Article: Developing the picture-perfect millennial employee

Learning & Development

Developing the picture-perfect millennial employee

Here are three photography principles that are immediately applicable for millennials at work.
Developing the picture-perfect millennial employee

Entitled. Self-absorbed. Impatient. Strawberry generation. These are some common things that the general public associate the Millennial generation with. That said, I'm sure there are merits to this group of employees as well, isn't it? At times, what HR needs to do is to identify their strengths, provide guidance and help develop them.

As a recent smartphone photography enthusiast, I've actually picked up some photography skills from my buddy, Andy from Photo Craftsmen, which taught me a few lessons on how to coach Millennials to become better team members in the eyes of their supervisors. The following are three photography principles that are immediately applicable for Millennials at work.

1: Light

The proper use of light is key when capturing your picture-perfect shots. Without light, there is no image. Natural lighting, in particular, creates the best effect when setting up for the photo shoot.

That said, the amount and type of natural light you get differs across the course of the day. At noon, for instance, light tend to be harsher while at sunrise or sunset, you get light that is softer. Timing is, therefore, a critical aspect where you need to pay attention to when arranging for your shoot.

Likewise, for Millennials, you need to appreciate the importance of being patient. By being patient, besides ensuring quality over speed of delivery at times, it is also about identifying opportunities to deliver the greatest impact.

“Good timing is invisible. Bad timing sticks out a mile” – Tony Corinda

Just as the quote suggested, you need to find ways to identify the best timing to present your case to your boss. That comes with constant observation. When you pay attention to detail, that’s where you can easily identify the window of opportunity to secure a higher success rate for your proposal to be accepted. That said, on the flip side of things, if the timing is not right it will then stick out like a sore thumb and that doesn’t go away quickly.

Timing is key!

2: Focus

Always focus on one subject. This ensures that an image is sharp while helping your viewers direct their attention to the most important part of your photo. 

In addition, it is also advisable not to zoom in when capturing a shot because it will cause the photo to become grainy and affects the overall quality. Instead, try to get closer to it which in turn, helps you to get a clearer view of the subject.

For Millennials out there who are still at the mid to junior level, you tend to be responsible for operational rather than strategic work at this phase of your career. Naturally, your area of exposure will then be on the nuts and bolts of the project which are typically not seen by your supervisor. That said, does your supervisor need to know all the operational details? Chances are, no.

It is therefore important to learn how to focus on what matters to your supervisor. You’ve got to position the information at the right level while being able to provide the essential operational details, when required. That way, it makes sense to your target audience and they will then not feel as if you are wasting their time. In turn, it will also enhance your perceived value to your supervisor.

3: Framing

Look for interesting elements that can be used to frame your subject. For instance, fences, branches etc. By finding a different perspective and identifying a unique or unexpected angle, it tends to create an illusion of depth or height which helps your image stand out. This is especially so since most mobile photos are either taken straight up or from a bird’s eye view.

There is a misconception that you are only able to control what you think and not how others think. But is that really the case? Not if you are able to frame things clearly and scope their thinking right at the onset!

Framing a conversation is one of the most important things a young employee needs to keep in mind when getting a discussion started. Not only will it ensure that the supervisor is clear of the scope of discussion, you will also be more effective in directing him/her to the space you have planned out. When that happens, guess what? You have a higher chance of getting the buy-in because they will finally see things through your lens instead of just theirs!

Closing thoughts

It’s easy to jump into a conclusion and think that the newer generation is less capable, less resilient and having many other negative associations. Stereotypes exist because people do not make the extra effort to communicate, understand and eventually help uncover the talents of people. If organizations just take a little more effort to connect and coach the Millennial employees, they too can shine and perform beyond your imagination.

To fellow Millennials out there, start working on your craft and go out there to prove your worth!

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Topics: Learning & Development, #EmployeeEngagementIdeas

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