The 7th Managerial Style That Hay-McBer Missed: How Purpose Can Be Used To Manage Millennials and GenZ Employees

Hay-McBer researched managerial styles and determined that leadership can be grouped into 6 different styles:

  • Coercive
  • Authoritative
  • Affiliative
  • Democratic
  • Pacesetting
  • Coaching

Hay-McBer’s research concluded that there is no one approach that fits all. Rather, Hay-McBer’s advocated for managers to adapt their approaches based on both the situation and the intended audience. HR professionals are now searching for the best ways to adapt their managerial styles for GenZ and millennial employees. As leaders continue to struggle with succeeding with these generations, they are often misunderstood and characterized as “difficult” and or “lazy”. Is this mischaracterization due to leadership styles that fail to properly address their concerns? Younger generations place a large emphasis on autonomy, education, and purpose. In the spirit of adapting our managerial styles, is it possible that there is a 7th managerial style that Hay-McBer never included: Purpose.

Purpose is defined as the meaningful reason behind why we live our lives including why we work. The Purpose leadership approach focuses on emphasizing the greater purpose in every task and explains the reason behind how our decisions as managers support accomplishing the greater purpose in our work. Unlike the Affiliative style, the Purpose approach puts a priority on people but not at the risk of putting the task second. The Purpose managerial style views both people and tasks as equally important vehicles in accomplishing the purpose of our work. Like the democratic style, the Purpose managerial style encourages participation but without the burden and slowdown associated with consulting on every decision. Rather, the Purpose managerial style would encourage autonomy through listening to feedback and educating employees on how individual decisions and tasks define our purpose. By using a leadership style focused on purpose, autonomy, and education, we will be better suited to lead the workforce of tomorrow.


Please note: I am an HR professional. This is my opinion. I am not a CPA, attorney, insurance, contractor, lender, or financial advisor. The content featured in this blog post shall not be construed as tax, legal, insurance, construction, engineering, health & safety, electrical, financial advice, or other and may be outdated or inaccurate; it is your responsibility to verify all information yourself.

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