Millennials are currently the largest generation in the Nigeria labour force and will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025 (globally). In fact, Millennials now have the most spending power of any generation, which means that creating a work environment that they can thrive in matters a lot for them.
Yes, change is certainly happening among the Millennials, yet progress is still needed. Unfortunately, many corporate entities are stuck in outdated norms, many of which are still tailored to older generations. This is particularly true when it comes to management.
So, it is usually heart-warming to see firms like Digital Encode doing everything to develop this group of leaders. Digital Encode, itself is a millennial company; the leading consulting and integration firm was founded in 2003. In other words, it turns 19 this year!
Why is Digital Encode different?
The Founders, Dr. Oluseyi Akindeinde and Dr. Peter Adewale Obadare have demonstrated great understanding that today’s workforce (i.e, the Millennials) don’t need some ‘Big Brother’ figure hovering over them to tell them that budgets are cut, “that we will be in big trouble if we don’t meet deadlines, and to ‘make do with less’”.
So many things set Digital Encode apart from its peers – it understands and speaks the language of the Millennials without missing out on the needs of the laggards too.
Dr. Akindeinde and Dr. Obadare have shown leadership qualities by setting these young people (team members) up for success; instill in them a sense of bigger purpose, and giving them the confidence to persevere when the work gets challenging.
How Digital Encode is empowering young talents, building a great place to work
Digital Encode, a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures, recently sponsored some kids among whom where children of the Company staff, to five-week training on Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing and game development.
This is a clear demonstration of believe in the the Generation Y; the generation of people born during the 1980s and early 1990s. Importantly, they are grooming talents that will bring new digital skills and tech savviness that will be critical to transforming the business. This is one reason why so much is written about millennials.
With what Digital Encode is doing, these youngsters will bring their values, ideas and skills to shape society, markets and companies. Of particular interest are their attitudes to work and the implications these hold for firms and economies.
In the heel of that development, the firm sponsored the team to one-week retreat at the United Arab Emirates; Dubai precisely! Team retreat is a growing trend in the corporate world. There are so many benefits of team retreats that even smaller companies are thinking about how they can take the office out of the office for a weekend or just for a day.
Digital Encode has led another example of how to build a great place to work:
Retreat is a great way to build up your team spirit:
The ‘outing’ activities are actually fun-filled and can do a lot for the company. It is a way to show clients and prove to the staff that they are all in this together. During hard times at the office, this can mean a great deal.
Get out of the stress ball
We all can attest to the bustles and hustles in Lagos (Nigeria). The big issue that a lot of people have with the office is that it can become a stressful place. There are always busy times during the year. So, retreat is an avenue to come around, and ease-off.
By taking the team away from a stressful environment, Digital Encode has made sure that they decompress all over again because as the saying goes, “less stress means more productive workers”.
Improve company morale
Workers are more demanding than ever before. Just because you are paying them doesn’t mean that they are going to give it their all. As far as they’re concerned, a salary is just a means to an end. They do it because they have to, and that’s not a good mindset to have for your (modern) business.
You need to come up with ways in which you can improve company morale. Studies indicate that companies with high morale outperform their counterparts by 20%.
The way to do this is through a corporate retreat. You are showing that the company cares about the well-being of its employees. It’s supposed to be a treat and a reward. It’s not something you have to do but it’s something you should do. So, Digital Encode has achieved this too!
Retreat: A time to reflect
The only way that each and every person is going to get better at what they do is through reflection. The best CEOs always take time out to get away from work and think. They may sit on a luxury cruise ship or run away to a cabin in the woods (like Digital Encode team did), which was part of the team retreat activities.
A time to reflect enables everyone to look back at what they have done in the past few months. They have the chance to consider how they can improve and what their flaws are.
Not only is this crucial for self-development it’s essential for the continuing progress of the company.
Discovering hidden talents
A company can spend millions of naira to hire event comperes without knowing that Engineer (in the office) who carries wire about can also ‘talk’. If you’re doing the same things every single day, the chances are people are not going to realize their true talents. Coworkers often fail to realize just how extraordinary each person is because nobody ever gets the chance to reveal who they truly are.
Team retreats allow a group of people to indulge in tasks that just don’t happen in the normal office environment. For the first time, you may discover that Nkechi from accounting is really good at storytelling. But how does this translate to any actual value for the company?
To put it simply, you learn to know a person. You can better identify with them. You may even bond over the fact that you have the same interests as them. A hard skill can reveal a bunch of other soft skills, so it’s always useful to find out more about a person.
Dr. Obadare’s post after the retreat sums it up: “Since inception of Digital Encode in 2003, It has always been our dream, our passion, Seyi and I to build a game-changing Organisation. A place where the employees have a sense of belonging, a big family, a great place where everyone is proud of. This year in pursuant of the dream, we decided to take all of our staff on a trip to Dubai for the 2019 Annual Retreat. Digital Encode is passionate to attract, motivate and develop a dynamic workforce that conquer the world from Lagos, Nigeria”.
Other organisations can learn from Digital Encode. Truly, competition is fierce to attract new employees with digital competencies in artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity or ‘frontier risk management. But companies with pedigrees with relaxed work environment will not fear of losing the workforce.
In essence, the future workplace depends on millennial employees and like Digital Encode has done; to get the best from them depends on an entity’s Strategic Capabilities Building. Kudos to the visionary founders of Digital Encode.
Some photo News from the recent retreat: