India, China have highest percentage of young managers

New study finds that a high proportion of millennial workers in Asia expect to be in management positions within 1-2 years of graduating

March 20, 2014 3:01 IST | India Infoline News Service
MSLGROUP’s latest report ‘The Millennial Compass’, based on original research across the globe, found Gen Y talent in Asia to be anything but corporate-minded and intensely ambitious. Millennials in India are the most ambitious- 37% of those surveyed expect to be in a management position within 1 year of graduating and 25% expect to be in senior management positions or running their own business within 2 years. Likewise for Chinese Millennials, 19% expect to be managers after 2 years. Contrary to what their Baby Boomer bosses might think, Millennials’ expectations may not be entirely unrealistic. Millennials in India and China have the highest percentage of young managers- 78% of managers in China and 75% for India are Millennials (under 30) or late Gen Y (31-40 years old).

“The research dispelled popular belief that Millennials have a relaxed attitude about work because of their high demand on work-life balance. Millennials view themselves as ambitious, hardworking, and with strong work ethics. They are uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and expect rapid progressions. Especially for young talent in ultracompetitive markets such as China and India, who entered the workplace when the region’s economy began to take off. Anything is possible for the Gen Y in Asia. They are more engaged and aggressive than ever, with a strong desire to make their mark in the business world.” said Parveez Modak, MSLGROUP’s Regional Practice Leader, Asia for Employee Communications & Engagement.
Equally surprisingly, Millennials in Asia value global work experience much more than their Western counterparts- 65% of Millennial in India and 47% in China plan to get international work experience in the next 5 years. On the contrary, only 18% of respondents in the US and 29 in the UK and 28 in France have foreign work in their minds. Gen Y workers in Asia believe that international work experience places them on a fast track in the company and contributes to personal empowerment, while their Western counterparts tend to undervalue the need for global career experience. Gen Y employees in the West seem to believe that their online connections with friends around the world count as global professional experience.

“Precisely because Millennials in Asia place a high emphasis on career advancement and would leap at any opportunities that give them more exposure in the company, it has become immensely important for companies to learn to better engage Millennials,” Modak says. “Companies must engage in open, honest, and frequent communication with the Millennials and highlight steps, requirements and benefits that are important to Gen Y’s development and empowerment as employees and as individuals. Developing a strong employee brand and putting in place robust and ongoing employee engagement programs is more important than ever.”

“With the dramatic growth of educated and successful Millennials in Asia and other parts of the world, multinationals have a much greater talent pool from which to hire and this opens up great global opportunities for Gen Y workers from India, China and Latin America,” said Brian Burgess, Global Co-Director, Employee Practice, at MSLGROUP.

With data and interviews from China, India, France, Brazil, the UK and the U.S., MSLGROUP’s six-country study offers rich insights into the Millennial generation’s attitudes and expectations in the workplace globally today. As well as the major disjuncture around global work experience, the research also clearly confirms one long-held hunch: Loyalty is not a particularly strong work value for Millennials, with 43% of surveyed Indian and 28% Chinese Gen Y intend to leave their organizations in the next two years. Millennials across the board have a strong preference for a less hierarchical relationship with their boss. When asked what role they would like their ideal boss to play, most survey respondents chose “friend”- however, only Chinese Millennials would still like their boss to play the role of director/ allocator of work. Furthermore, Millennials believe their skills are best utilized when their managers are also Millennials or Gen X. The Millennial Compass sets out five overall ‘truths’ that defies conventional wisdom and suggests important learnings for organizations with notable global operations.

"With work and personal lives blurring in the age of technology, Gen Y's views on work-life balance are fairly unanimous. With them always being plugged in/ connected, GenY would like to work from anywhere without seeing any need to necessarily come to office, thus seeking greater flexibility on work schedule," said Modak.

“At age 30 or younger, Millennials are the future of business. Like every generation, they present unique challenges and opportunities to organizations striving to succeed in a global economy. We at MSLGROUP believe there are many things that can be done to close the gap between what companies need and what Millennials want,” said Burgess.

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