When conjuring up an image of a traditional manager, most people would probably imagine someone who is middle aged.
In fact, many bosses purposely abstain from hiring anyone younger because they can’t imagine these individuals leading staff that would be older than them.
Other bosses simply believe that younger managers do not have the required experience to contribute to an organisation.
However, is that really the case?
A Harvard Business Review article took the case of researching just that, comparing the qualities of managers who are 30 years old or younger and older managers who are 45 years old and older.
Perhaps surprising to some readers, but “of the younger group, 44% ranked in the top quartile for overall leadership effectiveness when compared to all leaders in our database,” the study reported. “In contrast, the older group had only 20% in the top quartile.”
In fact, out of the 49 leadership traits evaluated, the younger managers scored higher on each and every one.
There are several benefits that these type of managers offer, such as:
Current Skills & Knowledge
Consider a physician who finished university in 2010 versus 1970; the younger doctor would have been exposed to the latest medical research and trained in the latest practices.
This is not to say that an older doctor will not have the same access to the information; however, she would actively have to educate herself, versus the younger doctor, who would be taught these skills in university.
This applies to younger managers across all industries; since they finished school more recently, they are trained in the most current and updated techniques.
Better Able To Handle Change
The researchers found that young managers “have the courage to make difficult changes, possibly because their lack of experience causes them to be more optimistic about their proposals for change.”
Unlike older supervisors, younger ones are much more interested in receiving self feedback from their staff.
They actively seek feedback, and then actually follow through and attempt to make changes for the better based on the feedback received.
There is no clear cut rule that younger managers are better than older ones; in fact, picking by age is biased.
However, this article is intended to provide the positive benefits that younger managers can offer so that bosses can consider them for their professional needs.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 19 February, 2016
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