Winning Together with Gen Y

“If you’re young and talented, it’s like you have wings.” – Haruki Murakami   And given the right opportunity, you can definitely soar into the sky! It’s my firm belief that Gen Y is a lot smarter, flexible, and adaptive to a dynamic lifestyle than my own generation will probably ever be. And at Intuit,

“If you’re young and talented, it’s like you have wings.” – Haruki Murakami


And given the right opportunity, you can definitely soar into the sky! It’s my firm belief that Gen Y is a lot smarter, flexible, and adaptive to a dynamic lifestyle than my own generation will probably ever be. And at Intuit, we make sure that the Next Generation feels welcome, important, and motivated to change the world for the better.


I wouldn’t be wrong in saying Intuit India belongs to Millennials; because not only is more than 60% of our workforce from this age-bracket, but also a large number of our customers, new-generation entrepreneurs, belong to Gen Next.


Our Next Generation Network is a step ahead in the right direction, and at Intuit India, we are doing all we can to live our value of winning together, with Gen Y! Here’s how!


Empower them and give them control


If there’s one thing we need to remember when it comes to Millennials, it is that they hate being told what to do. You need to set the context, tell them what you want, and let them do things their way. And this is experience talking. When we started the NGN at Intuit India, we asked them to take up and run existing initiatives, but our employee engagement levels continued to be low. That is when we realized that there is no middle ground for empowerment and that they wanted to take decisions, drive outcomes, and play a more substantial role rather than just help out. Soon enough, we asked them to come up with their own charter, allow them to fail fast and learn fast, decide the initiatives they want to drive, and that was it. Our employee engagement levels were up again, and since then we are among the top 10 Great Places to Work!


Create the Right Environment


At Intuit, we believe that employees, customers, and shareholders are like air, water, and food; integral in a unique, irreplaceable way. And as a result, we have an employee True North. All our efforts are directed towards creating an environment where the world’s top talent does the best work of their lives.  We have empowered Gen Y and given them the freedom to plan and drive initiatives to talk about causes, issues, situations, and decisions that matter to them. As a result, our All Hands meetings don’t have pre-planned content and rigid agendas. There’s an environment of openness and transparency as the NGN members take charge and drive the meetings.


Leave Room for Experiments


No matter what the problem or question is, one thing is a given, that there is never just one correct answer. And unless you explore multiple possibilities, you cannot arrive at the best possible one. At Intuit India, for the longest time, the top management would brainstorm and come up with the focus areas of the coming year. But then, we decided to experiment. A couple of years ago, we let employees decide their priorities. Everyone was asked to tell us one problem they would like to solve for India. This data was then analysed, and our annual goals were planned accordingly. It was an initiative that really worked and today, Intuit India is driven by the goals of focusing on technical excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship; that Gen Y has suggested, owns, and is motivated to work towards.


Bring Gen Y under the Spotlight


I’ve realized that Gen Y is a lot more inclined to share their life, experiences, moments, and milestones with their friends. Considering how active they are on social media, we make it a point to use Intuit India’s social media channels to connect with them and continue the conversation even outside the confines of the office, in a manner that’s non-intrusive, friendly, and cherished by the employees too.


Create an Empowerment Chain


The generation gap these days is getting smaller and smaller. Each new batch of campus hires comes with perspectives very different from the previous one. At Intuit India, I’ve seen that NGN-ers themselves take on the role of mentors for the new hires, just like we did. I see how each new batch of hires is absorbed into driving and contributing to activities, and it makes me glad to see that spark of leadership among them. It’s a chain where we empower the NGN-ers and they empower each batch of new hires that joins us.


I personally find it fascinating to interact with Gen Y and think there’s a whole lot we can learn from them. In fact, at Intuit, we see ourselves as an 8000+ strong startup. So essentially, we are Gen Y, and we are looking to serve Gen Y! So, it’s only fair that we make Intuit a great place to be, for everyone.


What are your views about engaging Gen Y at the workplace? How do you think you can make the most of their enthusiasm and energy? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Written by Vijay Anand

Vijay Anand is Senior Vice President at Intuit responsible for Intuit’s Global Development Centers. During his 8 year tenure, Vijay is credited with growing the India Development Center into a premier technology center where over 1000 talented employees deliver key innovations in our products including Quickbooks and TurboTax that delight millions of customers around the world. Here in India, Intuit is consistently recognized as one of India’s Best Companies to Work for by the Great Place to Work Institute and The Economic Times including the #1 ranking in 2017. Intuit is also a recognized leader in Diversity and Inclusion (ranked #3 in retaining women at work in 2015 by Great Place to Work Institute) and awarded Most Innovative in the industry by Zinnov. Last year, Vijay launched a new global development center for Intuit in Israel with a deel focus on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science and Information Security.

Prior to Intuit, Vijay has played senior leadership roles leading large R&D centers for Oracle and Sun Microsystems in India. Earlier, Vijay was an entrepreneur for the first 14 years of his career in the US, first at Transarc (acquired by IBM in 1993) and NetDynamics (acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1998).

For his work, Vijay received Intuit’s prestigious Bill Campbell Coach’s Award in 2017, Intuit’s CEO Leadership Award in 2013, and the Out and Equal’s Champion Award in 2014 for championing workplace equality. He is the Chair of Anita Borg Institute’s (ABI) India Council that runs the popular Grace Hopper Conference for technical women and a member of ABI’s US Board of Trustees. He is on the advisory board of technology startups in Bangalore and the Silicon Valley, actively mentors entrepreneurs and women technologists and is a regular featured speaker at entrepreneur and tech conferences. Vijay has a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Arizona and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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