workforce is going through a dramatic change.
New generations are taking over the workforce, with millennials making up nearly 40% of the American workforce. The number is obviously going to keep rising, projected to reach 75% by 2025.
Generation Zs are making their presence felt, too. Some estimates have them making up a quarter of the global workforce in the next few years.
With this in mind, do you think you’ll still be able to rely on the same management practices as for your older generations?
You’ll have to adapt your agency and your management style for future generations.
If you understand their drives and motivations, you’ll be on the right track to ensuring their inclusion in a multi-generational workplace. You’ll also reap the tremendous benefits that they bring to the business environment, such as excellent education, optimism, and a spirit of collaboration.
To get the most out of your new generations of employees, you need to stay on top of relevant shifts in management styles.
Command and Control No Longer Works
Generation X and baby boomers were generally raised more strictly and are accustomed to working under the management style known as “Command and Control”.
In this management style, managers make all crucial decisions without asking for their subordinates' input. The latter usually don’t ask questions and simply follow orders. As a result, they have little bearing on the agency’s operations.
This style worked because of its economic implications.
Back in the day, jobs weren’t as readily available and people wanted to hold onto theirs for as long as possible. Workers were also willing to remain in that position for the advantages associated with long-term employment at one company; i.e. retirement, vacation, etc.
It was the prevailing management method that drove the economy forward and made a number of organizations quite successful.
But as generational changes unfolded, people started changing jobs more frequently and didn’t stay with companies for as long as the baby boomers. The workforce was relocating more often, with technological breakthroughs bringing considerable changes in managing styles.
The huge differences in how the generations were raised also resulted in changing priorities.
The consequence is that millennials and gen z are worlds apart from the older generations. Agencies can learn a lot from these differences. More importantly, those that can utilize ideas that the new workforce can relate to will stand to benefit the most.
If you wish to appeal to the priorities of the younger generations, the first step is to switch to a management style that’s more suitable for today’s environment.
Safe and Secure – The Future of Management
The most effective management style for millennials and Generation Z is what is known as “Safe and Secure”. This approach makes your team feel acknowledged and understand their contributions. They have more influence on the operations and a higher sense of accomplishment.
It needs to be mentioned, however, that this management style is best for all generations.
Rather than based on intuition, this style is backed by years of research on people’s interactions in the workplace.
Studies have uncovered that younger generations go to work for three main reasons: being part of a team, acknowledgment for a job well done, and money. By contrast, the most significant source of motivation for baby boomers is money.
However, the landscape is entirely different now – money is no longer the number one priority for many. There are many other factors that play a bigger role in people’s lives, not just their finances. And because people can now move around, there are different things that can impact their lives.
This is why both younger and older generations now recognize that a host of things can influence happiness, resulting in a different view of the workplace.
But as effective as the safe and secure method is, many agencies struggle to implement this. Many managers are stuck in inaction despite understanding the benefits of acknowledging their teammates’ contributions, a nurturing company culture, and high employee engagement.
One of the main problems is, in fact, teamwork.
Managers tend to act as the be-all and end-all, believing that they have all the knowledge and skills necessary to lead their team to success. However, this attitude often proves to be counterproductive.
In a recent study conducted by Google, the researchers compared two groups in terms of individual engagement levels. They discovered that teams with more natural-born leaders are actually less creative as a whole. This is because people feel less secure and confident about putting forward their ideas in the presence of team members who are too assertive.
The most important lesson you can learn from this is to recognize your team.
If you wish to adopt a safe and secure style, you should acknowledge your team’s capabilities no matter their age. This will encourage your employees to share their ideas and allow you to discover something new, particularly, in group sessions that may be beneficial to your agency.
You’ll create a more efficient work environment and enable both generations to connect with your brand.
Take Control of the Evolving Workplace
While the command and control style of management has worked for many years and allowed numerous agencies to prosper, the system is fast becoming incompatible with today’s workforce. It suppresses both employee input and creativity, leaving them dissatisfied with their jobs.
To keep your workers happy nowadays, you’d do well to follow the safe and secure approach.
By now, it’s a tried-and-true method that leverages the immense knowledge and skillsets your employees bring to the table. It invites participation from all in acknowledging their effort and ensuring they have a say in decision-making.
Over time, your agency will become more attractive to the millennials and zoomers who will soon dominate the workforce.
Adapting to the workplace is just one prerequisite to running a successful agency. To find out a whole lot more, apply to our agency accelerator program today.