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millennials at work

How Being a Millennial Boss Shapes My Unique Leadership Style

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Jul. 14 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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Hiring managers and executives are struggling to figure out what makes the next generation of workers tick.

According to statistics, 53 percent of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find and retain millennials. On the other hand, 58 percent of millennials expect to leave their jobs in three years or less and prefer to work at smaller companies with creative environments and have more “me time.” Forbes predicts that by 2020, 50 percent of the American workforce will work as freelancers. Thus, the task to attract and retain millennials isn’t easy especially since 92 percent want to work remotely and 87 percent  want to work on their own timetable.

With the changing market conditions, companies should consider altering their business approach to accommodate the millennials, considering the fact that they are the current and future workforce and make up more than one-third of the population.

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A number of industries are already cognizant of this generation’s needs and are following a unique business model that encourages employers to give employees the freedom to operate as their own bosses. I am one of those bosses who believes in the efficiency and productivity of such a model and know that it allows my brokers to succeed and maintain their work/life balance. I tend to revert back to the perspective of ‘what would an agent want out of a company?’ I strive to make sure that my agents feel comfortable asking questions and also make sure that I am able to provide an exciting company culture to all of my agents regardless of the generation gap.

As a millennial myself, I created an equal work environment for all my employees. At Rutenberg, all “Smart Brokers” have the opportunity to earn the pay they deserve with no hierarchy scale. I believe that a broker-centric model should be in play, essentially allowing employees to work under their own control. Employees can choose when and where they work, and they can devote as much time and energy to clients as they choose. Because the dedication is left to each employee’s personal discretion, individuals who work hard can reap great financial benefits. The millennial generation likes to feel that they are working with no restraints. If we as bosses, don’t provide that to them, they will look to work somewhere else.

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To continue, I love to let my employees operate independently and run their own businesses while I simultaneously get to help and support them. My philosophy is that brokers get to be in business for themselves but never by themselves, and that pushes them to be driven and conscientious, as their success is a direct result of their own output.

The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ business approach boils down to working harder than the next employee, thus collectively, millennials and baby boomers, get to produce top quality work for the company. It is in turn beneficial to employees because their hard work will pay off with the 100 percent commission aspect of Rutenberg’s BYOB business model. I am very appreciative of the brokers employed at my firm. Serving as a millennial boss to other millennials and folks who are older than me has given me great perspective and helped shape my leadership style in a unique way.

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