CPH Career: The millennial fulcrum – The Post

CPH Career: The millennial fulcrum

How do millennials fit in at the business round table? (Photo: Pixabay)
June 17th, 2017 7:00 pm| by Ivanka Ruskova

Several of my clients have recently left a project, course, internship or an entry-level job, citing issues with the management or an inability to understand the mantra of the team. The further we spoke, the more I realised it was a case that they didn’t fit in.

Millennials are different
Most of them are educated foreign graduates with first-hand experience of the sector they are training or working in. Most are also millennials.

I can testify from personal experience that this age range – typically those born between 1985 and 1995, although the precise years are a fierce topic of debate – hate to be managed.

Numbers, KPIs and a strict 8-4 schedule take a distant second place to a manager who can inspire them with their success, flexibility and enriching example – namely a leader who cares about people.

Danish diversity a myth
Although Denmark often advertises itself as one of the best countries to work, I regularly see motivated, knowledgeable foreigners voluntarily leaving Danish companies.

Most Danish companies are guilty through their insistence that for an English-language job one of the required skills is being able to speak and understand Danish.

This narrow-minded requirement is deemed essential to team-building, which most foreigners can confirm is limited to table talk whilst drinking and eating.

The joy of effective team-building does not come from a common language. And claiming you are an international company with a team of 51 Danes and one foreigner, who you require to speak Danish, is hypocritical nonsense.

Time to wake up
Some of you might think that speaking Danish is a very team-specific skill. But if it is, then the Danish language is probably the lingua franca in all aspects of the job – for example, sales and legal issues.

I am referring to transferable team skills like IT and finance, be it procurement, marketing, or research and development.

There may very well be employees/managers out there who trumpet their team’s cultural differences as their biggest strength, but unfortunately in my experience Danish companies want their employees to melt down their home-grown working standards, dis-colouring them in the process.

This is a big turn off for a lot of qualified foreigners – not just millennials. Danish managers need to wake up and see the potential for growth by adjusting to a diverse workforce, rather than enforcing the opposite.

CPH Career

Ivanka (Vanya) Ruskova is a senior business analyst with experience in IT, investment banking and the service industries. She currently works with graduates entering the job market in Denmark, offering extensive CV and application assistance, personal coaching and counselling. For more information and bookings visit: cphcareer.com