Gone are the days of distant and cold leadership where hierarchy is king. Today, some CEOs prefer a more relaxed leadership style, especially the millennial bosses.
Millennial bosses are on the rise, and perhaps even the younger Gen Z is already keeping up with management roles. These millennials already represent more than half the workforce, and most of them have already become one of the big bosses.
These “young ones” have started changing the landscape of leadership to take advantage of it. Young bosses now appear to be more relaxed and laid back than their more senior counterparts. These leaders are not afraid to show their vulnerability and humanity. Wearing denim outfits to work, for instance, is part of their laid back style of leadership.
But first, let’s see if this type of leadership is, in fact, effective. Let’s compare.
Old Style of Leadership
Old management styles tend to be less open-minded about the boss-employee relationship. Some old leadership styles involve the carrot-and-stick method, where employees are given an incentive for good work, but there is also a threat of punishment.
It should be noted that this method may no longer be effective in this generation. In fact, it might backfire. Employees might do their tasks only to get the reward and escape the punishment, but not without the diligence of someone who loves their work and takes ownership.
Along with this outdated method of providing rewards, senior managers who cannot keep up with the times are less likely to adapt to change. If not addressed properly, this lack of resilience may become a disadvantage to an organization.
Given these old leadership methods, what has the younger generation changed to adapt to changing times?
A Relaxed Type of Leadership
With the rise of millennials in the workforce comes new types of leadership. The change in leadership styles has shown positive effects on employees in this generation. What does the fresh leadership style look like?
Young leaders are adaptive to change. Most of these leaders may have been born as digital natives, but technology is constantly changing, and there is still a need for them to adapt to changing times.
This is an important factor that senior managers may be lacking. Keeping up with new technology is important if any business wishes to survive in this technology-driven world.
In line with adaptation to technology, the young bosses are also innovative. This generation believes that innovation can be learned and that one needs the discipline to succeed. Having this mindset sets them apart from those who still believe in old management styles. Innovation is the key to developing new and useful products during this time.
As mentioned, millennial bosses also challenge the hierarchy in a company. Regardless of rank, they consider each employee’s opinions on company matters before making decisions.
It allows them to keep a strong and close relationship with their teams. They question every detail without blindly following orders simply because the bigger fish tells them to.
This more relaxed and more involved type of leadership from the younger generation positively impacts employees. It allows employees to see their bosses like people who care about their well-being and opinions on important matters. It allows each employee to feel visible under their management.
How can you adopt this laid back style of leadership?
Becoming the Chill Boss
If being a chill boss does not come naturally to you, there is no need to worry. Employees just want to be heard and be taken care of.
1. To be a “chill” boss, you have to stay open-minded about employee suggestions and recommendations. They probably know the details of your company more than you. Your employees work daily, and they know the ins and outs of your business, so it pays to listen to their thoughts about what needs to be done to move your company forward.
2. Being a laid-back leader does not necessarily mean you have to allow your employees to play video games in the office during their downtime — though it may help. Allowing your employees to take a break after quickly finishing their tasks instead of piling them up with more work is a good idea.
3. Be on the look-out for the latest trends that can elevate your company’s products. Watch out for fads that you can apply to your business or marketing strategy to stay fresh and innovative in the eyes of the customers.
Whether you achieve the chill boss vibe or not, being an effective leader means knowing your team well and avoiding old school traditions that are counterproductive. Stay true to yourself while considering your team’s opinions so that you can improve your business while keeping your teamwork strong.