When looking for new managers, it can be scary to hire a “young” manager, whatever your definition of the word might be.

Are they ready to direct others? Can they handle the workload? Will older workers take the direction of a young manager?

We hear a lot about a lack of work ethic among younger workers, both in our industry and outside of it, but a recent Forbes article, contributor Joseph Folkman, a behavioral statistician, discusses his findings (with colleague Jack Zenger published in a recent Harvard Business Review article) which show the contrary among young managers.

In his research, Folkman looked at a database to compare performances of leaders over 45 and under 30 years old. They found the younger managers to be rated higher by employees on all 49 distinguishing characteristics.

From the study, Folkman and Zenger found the following six strategic characteristics of younger managers:

  1. They embrace and welcome change, marketing new ideas and making hard changes.
  2. They get others excited about their jobs and help create loyalty among workers, inspiring behavior.
  3. They ask for and are receptive to feedback.
  4. They use that feedback to better themselves as managers, allowing for continuous improvement.
  5. Their need for high achievement makes them results focused, so they put more into meeting goals.
  6. They set elevated goals, rather than setting those goals that are easily achieved.

Folkman acknowledges in the article that his findings are a bit skewed, as those who are promoted at such a young age are likely high achievers. However, if you have a young, high achieving employee, perhaps it is a good investment to promote him or her regardless of age and welcome the positive outcomes that come from those young managers.

For the full, original article, please CLICK HERE to be taken to Forbes.com.