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Off the Record: How you can help me celebrate my 24th



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Today is not only the sunniest day of the week so far, but it also happens to be my birthday.

Over the past few days, people have been asking me what I wanted this year. Unfortunately, a lot of the things I’ve been asking for seemed to be outside everyone’s collective budget (I mean how expensive could a helicopter ride over Marina Bay at sunset with a fancy dinner cost, really?)

So I’ve decided to come up with a more realistic list, but it’s going to need your help. Here are three things I want for my birthday:

Stop the tug of war between employers and Gen Ys

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of disruptive innovation – things that have been developed in the past decade, such as social media and the cloud – which have changed the way we work for the better.

Look at Gen Ys in the same light. No one likes change, but fighting it is going to do you more harm than good. I get Gen Ys aren’t the easiest bunch to work with. I’ve written pages and features about this seemingly never-ending war between employers and their younger staff, but can we just take a day to reflect on all the lovely things that could happen if we just became friends?

I hereby declare today ‘Sabrina’s Hear out Gen Ys’ Ideas Day’.

Strategy is the name of the game

I’ve been an observer of the regional HR scene for just over two years now and already I’ve seen so many promising developments it sends shivers down my spine.

HR is gaining a stronger foothold in the boardroom, practitioners are learning to convert raw data into insights and leaders are making more strategic investments in their human capital. It’s fantastic, but I believe we’ve barely scratched the surface.

At times, I have found myself having a conversation with someone who codes for a living, but midway through our chat they say something that completely changes the way I’ve been looking at an HR issue.

Do yourself a favour and take your CMO, CFO or even CEO out for lunch or drinks today. Have a chat about where they see the business going and how you can partner with them to accelerate growth. You never know where that casual conversation will lead.

Be kids again

I’ve mentioned before I was a pre-school teacher before foraying into the world of journalism, and truth be told, there are days I miss it. It was a dream come true to be paid to play, sing songs and finger paint, but the thing I miss most was the fun I had at work. I’m not saying the job was all fun and games – early childhood education required a lot of training and development – but I always looked forward to work.

Who is to say we can’t still have fun? It doesn’t matter if you’re four, 24 or 54. You work best when you’re comfortable, relaxed and in a safe environment. It’s not HR’s job to be solely responsible for creating this culture, but you can take the first step.

Plan a movie afternoon, have a meeting in a café instead of the boardroom, or just take some time to be away from your desk to check in on colleagues and have a laugh about something.

I don’t think there is anything too extravagant or unrealistic on that list, so it would be super if you can help me check a couple of those boxes.

However, if you still want to spoil me with that helicopter ride, you know where to find me.

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