CORPORATE BUZZ

LET’S TALK TALENT

WHAT DO MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKPLACE WANT?

MILLENNIALS (age group 23-38 years old) now make up a large percentage of the workforce and are changing the employment paradigm. Here are some keys to retaining your millennial talent:

1. Ensure room for a healthy work-life balance: It’s important to create a realistic picture of your business before hiring to avoid disengagement and high turnover.

2. Learning and development opportunities: Remember to include the discussion on organisational values in the recruitment process as well as growth pathways

3. Workplace flexibility: Having flexible workplace arrangements, including hybrid and remote, will give you a competitive edge.

4. Social responsibility and accountability: Have a clear corporate social responsibility framework, plus opportunities for them to influence policy in areas important to them.

CORPORATE SPOTLIGHT: Dr Karrian Hepburn Malcolm, Managing Director of Guardian Media Limited

DR Karrian Hepburn Malcolm is a Jamaican media executive and entrepreneur who has called Trinidad her home for the past 11 years. With over 19 years of occupational success across various industries, including investment banking and customer service, she is a vivacious leader who swears by a people-first management style. Catch a sneak peak of her career development as she provides insight on her values, tips for success, as well as her struggles with imposter syndrome.

Q. You are a powerhouse who has (and continues to) carve out an outstanding path. You're a mother, wife, leader, and entrepreneur all in one day. What can you share with others as it relates to achieving balance?

A. That is a really good question. The truth is, there are many days that I struggle with achieving that balance you speak of because so many times I feel like I'm stretched really thin. There is an ever-shifting demand in my life which requires constant work and adjustments to ensure my family, career, and marriage are all receiving the best of me. A great support system has been paramount in meeting my obligations. Employing trusted people, as one becomes more financially anchored, who will provide that necessary support in achieving your goals, dreams, and that balance is something I have come to acknowledge and accept.

Q. No doubt you have encountered a fair share of challenges thus far in your career. Can you share some ways in which you were able to overcome the greatest of those?

A. Earlier in my career my challenge was similar to a lot of people who are just starting out. I was from east Kingston with no name and no clout. My parents were not corporate or socially educated enough to share the guidance I would have needed at that time and so I just felt very lost. I had no idea what direction I would take after university, and even though I was lucky to land a job at Dehring Bunting and Golding, I felt like a fish out of water. Many people knew their colleagues and clients prior to working there. I was a nobody. To give a little advice for those who may be experiencing similar feelings, there is a lot of value in finding a mentor(s) as early as possible to help you navigate through these waters. Something I faced when I transitioned to leadership (and still today), is the definition of a good and an effective leader. I struggled with finding my own style and path for many years. The reason it was so important for me to adequately define that vision is because, without that clarity, it would have been very challenging to make an impact on an organisation and its people. I experienced a great deal of cognitive dissonance trying to find my leadership style because the authoritative style, particularly driving fear into people, didn't resonate well with me. I eventually settled on a people-first approach since people are the ones driving the results. I want to be respected and appreciated and therefore I strive to provide just that.

Q. What are the top three values that you credit for your over 19 years of occupational success?

A. The first and most important one for me would be maintaining an attitude of gratitude, being humble and appreciative for every opportunity I was provided from the moment I entered the working world. Though many of these situations were very intimidating, I later realised it was shaping me for future engagements. Through this mindset, I've remained open to constructive criticism and have learnt so much more than I could bargain for. I would also say a keen focus on relationships has been a dominant practice. At the end of the day, we're dealing with people and not robots. Finding a point of mutual respect where authentic relationships can be created has always been essential. The commonality between my direct reports, my peers, my boss and my board are that we are all humans interfacing while trying to meet a larger goal. I always have that at the top of my mind. And lastly, I would say keeping an open mind is something I've always clung to. My career has taken a lot of twists and turns, starting off in investment banking in Jamaica to now operating in media in Trinidad, could have only happened because I didn't box myself in. I remained open to various opportunities. So while I would not have jumped at every offer, I still gave consideration to good suggestions that came my way.

Q. What is the best investment you have ever made with regards to your profession?

A. This would be my education for sure. I feel like having that piece of paper to complement your natural inclination for anything opens doors for you. I've seen where it proves to people much faster that you are equipped for certain tasks. At 25 years old I got my first major promotion to the head of private banking at Dehring Bunting and Golding, which was (again) a very intimidating experience. I was required to manage my former peers; rub shoulders and provide investment advice to high-net worth clients and all I could think about was that there is no way these people are going to take me seriously. It was at that time that I got the idea to pursue my doctorate. What I couldn't quantify with money, age, or experience, I knew I could quantify through my certifications. It took me some time to work my way through that programme, but when I eventually did, the floodgates of opportunity immediately opened up. It was an interesting transition to say the least. I was much more confident and articulate as my training provided me with this validity to now own what I already knew I possessed.

Q. What is your source of inspiration and mentorship?

A. I hold my spiritual life and well-being in high regard for this one. I pray and journal a lot. Inspiration is tied to motivation for me and so my support system ranks high on this one as well. My husband and best friends remind me so often of the hard times I overcame and that I can fight another day, especially on the toughest of days. Early in my career Peter Bunting and Chorvelle Johnson committed their time and patience in moulding me as I entered as a young, inexperienced woman at Dehring Bunting and Golding. I am forever grateful to them for teaching me basic principles I would have otherwise needed to figure out the hard way. I am also thankful that I still have access to them and their wealth of wisdom to this day. Sharon Christopher has been a rock for me here in Trinidad. She is well recognised for her achievements and recently received a national award from the president of Trinidad. I'm also a member of a group called the International Women's Forum where I get fresh inspiration every single day. These women are inspiring because of the work they do in their respective field which truly provides fertile soil for me as a female professional to grow and prosper. On another note, I can't help but have a lot of admiration for Rihanna. Just to think that another black island girl can be one of the richest and most successful business women in the world is very encouraging. I look at her and I see what every Caribbean girl can be. If she was able to do it, we can do it too. She reminds me that I have a few decades left on this Earth, therefore I still have time to make the impact I want to.

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HR THINK TANK: The Skill of Self-Confidence

Self-confidence

noun: Self-confidence

a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgement.

CONFIDENCE helps us feel ready for life's experiences. It is especially useful in moments of adversity. It drives us to be more assertive and to take more risks that are well worth it. But did you know that self-confidence is a skill? But what can be done to hone this highly coveted skill which they say can be learnt over time? Exactly how do you build self-confidence? Here are some practical tips that can aid in strengthening your sense of self-combat imposter syndrome.

1. Find the light: It’s important to surround yourself with positive sources of inspiration. Maintaining close relationships with people who are quick to knock you down, discredit your thoughts and ideas or make you feel less than wonderful is a recipe for disaster. Develop the habit of auditing your inner circle very often and revoke access to people who may be doing more harm than good.

2. Remain grateful: Oprah, Rihanna, Maya Angelou, and Michelle Obama are a few well-known people who attribute their success partially to remaining grateful each day. Gratefulness is lauded as a super power amongst the world’s most spiritually inclined people for many reasons and to remain connected to self is on the top of that list. This connection will aid in your courage and self-reliance, which are both foundations for self-confidence.

3. Cut out negative self-talk: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can actually be one of the most challenging ones to achieve. Similar to curating your inner circle, managing your internal habitat is extremely necessary. We all have what some call an inner voice. It's how we speak to ourselves on a daily basis. When we are able to analyse and transform this inner voice to be a tool of change and positivism, the results can be mind-blowing.

4. Rinse and repeat: Malcolm Gladwell popularised the concept of the 10,000-hour-rule. This concept speaks to the power of repetition and how that is the key to achieving mastery of a skill or monumental confidence in a particular field. Repetition is about a commitment to be better, a promise of sorts to be even one per cent better, which spills right over into that confidence in yourself for which you have been yearning.

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