Nicholas Gabriel Lim_Emergenetics

Nicholas Gabriel Lim, Registered Psychologist, Emergenetics Associate

Often, very little is written about how one, who has just embarked on his career, is able to connect with others in an organisation. More is often written about how employers can engage with employees, especially the millennials.

Today, those who are in the gestational period of their careers are mostly made up of individuals from the millennial generation.

Millennials is obviously a large and diverse group and whilst some try to define the actual years between which they were born in, none could come to a clearly defined conclusion.

Nonetheless, there are some common traits of this group that we can look at, that would enable us to talk about how millennials can engage the different levels in an organisation, be it age, status or hierarchy.

According to Gallup, there are four common characteristics in millennials: Unattached, Connected, Idealistic and Unconstrained.

If you are a millennial, see if you are able to identify yourself with any of these characteristics, and learn from the tips on how to connect with your fellow colleagues!



Emergenetics Unattached


One possible reason for any employee to be unattached or loyalty-lite as Forbes put it, is that he or she has a completely different outlook on the ideal employment experience compared to his or her predecessors. Millennials are often thought to be unattached as they seek challenges and want to better themselves in every way. Despite this, they also seek work-life balance whilst looking for immediate feedback at work. They crave speedy advancement in career, failing which, they are ever ready to move on to something else.


Tip for the millennial:

If this true for you, you may want to engage your colleagues in ways where your expectations can be understood. Discuss ways for provisions to be made, so that you are able to thrive and achieve greater satisfaction at work.



Emergenetics Connected



Bring connected is having a unique global perspective, enabled by the easy access to the Internet. The evolution of the digital space has transformed the way millennials interact, consume content, shop and work. In short, they connect differently as compared to other generations.


Tip for the millennial:

Consider leveraging your knowledge in information technology, and use it to facilitate discussions on goals with others. Empathise too with others that may have different ways of connecting with you. Establishing these shared goals help keep others and you connected.



Emergenetics Idealistic


Many millennials tend to need to know if their actions would be worthwhile and if it would lead to something meaningful. This is the result of millennials generally being more optimistic and idealistic; constantly seeking to learn new things and seeking for growth at the end of the day.


Tip for the millennial:

If this is so, you may want to first find out what the company’s business is about before joining them. Once you join the company, the assumption here is there is an alignment with the kind of meaning you like to have for yourself at work, and that you can see yourself growing with the company. Otherwise, you can seek for alignment in the things you do by tabling it with your direct manager.



Emergenetics Unconstrained



After finally finding alignment, millennials generally want to take that step out of their comfort zones to reach out to the different levels of the organisation, to communicate their expectations. Millennials are considered unconstrained, when they speak their mind, push for change, don’t accept “that’s the way it has always been done”, want to be free of old workplace policies and performance management standards, expect leaders and managers to adapt accordingly and see work and life as closely intertwined.


Unfortunately, this is where the rubber hits the road, and things could get rough. Though some millennials effectively want to have a different relationship with their managers, they also want them to care and understand them as both employees and people.


Tip for the millennial:

If this is the case, you may want to modify your approach, find leverage in your optimism and connection with your managers to work out an understanding of what your hope and desires are, keep an open mind, try traditional approaches and seek to understand; offer constructive suggestions and agree to disagree compassionately when a common agreement cannot be achieved.




Generational gaps do exist and they have distinct impact on both the employer and employee when it comes to engagement. It is not just about one giving in to the other, it is about finding common grounds and letting the other drive what they are innately or naturally primed to fulfil.


In the language of Emergenetics, we all have our preferences, we can also flex our preferences to engage each other better and enter into deeper engagement with each other, without having to compromise who we are. Let us keep the spirits high and connect with each other genuinely for mutual growth.