What millennials want from employers in India and China?

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!

How do culture led initiatives enhance organisational resiliency?

If we were to use one word to describe Apple, it would be resilient. The company’s story is the stuff of fables. In the times when the music player and phone industries were commoditising, the company rose from ashes on the strength of simply and beautifully designed products.

Resilient organisations are the ones that are prepared to change with changing times. Resiliency is becoming a buzzword in business yet it is one of the most elusive traits to build upon. Organisations that want to bring in lasting change and those that want to make an enduring name for themselves have realised that building a company culture based on trust, agility and accountability is the key to being a resilient organisation that can time and again rise like the mythical phoenix (not necessarily from ashes though!).

With technological advancements and broadening of the competitive landscape of any industry, companies cannot afford to shy away from the demands of evolution. Developing a resilient, agile and innovative company culture, seems to be the only way out.

Naturally now you would want to understand what sets a resilient company apart from its competition. Here are a few key traits of a resilient organisation:

  1. Engaged employees: The greatest strength of any organisation is its workforce. Nobody recognises this more than companies that vow to take care of their employees beyond giving them the pay cheque and by promoting their physical, mental and social well-being. It is no secret that engaged employees are committed employees.
  2. Clear organisational objectives: These help employees see where the company is headed. Having clear organisational goals act as a reference point in times when employees need to make tough decisions.
  3. Investing in a relationship with various stakeholders: Resilient organisations clearly are able to see the importance of having a nurturing relationship with their stakeholders at various levels.
  4. Strategy: A resilient organisation is very well able to differentiate and invest between valuable and meaningful changes and trivial industry fads. 

If you are wondering where to go from here, we have got you covered. As a company willing to enhance organisational agility and resilience through culture-led initiatives, you can start by improving on current cultural strategies. A recent study from Accenture Strategy sheds light on the fact that in high performing organisations leaders were successfully able to engage employees in the change initiatives. 

The same research also pointed out that if employees were involved in shaping those changes, they were more likely to accept these cultural transformations like what Zappos’ CEO was able to achieve when he asked all the employees for one thing that could be changed in company’s processes and policies.  

Peer coaching and building safe and secure work communities, that encourage and stimulate learning also go a long way in enhancing agility and resilience in an organisation. 

To meet your organisation’s needs in this sector Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner bringing to the table its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses that can help build and build upon your employer brand.

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