Companies are 'unbossing' the workplace, and millennial managers are getting axed

Companies are increasingly phasing out middle management roles, and it appears that millennials may be the most affected. Multiple factors are driving this trend known as "unbossing," such as cost reductions, Gen Z's aversion to traditional managerial roles, the normalization of remote work, and heightened performance pressures. This shift could lead to less mentoring for new workforce entrants and place additional stress on them [citation:1].

However, it's not just the junior staff that might suffer. Lara Milward, a neuro-leadership coach, noted that individuals in their thirties—who are purchasing homes, starting families, and balancing professional and personal responsibilities—are likely to be the ones losing their jobs in this managerial purge. She suggested that this particular demographic might "take this hit" [citation:1].

Millennial middle managers are particularly vulnerable, according to Joe Galvin, chief research officer at the executive coaching firm Vistage. This vulnerability stems from several transformations including the shift to remote work, technological advancements, and changes in generational dynamics. Galvin highlighted that the role of a traditional boss, who once monitored employees directly, has dramatically transformed, making relationship management in a digital era significantly more challenging [citation:1].

This trend has significantly impacted job security for middle managers, with layoffs in these roles reportedly accounting for almost a third of all job cuts in 2023, a sharp rise from previous years. The majority of these managers are millennials, who are typically at an early to mid-point in their managerial careers and were disproportionately affected during the “Great Firing” of 2022. Chris Lovell from SoFi Technologies indicated that this might be due to millennials' significant presence in middle management infrastructures [citation:1].

Interestingly, while millennials are possibly less invested in traditional corporate hierarchy, they and Gen Zers are increasingly shying away from management roles. This is due to several factors including distrust in higher leadership, perceived limited financial incentives, and a desire for better work-life balance. This generational shift is redefining the work culture, emphasizing mental health and autonomy over strict hierarchical structures [citation:1].

Joel Wolfe of HiredSupport argues that the reluctance of millennials to work beyond their scheduled hours or adapt to flexible timings might be making them more susceptible to layoffs. They're increasingly prioritizing work-life separation, a stance that could make them appear rigid in dynamic work environments [citation:1].

Shoshanna Davis, career consultant at Fairy Job Mother, expresses concern over the impact of reducing middle management on Gen Zers. She argues that young professionals entering the workforce still need guidance, coaching, and mentorship—resources traditionally provided by middle managers. With the potential removal of these positions, she fears it may hinder the professional development of future generations [citation:1].

In conclusion, while the movement toward removing middle managerial roles aims to cut costs and adapt to a changing workforce, it raises critical concerns about the development and support of future professionals. As organizations reevaluate their structural hierarchies, the long-term implications of these changes on mentorship and career progression remain uncertain [citation:1].  

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