415 million millennials in China and 440 million millennials in India make up the world’s 47% millennial population. With statistics like these, it is safe to say that this generation will lead 21st century’s workplace narrative.
Despite promising numbers, there are myths that portray millennials as self-absorbed and lazy, and at the same time there are reports that dispel these myths. In this technology-led and absorbed era, millennials are redefining everything from consumerism to employer-employee relationships. Born at a time when the employment market was highly volatile and businesses were experiencing global recession there has been more emphasis on skill and less on education.
Over the years, the business landscape has changed dramatically as Asian countries like India and China produced an increasing number of talented workforce. The time is ripe for employers to rework their people strategies and employ new hiring practices to attract, retain, and motivate the best millennials to develop the workforce for 21st century.
But what does the largest pool of millennial workforce want? Let us have a look.
They see a promising future and successful career for themselves
The Indian and Chinese millennials share wide-eyed optimism as far as their job prospects are concerned. With China’s new reforms and policies in 1978 and India’s economic reforms of the 1990s, both the countries have witnessed significant economic development resulting from extraordinary change at the societal level. Both the countries continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with new policies and implications for its workforce. Owing to this change, the millennials in both the countries are upbeat about their careers as the business outlook appears buoyant despite competition.
Together, the new brand of millennial workforce is bringing in a paradigm shift towards the ways of working. However, the volatile environment in India and China does not necessarily support this change which can result in declined innovation as well as productivity. Therefore, businesses must factor in the impact of this shift in workplace design and policies to influence their most valuable asset, their employees.
The need for strong personal identity and empowerment
According to Zarina Bhatena, Vice Senior VP and HR head at Atos Worldline India Pvt Ltd., this generation has grown up amid technology and is used to being a part of important decision-making processes at home throughout their formative years. Indian gen Y prefers enhanced designations and personal entity due to peer pressure and ambitions. Organizations should consider defining designations and roles and clearly define the path for quick progression for a rewarding career.
At the same time, a global study conducted by PwC too highlights that millennials in China have a strong desire to be autonomous. This generation is continuously looking for elements of individuality to cultivate confidence and develop strong personality. However, this stands at odds with homogeneous workplaces in China that the employers must address to appeal to their millennial workforce.
Work-life balance takes precedence
Millennials all over the world, not just India and China, have a strong desire to create work-life balance. They do not want to work endlessly for a company that does not give them personal time and space.
They do not settle for mediocre careers
This new breed of workforce does not settle for run-of-the-mill careers. The need for passion and job satisfaction remains the top most priority for millennials of these countries. The employers need to understand the generation Y is very different from the workforce before them when it comes to work culture. There is a visible shift from loyalty for their employers and fewer expectations, to one that is more empowering and autonomous.
Gen Y in India does not put as much importance on tenure as it does on clear performance metrics. The winning combination will be defining processes that will put freshers on a fast track career path and equip them with infrastructure to move quickly. This will allow them to have multiple experiences across the organizational structure.
Chinese millennials, on the other hand, often consider workplace to be their first opportunity to express their personal identities. However, the traditional offices lack personal spaces. Companies can shape their employees and their skillsets by giving them personal workspaces that are suited to their individual preferences.
Attracting the millennials
The millennials march to a very different tune than their predecessors, especially when it comes to workplace setting. They demand more strategic approach to their recruitment as well as retention policies. Millennials look for a life beyond the periphery of jobs and want to steadily climb the corporate ladders. Regardless of where they come from, be it India or China, they both express strong desire to do something that feels worthwhile and take company values into account before considering the job. You need to have a lot more than just money to lure the biggest pool of talented labour!