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The Millennial in the workforce

Auteur: YESS International Consultants

They are born between 1980 and 2000, they are raised in a digital age and they are the largest generation; we are talking about Millennials. The article “Understanding the Millennial Generation” shows us that Millennials will almost be fifty percent of the workforce in 2020. Therefore, it is essential to understand what motivates this younger generation. So YESS asked four Millennials about their vision on the workforce.

In order to attract and retain a Millennial, a manager or organisation needs to understand what motivates and satisfies the younger generation. For Millennials, the use of technology and social media is natural and important. And, Millennials prefer a more interpersonal relationship with their management. They find it important to know that their manager cares. This is what they say:

Barend den Heijer – Sourcing Manager Home & Garden @ Bol.com (the largest online retailer in the Benelux).

I recently started at Bol.com after spending 5.5 years at Procter & Gamble as an Account- and Category manager for various retailers (for example Albert Heijn) and brands (such as Ariel).

The fact that impact and inspiration are that important to me makes me a millennial, I guess.

Impact and inspiration
The perfect day starts with a run in a park nearby my home. I can’t wait for the summer to arrive so I can use the racing bicycle to go to work. Doing sports in the morning provides me with a lot of energy and lays a foundation for a day full of impact. Arriving at the office, I always plan my complex work in the morning as I am truly a morning person. This can either be a tough meeting with a supplier or a complex analytical problem. My lunch is with my team, preferably outside in the sun next to the canal ‘Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal’. Early afternoon I use for meetings with a supplier or other colleagues. The late afternoon needs to be filled with some kind of inspiration to further motivate and inspire me that I am part of a company-wide journey that is changing the way the Dutch customer shops. The fact that impact and inspiration are that important to me makes me a millennial, I guess.

Trust and transparency
The relationship with my boss is very important to me and has to be built on trust and transparency. I think that the period of directional leadership is over. Trust leads to ownership and ownership leads to results. Next to that, I need to be able to have a good laugh with my boss, as humor and just having fun play a major role in my life.

Online knowledge
I believe that in five to ten years every ‘big job’ in the Consumer Goods industry requires a certain level of E-commerce knowledge. Stepping up on this online knowledge was the reason for me to switch from a supplier to an online retailer. My personal ambition is to become an all-around E-commerce expert with broad experience in every part of the online journey.

Gabriëlle Krapels – Team Manager Mandate Research ( Fiduciary Management Team @ APG Asset Management).

In April 2018, I joined the Fiduciary Management team at APG Asset Management as Team Manager Mandate Research. This team provides quantitative analyses for the Fiduciary Managers. I divide my time between managing this team and working on Responsible Investing. Prior to this, I worked for the Nederlandse Investeringsinstelling structuring institutional investment funds with a focus on impact investing. I have a background in the public sector, having worked in various positions in The Hague and Brussels, and obtained my PhD at the University of Oxford.

Energy
A good day at the office is when I notice there is a lot of energy in my team. I get energy from the weekly check-ins we have, where we share successes from last week and briefly update each other on what is scheduled for this week. A good day for me is a mix of intellectually stimulating conversations, interesting content, interaction with colleagues and delivering results to clients.

I value an open relationship with my colleagues; a relationship that is built on mutual trust.

Interaction and balance
We have an open plan office, everyone sits together at desks next to one another. As the atmosphere is informal, it is easy to connect. I like that my work has a high societal relevance and is intellectually challenging. It can be hard work from time to time, but it is also a lot of fun. We often go for drinks or lunches with the team. That balance is really important to me.

A lot of freedom
I value an open relationship with my colleagues; a relationship that is built on mutual trust. This involves that there is room for error and open discussion. Also, I think it’s important to have fun, laugh and have a drink with each other from time to time. Fortunately, this is a shared wish and we often talk about topics that are not related to work.

Responsible investing
I very much enjoy the combination of work I have in my current job. On the one hand, I am manager of a team that is striving to deliver high quality analyses that benefit our clients. I combine this with more in-depth work on Responsible Investing, something I am really passionate about: to invest the money of our beneficiaries, pension money, in a responsible way. In the Netherlands, we hold one of the largest pension reserves in the world. If it is possible to invest this in a responsible manner, with good returns for all beneficiaries, we create a win-win situation.

Roope Vahahyyppa – M&A @ The HEINEKEN Company

Since August ’18, I have been working in the Global Business Development team at HEINEKEN. Our team is responsible for acquisitions, partnerships, and divestments of HEINEKEN worldwide. Prior to this, I worked at Lazard in Amsterdam as an Associate. I graduated as an MSc in Financial Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam

I do like a relaxed, open culture, where the focus should obviously not be on a number of hours you put in but rather on working together getting a task done in the best way possible.

Relaxed, open culture
I do like a relaxed, open culture, where the focus should obviously not be on a number of hours you put in but rather on working together getting a task done in the best way possible. For me, a good day at the office has a mix of in-person meetings and some analytic work. I would not necessarily require an employer to organise various activities during work time.

Friendly relationship
Further to the above, I think it’s important to have a good, friendly relationship with your colleagues and it should be fun for instance to have after work drinks with the team/colleagues on a Friday. Within HEINEKEN, we have a relatively small team (7), which automatically makes the lines of communication short and quick. I like to be able to easily walk in the boss’ office to discuss a case, or ask a question.

Sharpen my skills
My current role is generally for a period of ~ 4 years, after one is expected to move on within HEINEKEN. During this period I want to sharpen my skills as an M&A-professional by doing as many (good) deals for HEINEKEN as possible. But next to that, gain as many insights as possible in the various aspects of the beer industry by working together with colleagues around the world.

A strategy consultant @ an internationally renowned strategy consulting firm

I am a strategy consultant, mainly working for clients in the healthcare / pharmaceutical industry. In addition to that, I love sports, traveling and to chill.

There are several things I expect from my boss and myself. Trust from both sides is the most important one.

Fun while learning
For me a good day depends on 3 factors 1) Our work had a lasting impact on our client 2) we had fun in the team while learning new things and 3) the lifestyle allowed for ideal work/life balance (e.g dinner at home and doing sports in the evening).

Trust
There are several things I expect from my boss and myself. Trust from both sides is the most important one. Besides that I expect constructive coaching from my boss and this could also be really small things (e.g giving feedback  on how you can interact with a certain person). Lastly, I also expect him/her to take the responsibility of the problem and him/her to push for the best and most realistic outcomes.

Help
I am keen to continuously learn how I can best help companies and teach other team members to do so as well.

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