How Gen Y Manages Gen Y

As an older member of Gen Y, I am now starting to see older Gen Ys being in charge of younger Gen Ys. This creates an incredibly interesting work dynamic. There are many advantages to this, but also a few drawbacks as well. Since Gen Y is incredibly motivated, this situation was bound to happen and sooner than most other generations.

The advantages. Communication transparency and options are endless. Prior to our generation, if a manager needed to get a hold of a team member they would send an email to their work account, call their work phone, and in emergencies, call their house. That’s it. Gen Ys can contact team members through all those plus Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Text Messages, and more. Since Gen Y has been raised on open collaboration, we have no problems communicating through any medium regardless of who can see it.

The disadvantages. Too much transparency. Gen Ys don’t necessarily want to be friends on Facebook with their managers. They probably don’t want their managers following them on Twitter either. Gen Ys need to be more careful about what they post online. This is true all the time but moreso with a Gen Y manager.

Another possible disadvantage is that since, I feel, Gen Ys have gotten into managing other Gen Ys earlier than other generations, they have less overall managerial experience. It’s never easy to be a manager, and it’s even harder when you are young and managing other young employees. Managing Gen Y is inherently different than managing all other generations. For me, managing a baby boomer was much different than managing Gen Ys, but that’s a whole other post.

I have only scratched the surface on this topic but please leave comments so that I can either write a follow up or update this one. Thanks.

Tim Ferro

  • I like where you are going with this. Something to elaborate on are the differences between older Yers (say age 28) and younger Yers (say age 21). It seems like nothing, but one group had cell phones in high school and Facebook in college, and the other didn’t. I think there’s some interesting dynamics there. I hope you definitely keep exploring it.

  • Shanif says:

    Tim, good post. Ironic I found this 😉

Leave a Comment