DisruptHR Croatia - I am a Millennial: Ask me what I need

Ivan Cubela | 5/15/2017 | Culture & People

We are very proud to say that we helped bring a DisruptHR to Zagreb as one of the sponsors. While we heard and learned some really interesting things, one of the performances really stood out. Irena Jerkovic, Co-Founder of the CrewPulse showed off her talent of storytelling and explained what does it really mean to be a Millennial! 

DisruptHR Croatia - I am a Millennial: Ask me what I need

Here is the transcript and presentation of her full speech!


I represent  millennials.  Generation, work force born between 1980-2000. They say and by they I mean previous generations: traditionalists, baby boomers, X-generation, that we are: lazy, unpredictable, unreliable, unprofessional, and not willing to follow the rules of the workplace conduct.  And you know what? They  also consider us weirdos.

They tell us to stop staring at our phones and our computers. They tell:  go outside,  get some exercise and some fresh air. We do listen. We go outside and we start playing Pokemon go. 😃

According to Deloitte, by 2025, millennials are going to make 75% of the global workforce. Good idea would be to adjust NOW. Change before you have to. 

Major fear of our leaders  is that once we are hired, we simply won’t stick with a job and when other opportunity  catches our eye we’ll be off.  Leaving them high and dry. Their fear might be justified but still they rarely do something about it. 

The truth is, we simply need to be asked what we want. My  brother asked my grandmother how to get a girl on a date and she said

Those who do not ask  do not get.

Good advice grandma, applicable to millennials as well.

Most companies assume what kind of work  environment millennials want in order to be engaged.  Reason for that is tons of research they have on internet about my generation.  They contain lots of tips about what we want and management relies on those tips and build work environment based on them.  That is a  huge mistake. 

For example..

I was in a company where they  bragged about their work environment having a pool table, a barbecue and a bar. I was told that two people left company in a month  because of that same work environment.  Maybe to find a better pool table  or maybe they where looking for a table soccer. Who knows. No one asked them. 

If you want to know what keeps us engaged, just ask us! But remember we are not all the same. As a  Bali proverb says:

Different fields, different grasshoppers; different seas, different fish.

Meaning: 

  • Different people have different personalities
  • Different background means different thinking.
  • Different culture means different customs.

And among  all of these different personalities, background and cultures you have different millennials. 

Generalization is dangerous. Not all millennials want the same within a company. Rather than to assume, learn how to ask us and use our language.

If you are wondering how to ask us, here are some tips:

  • Get continuous feedback - we are interested in feedback on our performance. But traditional semi-annual reviews are too infrequent for us. We want to know that we have done a good job, and we want to know now.
  • Use Visuals and Humor - we love design. Visuals pack a greater punch than text and are more likely to draw our attention . Humor gets us engaged.
  • Consider making technological improvements - We are HIGH- tech, we don't like paper and pen, questionnaires.  We love to play. Optimize content for mobile devices. We like chat.
  • Write and ask us in everyday language - Millennials are straightforward in sharing their opinion and feelings about work. Use emoji.

Never stop asking questions

Three points I want you to remember from my speech today are:

  • Never assume what we want 
  • Ask us
  • Use our language, language of technology.
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