WOW | Coffee Break

WHAT DO MILLENNIALS WANT FROM WORK?

Millennials want a good and honest work culture, opportunity for career advancement and growth, flexibility, creative approach, mentorship and respect but should they not find their values aligning with the company’s, they’re willing to job hop to find the right place.

Compiled by: Pabita Dahal

I do not believe in the age old ways of “bossing around” and creating strict hierarchies. There has been a massive shift in how organisations operate in today’s time and age. I think organisations should understand the change and evolve accordingly.
Kartika Yadav
Planning Officer, National Planning Commission

TOP FIVE PRIORITIES WHEN LOOKING FOR WORK PLACEMENT

Kartika: The foremost thing that I look for in an institution is that the nature of work should be fun. My idea of fun is to be able to use my creative side in the work I do. The mission statement of an organisation should reflect the vision and align with my broader goals in life. My top five priorities would be: a positive working environment, fair and unbiased attitude in terms of equalisation of opportunities, employee motivation and leadership, an institution that is not afraid to do things differently, that focuses more on the outcomes than just following norms from the past and an institution that provides room for growth of its employees and capacitates them.

Chirag: Work environment and workplace should be the main priority while considering a company as you spend most of your time there and that’s what influences your behaviour. My top five priorities are: good working environment, alignment with the company’s values, job security and stability, growth opportunity and career development, and personal growth.

Tulja: My preferences would be: brand reach– I need to work with a company that works with a good set of clients and associations; it says a lot about the company and its value system and where the company stands professionally. I also believe in work-life balance that helps to grow both in the mental and emotional space. The core values is significant for people working in the company to understand and resonate with their own values; it helps one to contribute better and become more productive. The team and people is crucial. One grows a great deal in the company through the people around.

Samikchya: I would look for: leadership that inspires, respects, and allows everyone to move forward; a team that challenges you, motivates you and grows together; communication that is inviting, frequent and simple; vision – what kind of problem in society is the company trying to solve and what risk is the company willing to take and how open is the company to changes that the ecosystem demands; values – does the work complement my personal and professional values?

Atmaram: My first five choices are: a friendly and cooperative environment; the company’s reputation; respect and credit I get for my work which will encourage me to give my best; on-time remuneration and the opportunity for exploration.

Employees are the most important asset of the company.
Chirag Goyal
Executive Director
Goyal Group Nepal

ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE ENVIRONMENT AND POLICIES OF THE COMPANY YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING WITH?

Kartika: I am quite happy with the organisation I am associated with as gender-friendly initiatives have been taken. For instance, sanitary napkins and other basic hygiene materials have been put in place at the office. However I do feel that although a general “Code of Conduct” is present, the government sector still has to come a long way to internalise a good HR mechanism in place where the working environment and policies are prioritised and constantly monitored.

Chirag: I work in my own organisation where I am involved in policymaking. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to answer this question. But we try to provide a comfortable and friendly environment for all our members where even the tea lady can contact the management directly if she has any issues.

Tulja: Currently I am self-employed. However, when I was employed, I was honestly quite okay with the policies of the company. Things like flexi-timing and regular performance review were two things that I felt could have been better.

Atmaram: I am indeed satisfied with the institution I am working with. I have been offered good opportunities to explore and enhance myself and encouraged well, along with timely payment. Most importantly, our college is playing a vital role in disseminating quality education which is my top priority.

I need to work with a company that works with a good set of clients and associations; it says a lot about the company and its value system, and where the company stands professionally.
Tulja Kedia
Founder
Né Nepal

WHY DO MILLENIALS JOB HOP FREQUENTLY?

Kartika: There can be many reasons. A lot of people are not satisfied with their working environment and they feel underutilised. There may be a workplace conflict, and sometimes a prospect for higher remuneration or incentives can drive them to change jobs. Sometimes people do it to evade boredom and stagnancy.

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said “Put a man in the wrong atmosphere and nothing will function as it should. Put him back into his proper element and everything will blossom and look healthy.” I am a big believer that there are some fundamentals of your personality and you naturally gravitate towards a certain area of work. People are far better and are more productive when they are working at something they feel strongly about.

I do think that expertise develops over time but as long as it makes you happy, there is no problem in searching for the best option for yourself.

Chirag: Sometimes, when things do not align between employer and employee expectations, employees begin to look for other opportunities. Another reason these days – I believe – is that promotion and designation are decided according to a hierarchical system and young people want to climb the ladder really fast, hence they keep switching jobs. An employer should try to retain personnel in such a way that these situations do not arise. After all, employees are the most important asset of the company.

Tulja: Couple of things that I believe are reasons behind young people switching jobs are:
• Lack of challenging/exciting work or monotony of work
• Lack of growth
• Many times the goal of the company doesn’t align with personal goals
• With a better quality of life and the given talent pool, companies are unable to satisfy compensation as per demand.
• One doesn’t want to follow the traditional way of doing things and innovative ways maybe too much of a change for the company.

Samikchya: I think most of the youth today seek engagement that aligns with their interest. If they do not see any alignment, they are ready to move on. Most youths like to be engaged in work that gives quick returns on the efforts they put into work. Many choose to resign when the environment is not in their favour. It is, therefore, extremely important for companies to constantly monitor their roles, keep their plates full and become the sounding board when needed.

Atmaram: Amongst numerous reasons, the inability to cope with the situation is at the core. If young people don’t get adequate opportunities to explore their talent, or if they are not treated well or given due credit, they prefer to move on. Some prefer to have new experiences.

Most youths like to be engaged in work that gives quick returns on the efforts they put into work. Many choose to resign when the environment is not in their favour. It is, therefore, extremely important for companies to constantly monitor their roles, keep their plates full and become the sounding board when needed.
Samikchya Sharma
Consultant (M&E and Cmms.) SAFAL Partners

WHAT CAN INCREASE EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY?

Kartika: You have to delegate work in a way that makes employees feel a sense of ownership. I do not believe in the age old ways of “bossing around” and creating strict hierarchies. There has been a massive shift in how organisations operate in today’s time and age. I think organisations should understand the change and evolve accordingly. They should motivate their employees. Incentives and acknowledgements go a long way. Keeping employees energised and happy by avoid burnout is also something that companies should focus on for the long term productivity of employees and the company itself.

Chirag: There are general ways to increase the productivity of employees like giving them incentives, improving skills by trainings, the delegation of work, proper communication, etc. But in today’s world of social media, employee recognition, awards and perks are also important factors since recognition brings a sense of responsibility.

If young people do not get adequate opportunities to explore their talent, or if they are not treated well or given due credit, they prefer to move on.
Atmaram Adhikari
Coordinator, Sarbanam College

Tulja: My suggestions would be:
• Ensure that each employee understands what the company’s goals and values stand for. This could be done through team meetings and induction programs at a very personal level instead of inducting in big groups where people barely pay any attention.

• Provide reward and recognition. One must feel important and appreciated for the effort s/he puts in. Appreciation can hike motivation.

Team leaders must constantly sit with the team and discuss work progress and flow.

• Encourage other talents too. It is a great way to motivate employees when their employee takes note of their other skills.

• Do not micromanage. One must delegate and trust employees to deliver. An employer must work on giving feedback, constructive criticism but personally micromanaging is a complete vine killer.

Samikchya: Check-ins should be healthy, timely and routined. Activities like managing the employee’s strengths, revisiting their motivation, encouraging reading, providing an opportunity to participate in relevant workshops and trainings, and anything that helps them grow in their role would also allow the employee to become more productive at the workplace.

Atmaram: Time to time training and orientation programs, proper encouragement, promotion and demotion, good working environment, opportunities to enhance skills and abilities enrich employee productivity. Motivation comes in many forms such as recreational tour packages, appropriate salary, benefits, provident fund, etc. Most importantly, the company should ensure that every employee feels respected.