Leading/managing Millennials is fast becoming a lucrative niche-field for writers and consultants to help companies with. The Millennials are growing into our workforces now and companies are learning, or not learning, to adapt to them. Chip Espinoza, Mick Ukleja and Craig Rusch wrote “Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce” and in my opinion, it’s one of the best books on the subject.
Some authors choose to take a “$#%&* kids” approach to writing about the Millennials. They complain about their work ethic, label them with derogatory titles, and back up their opinions with a few anecdotal stories. Espinoza et al resist this urge and differentiate themselves from the growing literature on this subject because of it. They seem to have a deep understanding of this generation and express it extremely well throughout the book.
My one complaint is that they allude to their study but never actually explain the details of their study. I guess they interviewed “good” and “bad” managers, as recommended by HR department. They allude to correlating this information with information from Millennials. But they don’t explain further details. The scholar in me is a tad annoyed by that.
It is a great read, and focuses on pragmatic management solutions. It delicately toes the line between over-simplifying and over-complicating the issue. At the end of the day, the Millennials are still people who have the same needs desires as other generations. But they will express themselves differently, and will expect different things out of their managers, than previous generations did.
I get the feeling the authors truly understand this generation, warts and all, and I highly recommend it to any manager struggling with managing the Millennials.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Managing the Millennials”
I’ve heard some good things about a similar book on Millennials- Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe & William Strauss. They have written extensively on generational theory and it’s implications for our society. One book of theirs that I have read is called 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail? which is about my generational cohort, the X’ers.
Stephen, I’ve read some articles by Strauss and Howe, but haven’t read their books. I’ll add those books to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.
Some of the best resources on plotting generational differences are the books written by Reginald Bibby in Canada. He’s conducted basically the same longitudinal study (Project Canada) on teenagers every five years since the 70’s and it is really neat to see the evolution of viewpoints over the past 30+ years.