” Millennials are bright and quick and know that Google is your friend”
The Grid: As a millennial who runs a network for millennials, tell us; does culture or tradition play a role in your working lives today, how you make/sustain relationships or identify/achieve objectives? Does this differ much, do you think, when it comes to the millennial expat i.e. those outside their home country?
Sunny Jaswal: Millennials tend to have a culture that is unique to our generation. This culture allows us to communicate with one another in a casual fashion. This culture of casual conversation translates into every aspect of a millennial’s life, even as expats. Millennials find it easier to communicate with fellow millennials in business and social situations. Millennials are go-getters and truly are the first digital generation – they know how to get a hold of facts quickly, and make decisions based on their research..
The Grid: So its sounds like millennials find it easy to communicate without structure or rehearsal. This would be a particular strength for millennial expats, as it means being able to convey a message to another millennial from an entirely different background, country or culture quickly and effectively. Other generations often suggest millennials are so dependent on digital tools to communicate that there is a serious break down in communication with out these. How does this sit with you?
Sunny Jaswal: We have grown up with digital communication tools, and are accustomed to using them to get our ideas across to others. Older generations are not as fluid with digital communication thus leading to a breakdown in communication between generations. Commonly, I see millennials using in-person communication to augment digital communication whereas previous generations do all the work at in-person meetings. Having observed this trend in the workplace I started The Millennial Network to help bridge the gap.We talk about passion misunderstood for impatience, and a generation’s friendship with technology overtaking experience in the work place.
The Grid: Another rumor around the mill is that millennials often expect immediate reward for hard work while another generation may assign more value to loyalty, for instance. Does this perception hold true?
Sunny Jaswal: Although millennials do like to be rewarded for their hard work; this is not to say they are not loyal or committed to their roles. We look for fulfillment and growth in our work, and are therefore switching jobs faster than other generations. This differs from all previous generations because we understand the talent, hard work, and value we bring to a company. Instead of being complacent, if we are unhappy with our current work situation, or unable to grow within a company/role, we pursue new opportunities that are better suited for our development. Overall, millennials are passionate about what we do, and look to our work for fulfillment, not just as a means to pay the bills.
The Grid: Do you have any advice for companies navigating diverse generational expectations?
Sunny Jaswal: My advice to managers would be to give millennials a task, and let them lead. Millennials will find solutions to the toughest of problems, just give them a chance. Millennials are constantly questioning why things are done a certain way, how to be more efficient, productive, and have a fresh approach to solving problems. We are not afraid to think outside-of-the-box to maximize growth, and get rid of bureaucracy that tends to slow organizations down. 20 years of experience is no longer needed to fill a job role, millennials are bright and quick and know that Google is your friend.
The Grid: We have previously published an article on how to survive a psychopath boss. By 2030, 75% of the workforce is forecasted to be millennials. So in ten years time, is the psychopath boss likely to be a millennial or a Gen Z, do you think? What are the key traits or values we need to learn or unlearn regardless of age in order to build a support system in today’s work place?
Sunny Jaswal: I’d like to preface my comments by saying that there are psychopathic individuals in every age group. The chances of a psychopath boss making it to a position of power all depends on the structure of a given organization and what it values. Based on what I have seen in Silicon Valley, startups are founded by millennials or individuals who think like them, and tend to have a more laid-back culture that helps millennials get the job done. A team-based leader who considers the whole group when making decisions will not tend to have many psychopathic tendencies. Millennials also have less of a penchant to work for irrational individuals, and are more likely to leave than to put up with his/her behavior.
I feel that we need to keep an open mind when working with millennials, and to give them all the necessary tools to succeed in the workplace.
The Grid: Could you give us a few examples of these tools before you go.
Sunny Jaswal: Strategies I would suggest to keep millennials engaged are as follows:
- Keep communication open, digital, and brief, yet concise
- Allow autonomy to get work/task done their way
- Work to find out what drives them, and what they are passionate about
Utilizing the three above tools will allow for an amazing working relationship with millennial colleagues.
This is an extract from an interview with Sunny Jaswal, Founder of The Millennial Network. Sunny Jaswal is the Founder of The Millennial Network (www.millennial.network), a group for young professionals to network with one another in casual settings. We talk about passion misunderstood for impatience, and a generation’s friendship with technology overtaking experience in the work place.
Interview by Tasneem Mayet, Research Director, The Grid Media Ltd
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