Why Old School Management Tactics Don’t Work in Today’s Workplace

Most of us have encountered a bad manager at some point whose behavior was justified with the excuse, “He/She is just old school.” This refers to that type of manager who feels the need to be authoritarian, has very little or poor communication skills, and believes that employees should just do what they are told. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is a huge deterrent for today’s workforce. Modern day employees do not want a manager that bullies them, yells at them, refuses to coach and support them, and ineffectively deals with conflict and harassment. This type of management will throw a millennial into a tailspin. Today’s generation seeks constant feedback, mentorship, guidance, and support. In short, an old school management style is no longer effective and will end up alienating a major group of employees in today’s workplace.


Millennials Expect to Collaborate

When it comes to team meetings and brainstorming sessions, old school managers tend to take the reins and they expect everyone in the room to listen to them because they are the senior authority. It would be highly frowned upon to question your manager or offer an idea that is different from theirs. However, nothing irritates a millennial more than this type of old school thought. That’s because today’s generation is well educated and confident in their ability to bring something fresh and new to the table. They want their ideas to be heard and their opinions to be valued.


Millennials Expect Feedback

If there’s one thing that today’s generation expects from their manager, it’s guidance and feedback. Old school managers don’t have time to hold their employees’ hands and meet with them each day to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. They feel like their employees need to figure things out on their own. Unfortunately, this is incredibly frustrating to the millennial workforce. They seek to understand and they want to know that they are doing their job well. It’s not enough for them to simply show up and complete their daily tasks. Rather, they aspire to be better and learn more and this can only come through coaching and manager feedback. They expect routine one-on-one meetings to find out what they are doing well and how they can do it even better.


Millennials Expect to Feel Valued

In both our personal and professional lives, we all seek approval. Today’s workforce wants to know when they do something well and they like to be recognized for their achievements. They expect their managers to appreciate their hard work and dedication to the team. Many old school managers feel like your paycheck is thanks enough, but this mentality doesn’t fly with millennials. If they feel undervalued, they will simply hit the door and go somewhere else where their efforts will be appreciated.


The problem with old school management is that while it may get short term results, talented employees will end up leaving because they feel disengaged. Long gone are the days of listening to your manager and doing exactly what they say. Today’s workforce seeks to be part of a collaborative team that welcomes new ideas and seeks to promote positivity and teamwork. Millennials want to feel empowered to make decisions, share information, and strengthen their skillset.