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Enabling The Millennials

Defining traits

Millennials are eager to learn, contribute and prove themselves. Also, they want to be acknowledged.

Never forget to give timely recognition for each and every small win that they make.

Companies can leverage on these characteristics by constantly giving them new and trendy things to learn. Always involve them in meaningful projects and don’t hold back from giving them responsibil - ities. Millennials must be given the space to make mistakes for them to learn and grow. Never forget to give timely recognition for each and every small win that they make.


Compared to previous generations, millennials need much more social cohesion. To them, bonding beyond work-related interactions is vital. They value work-life balance very much and this will greatly impact the decisions they make at work.

As they value honesty, transparency and fairness, millennials respect #leaders who can understand them and share similar values. They might stay longer with their companies if they have a strong belief that their leaders’ or the company’s words and action are all aligned and congruent. This is in line with the recent Dale Carnegie study done on leadership blindspots. The findings of this survey conducted in 14 countries with 3,300 respondents are consistent with the expectations of the millennials.

These are:

  • Leaders must give their employees sincere praise and appreciation

  • Leaders should admit their mistakes

  • Effective leaders truly listen, respect and value their employees’ opinions

  • Leaders must be honest to gain employees’ trust

They might stay longer with their companies if they have a strong belief that their leaders’ or the com - pany’s words and action are all aligned and congruent.

Millennials become bored very quickly with repetitive work. They are reluctant to follow unclear visions. Also, they would quickly jump ship if leaders and organizations cannot articulate a vision that is in line with their vision.

In my industry, less repetitive and more creative work and projects in line with current and upcoming technological trends greatly appeal to them. For example, we automate more and more operational activities and move the team towards proactive solutions in the IT team. For digital business development, we have moved away from traditional models and have introduced new business models along with pioneering solutions and products to remain competitive and to keep our millennial employees engaged.

Millennials are reluctant to follow unclear visions

Millennials as managers

By now, millennials are already in managerial positions or are going to fill these positions. From my observation, they are generally more talented and tech savvy. They are more creative and work faster.

Also, as managers, they are more straightforward and have closer relationships with their subordinates. At the same time, as a cohort, they suffer from lack of depth and tend not to pay attention to details. They can be better managers by improving on their risk management skills. A common trait that I also see in them as managers is that they are easily distracted from the big picture and the end goal. In times of crisis, they need strong senior leadership to guide them.

Coping with millennials

The million-dollar question is how to channel what we know about the millennials to implement strategies and policies that will deliver the right results. If we can find ways to leverage their comfort with technology through enabling them to invent highly effective and applicable technologies in current projects, we would surely increase the productivity of the whole organization while satisfying their passion for technological innovation. In this regard, leaders and management must keep abreast of the latest technological trends. We must be more tech savvy than them to earn their respect. Once the #millennials see us as one of them, we would be better able to relate to them.

About Le Khac Nhien An

He is the Continuous Integration Country Manager & Compliance Officer of Bosch Vietnam. He has more than 20 years’ experience in top executive positions in international organizations like Accenture, AXA and P&G, among others.

About Bosch Group

A multi-industry global conglomerate, Bosch has more than 400,000 associates globally and operates via 440 subsidiaries in more than 60 countries at the end of 2017. It generates a revenue of about US$100 billion. In Vietnam, Bosch currently employs close to 3,700 associates, of which 1,800 are research and development engineers. The manpower strength is projected to grow by more than 60 per cent to reach 4,600 associates in 2020.

Source: Dale Carnegie ASEAN Newsletter Quarter 2, 2018.

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