We all know you need strong leadership to have a thriving organization. Finding great managers is challenging even at the best of times. It seems that it’s only going to become more difficult for companies to find managers. 

A recent study found that the average young worker has no interest in working at the management level. Fewer people are interested in climbing the corporate ladder. They don’t want to be managers and they don’t want to manage people. Our legal recruiters discuss the results of this recent survey and the “missing middle” that is developing in companies. 

manager sitting at the head of a table


Study Finds Young Workers Don’t Have Management Aspirations

According to a recent survey by Visier, employees are hesitant to become people managers or enter the C-suite. They found:

  • Only 38% of employees are interested in becoming a people manager at their current organization
  • Only 37% agree that they want their boss’s job someday. Additionally, only 35% said that they want to enter the C-suite someday. 
  • 62% would prefer to stay as employees
  • 44% of men are interested in becoming people managers versus only 32% of women
  • Only 36% of people are interested in becoming a people manager at a different organization

Companies will need to adjust how they recruit, retain, and fill management roles to address these looming gaps in talent. To make adjustments, they need to understand why people are so reluctant to move into a management role. 

Why Don’t Young Employees Want To Be Managers?

The survey identified 10 things swaying people from applying for manager jobs. They are:

  1. Expectations for increased stress and pressure: 40%
  2. The prospect of working longer/more hours: 39%
  3. I’m happy with my current role and don’t want it to change: 37%
  4. Lack of interest in leadership responsibilities: 30%
  5. Personal commitments or interests outside of work that I want to prioritize: 28%
  6. Administrative aspects of a managerial role: 20%
  7. Lack of confidence in my ability to lead and manage a team effectively: 17%
  8. Personal past experiences with poor management: 15%
  9. I have low/no expectations that my company will promote me to a managerial role: 14%
  10. Nothing would deter me from becoming a people manager: 9%

Based on these reasons, young people see management jobs as roles with more pressure, longer hours, and something that would affect work-life balance. But, there is still hope for companies.

Top Ways To Encourage Employees To Seek Management Roles

Only 12% of people said there is nothing that could convince them to work in management. So, this means, that even though young workers are not open to it now, they could be in the future if the right opportunities or incentives were in play. The study found that these are the top incentives:

  1. Better compensation: 71%
  2. Better benefits: 45%
  3. More opportunities for career advancement: 26%
  4. The ability to influence my team’s direction and success: 22%
  5. Increased flexibility and autonomy: 20%

To develop future leaders from within your organization, you need to lay the groundwork today. Highlight the benefits, offer management training, and create an environment where people want to work, and where they can thrive in management and leadership roles. 


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Gen Zers Are Not Happy – How to Engage and Retain Your Gen Z Employees

Randy Quarin Executive Search

Randy Quarin

Randy co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as a Senior Partner, focusing on business development within executive search, media, and sales recruitment. His accomplishments include building over a dozen digital media sales teams for digital start-ups, publishers, and mobile app developers. He has also helped launch an international smartphone manufacturer from the ground up, building its entire hardware, software, and sales teams.

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