Do you realize that the pendulum switched? The future is here. There were only a few gaps to close, why even the digital generation has not been aware of losing their possibility to pull. It is definitely history that with free choice we can selectively draw from the endless streams of tunneled information to which we are bound. In the past you could find out where things were coming from without having to reveal your own origin / location. Today this is exactly the opposite. Today, in every area of life, things are pushed to us by the invisible, de facto uncontrollable global and artificial intelligence-enabled online content and service providers. These pushes are non-locatable and ubiquitous at the same time. There is no “where” anymore, except for ourselves, where we are assigned IP addresses, IDs, and usernames.
Our lifestyles and businesses now definitely got dominated by the rules of a (dystopian?) virtual world. This connectivity-enforced new disconnectedness will leave us for some time with mere memories of having lived in an in-person-world, where citizens had the choice between onsite and online services, where customers used to be king, where people were asked about the ‘why’ behind their data, and where they exchanged goods for tangible values. Internet platforms are inherently gravitating towards dominant market positions. Gone are the times where monopolistic situations and the related risk of abuse of power could be regulated, gone are the times where the “where” could be located and where the truth could be verified. Welcome to the no “where” generation.
By the way:
In the course of the upcoming ongoing mutations of viruses and the expected communication of the continuation of the contact restrictions, will we then receive a QUOTE FOR GOING OUT? Will citizens receive x tickets for cultural events such as concerts and museums, y vouchers for parties and z tokens for dining out? In this way, seditious uprisings by the people can be prevented (we’ve already come to terms with the privileged opportunities of richer citizens), and the online industry does not have to forego the continuation of the profits it has made since the beginning of the Corona crisis …
There may not be all bad:-). However, for alternative, possibly more humanistic approaches, there are a lot of ideas you can find on my website www.mathias-sager.com.
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 . 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 . 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 . 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 .
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 , 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 . 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 . 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 . 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 .
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 . 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 .
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 . For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether .
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