When it comes to the world of technology, it’s all about out with the old and in with the new. Chief information officers have likely grown accustomed to swapping out more dated solutions in favor of implementing the latest innovations. However, IT tools are not the only components within these departments that are subject to change, as the professionals who make up tech teams are bound to evolve over time.
For instance, the most recent group of employees coming CIOs’ way are members of Generation Y, a demographic that boasts a number of distinct traits that set it apart from past representatives. Bearing this in mind, IT executives will probably find that they have to switch up their management tactics, making significant adjustments to their leadership styles so that they can direct millennials in the most effective manner imaginable. If CIOs leverage certain strategies, they can maximize this new wave of employees’ strengths while minimizing their flaws, ultimately optimizing their workforce’s potential and allowing millennials to make the most of their jobs.
Prepare to communicate with millennial professionals
There is no avoiding Generation Y, as these young professionals have already flooded the employment market. Soon enough, CIOs will not be able to avoid taking on candidates who are not a part of this demographic. In light of tech executives’ dwindling options, they should embrace millennials – in addition to all of the personality traits and work habits that they bring to the table – so that they can seamlessly integrate these professionals into their staffs and allow them to flourish.
If there is one distinction that makes millennials stand out from other employee demographics, it’s communication. The Houston Business Journal explained that these IT professionals have grown up in an environment inundated with technology, which has made them inclined to employ tech solutions for an array of daily tasks, including those pertaining to communication. Consequently, CIOs may want to rely on email or even instant messaging when they have to relay information to these representatives, as opposed to speaking with them in person.
That being said, there are certainly instances when tech executives should go back to the basics and deal with Generation Y employees as they would with representatives from other demographics. For example, if CIOs have to discuss matters of importance or ambiguous topics that need to be clearly communicated to representatives, then IT professionals best go with tried-and-true, face-to-face interactions. By mixing up communication styles – combining virtual and real-life mediums – tech managers should be able to cater to millennials’ social comfort zones, while still allowing for personal connections and clear conversations so that everyone is on the same page.
Get personal with employees
Another Generation Y preference that will prove revolutionary to CIOs is millennials’ desire to be recognized as people, not just employees. According to CIO magazine, managers will want to start becoming comfortable with blurred lines in terms of their rapport with representatives. Members of past generations were in favor of setting and keeping clear boundaries between their managers and themselves, and personal lives were checked at the door. With regards to millennials, that is no longer the case, and they want their supervisors to show an interest in their lives outside the office.
As CIOs can imagine, they have to tread cautiously when it comes to asking representatives about their personal lives, as they do not want to step out of line and make employees uncomfortable with inappropriate questions. However, they should simply show that they want to get to know their Generation Y employees as well-rounded people, viewing them as more than just one of many faceless staff members. To accomplish this, tech executives will want to ask representatives about what they do in their free time, identifying hobbies and interests, which may enable them to bond over common ground and give them a good idea of their employees’ identities. This will prompt their tech staff members to feel viewed and valued as real persons, not just manpower.
In that same vein, the Houston Business Journal advised that CIOs customize their review processes, depending on the employee in question. Millennials want to be recognized as individuals. IT executives can cater to this by personalizing each performance review so that they can provide necessary insight in an optimal fashion to every employee.