Millennials may be best at providing the key skills businesses require to remain agile and innovative, but in today’s multi-generational business landscape, do they also make good leaders?

A new study by Future Workplace and Beyond found that Millennials might not be as good in leading companies as they think they are.

Surveying 5,771 professionals, the study found that 83% of respondents have seen Millennials managing Gen X and Baby Boomers in their office.

“As more Baby boomers retire, Millennials are moving into leadership positions and are faced with managing older generations, which they were never trained to do,” said Dan Schawbel, partner and research director at Future Workplace.

While 44% of Millennial respondents thought they are the most capable generation to lead in the workplace, only 14% of the total respondents felt the same.

In fact, 51% of the total respondents felt that Gen X staff are the most capable generation to lead organisations.

The main for this lack of faith in the leadership skills of Millennials is the generation’s lack of managerial experience.

Almost half (45%) of Baby Boomers and Gen X respondents feel that this lack of experience could have a negative impact on a company’s culture.

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On the same note, more than one-third of Millennial respondents have admitted that it’s difficult managing older generations.

Schawbel added: “Millennials need to respect and support the needs and careers of Gen X and Baby Boomers if they want to learn, develop and eventually become the executives corporate America requires to move forward.”

The survey also found that there’s a need for ongoing mentorship and coaching to deepen Millennial leadership skills.

While more companies today are spending a large portion of its training budget on formal training and learning and development programmes, only 47% of respondents revealed that their companies have a formal mentorship programmes to support their leadership development.

This is despite the fact that 89% of respondents feel that building strong leadership skills is important to them.

“Millennials are no longer new to the workforce, they’re now in the thick of it,” said Rich Milgram, founder and CEO of Beyond.

“However, a significant portion of the older employees they’re managing don’t have faith in their abilities. The only way to overcome this unique challenge is through a range of professional learning and development delivery options, including formal training, mentoring, coaching, and online self-directed learning.

“This will help create a culture of learning that benefits all generations, and provides employees with the tools and resources they need to flourish as leaders.”

Image: Shutterstock

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