18 Nov 2016 02:16:46 PM

Millennials - the purpose driven generation?

With millennials set to become the next generation of leaders and income generators, businesses today must look into integrating the needs and desires of this younger community into existing work culture and practices. 
A recent LIFE@WORK 2016 panel broached the topic of millennials as “The Purpose Driven Generation”, with leading professionals from different generations coming together to share their insights on the immense potential that millennials can bring to an organisation's culture.
Kimberly Xavier, co-founder, TheSteps.co; Abir Abd Rahim, co-founder, Lean In Malaysia; Sajith Sivananthan, Managing Director, Google Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam & New Emerging Markets and Tunku Alizakri Raja Muhammad Alias, Deputy CEO (Strategy), Employees Provident Fund (EPF) during a panel moderated by Low Ngai Yuen at the LIFE@WORK 2016 Learning Conference.

Different Perspectives Lead To Innovation
Sajith Sivananthan, Managing Director of Google Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam & New Emerging Markets, shared that Google has benefited greatly from their largely millennial workforce, whose thirst and ambition are also highly driven by technology. 
“The best people, regardless of what age they are in, want three things: they jump on opportunities, they embrace challenges and they want to learn. So when you create an ambition like this within your organisation, they will always rise to it. A lot of Google products actually come from within because we allow our workforce to focus on these three things,” Sajith added. 
Millennials enter the workforce in an age where they are well versed in technological advancement and are motivated when they are able to take ownership of their work as well as their contributions.”
Recognising Millennials
For Kimberly Xavier, co-founder of TheSteps.co, an online career mentoring platform that connects students and young professionals to professional mentors, millennials have much to offer. She called on older, more experienced corporates to embrace their passion in order to see tangible millennial contributions.
It is really important for the younger generation to be recognised for their passion. To give them the trust and a purpose would definitely boost their confidence, and when you give them this inspiration to move forward, they would be able to get the job done.”
Co-founder of Lean In Malaysia, Abir Abd Rahim concurred, adding that “millennials are not demanding as many view them to be”. Instead, she shared that millennials “are more vocal as they are independent thinkers”.

“Instead of just adding value to organisations, we want to make life outside our jobs more meaningful. We are a generation that wants to have a purpose in everything that we do. It’s just that our ways of achieving ambitions in life is different.”
Embracing The Generation Gap
Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Deputy CEO (Strategy), Tunku Alizakri Raja Muhammad Alias is no stranger to working with people from different generations. He however is a firm believer of seeking talent that is driven by the desire to make a difference, irrespective of age.
Labels box you in and creates a mindset prison. At the end of the day, we all have a common purpose. We want people who want to make a difference.”
For Alizakri, the challenge for businesses is in embracing the differences in multiple generations and ensuring that they each remain relevant to the organisation.

“The next tidal wave is coming, organisations need to be able to be prepared for the new generation of the workforce. The Malaysian employment landscape needs to create the right environment where wisdom comes with experience instead of age, and provide equal opportunities to various age-groups.”
At the end of the day, we should start looking at people and the values that they espouse, live in and bring to the organisation instead of their age.”