When the Boss Is Younger

Employees cited some challenges to working for a younger boss or managing an employee who is older.

Employees polled by OfficeTeam cited some challenges to working for a younger boss or managing an employee who is older.

 

Respondents identified dissimilar work ethics or values (26%) and leadership or learning styles (22%) as the biggest challenges with having a younger boss. Using technology in different ways (25%) was cited as the top struggle when managing someone who’s older.

 

Yet, the research found more than eight in 10 professionals (82%) polled said they would be comfortable reporting to a manager who’s younger than they are; 91% wouldn’t mind supervising employees older than themselves.

 

Workers ages 55 and older are the most comfortable having a younger boss (93%) and managing someone older (95%). They were also most likely to state there are no challenges in reporting to a younger supervisor (28%) and managing someone older (37%).

 

Nearly nine in 10 professionals ages 18 to 34 (89%) don’t have an issue with overseeing individuals older than they are. Those ages 18 to 34 (26%) and 35 to 54 (27%) were more likely to cite technology as a concern in overseeing an older employee. 

 

Data tables with breakdowns of the results by age can be found here.