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Flexible, nimble millennials usher changes in work spaces

By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter

MILLENNIAL leadership is creating more flexible and productive workplaces, business leaders said, highlighting the changes in the organizations they help steer.

“Creativity is how (millennials) exhibit their productivity and results,” Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp. Chief Financial Officer Brian Gregory T. Liu said at the BusinessWorld Insights event on Wednesday.

The workplace culture, Mr. Liu said, is changing, with leaders prompting more flexible work time and spaces along with “favorable” benefits to back creativity.

“We’ve created a new platform where work is more flexible and you can be more productive through this flexibility,” he said during the forum.

Mr. Liu said he emphasizes the need to develop a level playing field at work, allowing employees opportunities to succeed regardless of introversion, resumé, family background, or alma mater.

“That highlights the key importance of human resource management. You need to be able to identify individuals’ key strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

Marvin Tiu-Lim, chief growth and development officer at Mega Global Corp., said technological savviness, purposefulness of company vision, and an entrepreneurial mindset are important to the generation.

He said that leaders must be nimble, with businesses quickly changing in response to crises like the pandemic.

“Education has changed. Doing business has changed… what we have to have is adaptability to that change. Why do we have to force fit ourselves into a box that has been given to us throughout time and throughout tradition?” he said.

George I. Royeca, chief transport advocate at Angkas, said that millennials are team-oriented, creating stronger or community-based relationships in the workplace.

“Before, that was seen as a negative — being too personal in the workplace… but one thing that we started to realize is you can’t take out the person wherever you are.”

He said that through technology, millennial leaders tend to focus on being productive anywhere instead of working in just a single office environment.

“Unfortunately, that gives you that ‘always on’ syndrome, which may lead to mental illness,” he said.

But while the business leaders explained how millennials have developed distinct leadership styles, they also noted the lessons that can be learned from older generations.

“Patience, consistency — there are a lot of things that need to happen over time. You can’t rush certain things,” Mr. Royeca said. “Use technology, make it more efficient, but still have that level of patience that we can learn from our parent and our former leaders.”

Despite this, the executives said that some myths about millennials need to be broken, noting a millennial focus on growth and the top line.

Mr. Tiu-Lim said he would prefer to focus on growing the top line as opposed to cutting down expenses.

“The emphasis on moving forward and growth with millennials is often misunderstood as being brash and I think that’s a big myth,” Mr. Royeca said. “They know what they’re doing. They’re actually learned, they read a lot, they have a lot of information at their fingertips. It’s not just a rash decision that they go into.”

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