What do younger talents want?

mathias-sager-youth-young-talent-china-employee

Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented. 


Work ethics and quality of life values

Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities [1]. Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness [2]. Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures [3]. Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle [4].

Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring

Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context [2], including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees [5]. A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents [6]. Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped [7]. Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach [2].

Short and long-term view for win-win situations

Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career [8]. Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start [9].

Empowering the youth

For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability [10]. For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether [3].

References

[1] Roongrerngsuke, S., & Liefooghe, A. (2013). Attracting Gold-Collar Workers: Comparing Organizational Attractiveness and Work-Related Values across Generations in China, India and Thailand. Asia Pacific Business Review, 19(3), 337-355.

[2] Claire, M. (2011). Lessons from the East: next generation HR in Asia. Strategic HR Review, (4), 11. doi:10.1108/14754391111140954

[3] Walk, M., Handy, F., & Schinnenburg, H. (2013). What do talents want? Work expectations in India, China, and Germany. Zeitschrift Fur Personalforschung, 27(3), 251-278.

[4] Froese, F. J. (2013). Work values of the next generation of business leaders in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Asia Pacific Journal Of Management, 30(1), 297-315. doi:10.1007/s10490-011-9271-7

[5] Lynton, N., & Beechler, S. (2012). Using Chinese Managerial Values to Win the War for Talent. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 567-585.

[6] Jackson, K. (2017). Demographic shift: implications for employment policy development in the Asia-Pacific. Asia Pacific Business Review, 23(5), 738-742. doi:10.1080/13602381.2017.1295558

[7] Ratanjee, V. (2014). Bridging the Leadership Gap in Asia. Gallup Business Journal, 4.

[8] Groden, C. (2016). Five Things You Can Do to Attract Millennial Talent. Fortune International (Asia), 173(4), 182.

[9] Rose, P. (2013). Internships: Tapping into China’s next generation of talent. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Cooperative Education, 14(2), 89-98.

[10] Middleton, J. (2012). secrets to tapping the talent in young Pacific people. Human Resources Magazine, 17(1), 34-35.

About mathias sager

Independent researcher, artist, social entrepreneur, and leadership and strategy advisor I was born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. Currently, I’m living in Tokyo. I love open-minded people everywhere and the passion to working relentlessly for developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work. I have extensive experience in leadership and management, organizational psychology research, and learning & development practice. I have worked as a teacher, a leadership trainer, as well as a senior manager responsible for client relationships, counseling, and virtual teams around the world. Also, I’m a social entrepreneur and serving as a strategy and leadership advisor in different ways. My goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for the people’s individual well-being and common good alike. Continuously learning himself and keen to help, I appreciate any questions or feedback you may have at any time. Please connect here on any social media, as well as per direct email goodthings@mathias-sager.com.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What do younger talents want?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.