As a wave of diverse, digitally native young professionals enters the supply profession, many organizations with traditional, top-down leadership structures are discovering that their workforces function best when they collaborate across generations, not just across functions.
The entrance of employees from the millennial and Gen Z demographic groups into the office environment requires effective leaders to adopt a different management stance than what worked in previous decades, panelists said in a session at the CSCMP Edge trade show, titled “Succeeding in a multi-generational workforce: embracing differences, driving success.”
It is critical today for bosses to ensure that all viewpoints are taken into consideration and make sure that everyone is heard. “That’s particularly important for millennials, who want to make sure they’re making changes, a powerful impact, and a positive impact on the company they work for,” said panelist Dana Regan, senior vice president, business development, at TranzAct Technologies.
That point holds true not only for a corporation’s core business focus, but also its policies in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) area, agreed Elijah Ray, chief customer officer at Sunland Logistics Solutions. “Millennials are very purposeful and thoughtful about working for organizations that are contributing from a CSRT perspective, whether that’s social responsibility, racial justice, or racial injustice. Millennials are very intentional about it,” he said.
To enable that approach, successful businesses can create “systems to listen to people,” absorbing lessons and feedback from their workers through steps like team member surveys, one-on-one reviews, and getting to know new hires as individuals outside their professional titles, the panel said.