Managing upwards is a vital skill for any employee but managing up and across a generation can be even more challenging as different generations often have different values and perspectives about their careers and life.

If your boss is a lot older than you and sometimes you think you are on a different planet from them don’t worry, help is at hand!  Read our tips below to understand what your boss wants from you.

  1. Be clear with your boss about your preferences. Often managers think that their staff are simply younger versions of themselves with the same, values and outlook on life. Don’t assume that your boss will know what you are thinking. Instead explain to them how you like to work and what your expectations are.
  2. Express in terms of how the boss will benefit.  Make sure you couch the above in terms of what the boss will get from this. For example, use words such as: ‘I have some ideas about how I can improve my productivity and performance, would you like to hear about them? You are more likely to get what you want if you put things in terms of what they will get out of it.
  3. Take the initiative. Bosses admire people who take the initiative. So if you see something not happening, or a problem going unresolved, rather than asking why, ask yourself if it is something that you can take on. Go to your boss with the issue and a proposal about how to solve it and then do it!
  4. Earn your stripes. Getting what you want or need from your boss will mainly depend on whether they see you as a valuable contributor to the team and business. Demonstrating commitment by working hard and delivering visible business benefits will earn you credit that you can cash in on later.

Since the default retirement age of employees has been scrapped, it is possible for employers in the UK to have a workforce made up of four or five generations.. This in itself presents challenges relating to understanding difference, because every generation assumes the next one is just like them, that they are motivated by the same things, interested in the same issues. But the generations are different and in order to maximise the performance of individuals we need to understand these different dynamics.

Our Understanding Generational Differences and Motivations half day in house course addresses:

  • The characteristics of the different generations in today’s working environment.
  • How to recognise and manage people through the four motivational states / levels of engagement.
  • How managers can adapt their style to get the best out of each generation and manage more effectively.

This course will be useful for all staff with managerial responsibility.