Cross Generations at the Workplace Series – Point of view 8 – Saimadhav Suryadevara
My name is Saimadhav Suryadevara and I am part of SAP S/4HANA product management and Co-innovation team. I started my journey at SAP in August 2015 as an Intern while completing my Master’s in Business Informatics from University of Mannheim. I worked as a software developer in India after completing my Bachelor of Computer Science.
Combining different points of view in a series about cross generations at the workplace is the perfect way for me to address a few of these stereotypes from my perspective.
My motivation and tasks that make me run
In the new age of digital transformation, the companies are trying to make an impact by constantly shifting towards new technologies. At the pace of companies transforming themselves, I expect that constantly adapting to the changes without losing track of outcomes is demanded to adjust to current markets and look for opportunities to grow within the team. This does not mean to jump on to another ship. When someone takes the leadership of such generational cohort, my expectation is that a leader should be transformational, focuses on tailoring leadership style towards the employees rather than seeking out unwanted behavior. A driving force towards correcting that behavior through negative reinforcement would already be a negative perception for me. I expect my leaders/managers to respect the changing market demand when leading to influence millennials.
From my perspective, the influence of demographic, cultural developments varies the Millennial’s attributes. Especially coming from India, I grew up with parents (generation X) who try to inspire me at every step to make a great career aspirations. My parents were not of the helicopter variety. They allowed me to be independent and solve my own problems rather than gifting me expensive gadgets or trips around the world. They try to provide me what they have and especially they encouraged to do my best. I think it also reflects in my job as well. In a job to be successful, it requires hard work but not all in one day. If one sweat out their craft for a job will win, it applies both for my generation and previous generation.
For me, I welcome responsibilities and see it as a chance to learn and prove my skills. I look for opportunities to grow and develop inside and outside of the organization. It was here at SAP where I realized that my passions and career aspirations could be fulfilled. It is a supportive work environment which reflects job satisfaction with the work efforts and with a strong connectivity to supervisors. Especially SAP values the flexibility over the 9-to-5 job and it feels like a work environment where humor and constant challenges are present. This is what makes me run with purpose at SAP.
Information Management and socializing in my life
From my experience, I agree that search engines such as Google, Wikipedia or Bing play a predominant role in the first stage of Information Search. Luckily for my generation, most of the literature or scientific researches one finds in a library were digitized. So, I make use of such digitized libraries to comfortable leverage multiple sources of information and manage the gathered information using several information management tools such as OneNote, Evernote, or Notepad++. In general, if a new task or project is assigned to me, I approach experienced colleagues and try to see how the experienced colleagues achieved it and if possible, try to optimize. I would not only rely on generic results from search engines and say it is achieved but rather understand what requirements are and involve right people to bring the best output for the project. In my opinion, mindset should not be locked saying it must be done this way but rather gather information at various sources and kick start the task or project more efficiently.
No matter what, generation X and Y communication paths are often interlinked because generation X are often parents or employers of generation Y and It is important to have personal exposure and knowledge to various communication tools. With most of the companies were offshoring or outsourcing, the importance of mastering such technologies is getting more mandatory for both generations. I tend to use social networks and media communications such as websites, email, messengers extensively to collaborate personally and at workplace. I would like to connect with family and friends at any place and time via various devices and social media platforms as much as face-to face communication to close the communication gap. The same applies at a workplace, I expect the communication tools are well suited for the job and help my work more efficiently. I sense that career success requires to be more nimble, independent and entrepreneurial than past generations. Social networking sites has risen significantly with Millennials. Using social media, I share information and opinions on instant messaging platforms and expect instant interaction. I feel it does not differ much from the previous generations for instant interaction like face-to-face or via phone. Yes, social media is influencing me compared to previous generation but not in all perspectives, Especially not in the outcome or performance of my job. Of course, sometimes a feedback is appreciated so that I can reorganize myself.
Influence on the job
I feel in an organization, Active employee engagement and feedback are helpful to employees in their current jobs, it further helps to shape individual’s role to make the most of that person’s talent. I think my initial role as a stepping stone and a growth opportunity. So, I feel deeply committed to my role and the job which is assigned. Moreover, Flexibility in any form, can create a sense of empowerment and is much appreciated which is already part of my current job. it’s always important for an organization to understand what motivates today employees and what doesn’t.
With more social networking platforms popping up, there is no surprise that I steer away from traditional professional networking. Professional social media helps me to connect globally, this helps to identify opportunities across various organization or finding the right person to interact. It is often not important to stay connect via social networks like LinkedIn but sometimes it gives a glimpse of what other technologies, techniques are used in other organizations. I also believe the fact that spending time with colleagues outside of work build a person’s positive reputation. In my opinion, professional social media is not just a talent pool to start a talent hunt but also understand how other organizations are dealing their employees.
To summarize, I believe that my generation trying to adopt the change with the constant shift in the environment and technologies. It doesn’t mean that I am much different from previous generations. Sometimes leverage of social media is more compared to previous generation due to fact that I grew up with it but it does not influence the way I work. As I said before If one sweat out their craft for a job will win. It is not much different from previous generation.
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