This is how older managers judge younger managers

From Susanna Sailer

Trescon study: Openness and internationality of the young people is appreciated, but not a lower awareness of performance.

How do our young managers really tick? This question is the subject of a study, the results of which were presented last Thursday by Trescon, a recruitment consultancy based in Linz. Under the title “Does the affluent society make our (younger) leaders flaccid?” Trescon, in cooperation with the Linz trainer and consultant Wolfgang Feichtenschlager and the Steyr University of Applied Sciences, collected the answers of 220 managers and HR managers. However, most of the participants do not belong to the young target group themselves – it is mostly older people who judge their young colleagues.

What they particularly like about the 25- to 40-year-old managers is their openness, their ability to learn, their enthusiasm and their willingness to change. This openness is also reflected in the internationality and intercultural environment that is cultivated. Bernhard Winkler, managing partner of Trescon, does not take this result for granted:”In times when people are talking about demarcation, the answers could have been different.

Conversely, older colleagues critically question the willingness of young managers to work and perform. The statements “Minimal time and effort”,”little sense of responsibility”,”want more leisure time for the beautiful things in life, but the same salary”, 42 percent of the respondents found correct.

Unfavorite attendance culture

All-in contracts with flat-rate overtime pay and a culture of attendance have a worse effect on motivation than other forms of employment contracts. Young managers appreciate the remuneration system with normal working hours more and reward it with more commitment. They prefer a culture of results in which performance is recognizable by the achievement of the goal. Winkler:”As generations change, companies should think carefully about how they design their employment contracts and what they pay attention to in their management.

Good planners and innovators

Feichtenschlager:”An executive must have planning competence. It needs a high degree of self-reflection and self-control.” Respondents place less importance on whether a manager can inspire and motivate. Good managers need not be problem solvers or strategists. It is more important to know whether someone is open to new things and can deal with changes.

The survey also shows the change in the values of younger managers. Winkler:”Career aspirations are less pronounced, but personal interests come to the fore.” The communication between employees and employers is carried out on an equal footing, which is unfamiliar to some entrepreneurs of the elderly. Questions like “Why should I join you?””What is the work-life balance in this company?” or demands like “I have a special hobby and need every second Friday free” are not uncommon.


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