Recently, N-Dynamic Market Research & Consultancy Ltd. and IBM jointly issued the white paper on "collaborating with Gen-Y--leveraging generational insight to build the best workplace for Gen-Y in China". In the study, we aimed to identify the characteristics of Gen-Y in China and understand their unique differences from the post 60's and 70's workers. We also hoped to foster dialogue between and with other corporations, so as to build the best workplace in which employees of different generations can exercise their talent and create a win-win strategy together. To that end, we have already held seminars in Beijing and Shanghai to release the white paper and invite managers from renowned corporations (such as Shell, Canon, Schneider Electric, Cummins, Shanda, Standard Chartered, Deloitte, etc.) to discuss the challenges they encounter in management, and to share their best practices. We look forward to further similar idea exchanges based on our publication.
Gen Y: A new workforce that aspires for openness and clarity, and ardently loves creativity
"Gen-Y" is a hot topic of discussion at companies around the whole world. Gen-Y is unique because of its upbringing in an unparalleled period of science and technology development. In China, this uniqueness is even more pronounced given the social changes the post 80's generation has experienced: the rapid development of the Chinese economy, and implementation of the one-child policy to name just two. As a result, N-Dynamic carried out a study to focus specifically on understanding Gen-Y in China. The result is a jointly issued white paper with IBM on "collaborating with Gen-Y--leveraging generational insight to build the best workplace for Gen-Y in China."
According to the study, compared with the post 60's and 70's, Gen-Y's at work seek more creativity, collaboration, and adaptability in their corporate culture; more direct relationship with managers; and more clarity and information at the recruiting, promotion and performance management processes. Key factors for job satisfaction and success include career development, training opportunities, salary, welfare, and recognition. At the same time, Gen-Y's are most dissatisfied with their work compared to previous generations, and have less loyalty to their jobs.
Due to the great differences in social upbringing, post 60's and post 70's managers are more hard-working and low profile. They conform and act more on loyalty. They prefer to have job stability, and tend to be more methodical, persistent and diligent at difficult tasks. They are more prudent about changing jobs. However, these characteristics also make them less sensitive and adaptable towards new technologies and business models.
The differences in the workplace created by these differences in behavior and expectations between Gen-Y's and post 60's and 70's have now become enormous challenges for corporations. Two different work priorities, working styles, work talents, and perceptions of each other have created various gaps in communication, cooperation, management and so forth.
The attending guests at the seminars indicated that using the word "management" in discussing Gen-Y's employees might be biased from the very beginning. The workplace is like a professional stage. It belongs to Post 60's, post 70's, and also Gen-Y's, with Post 90's joining immediately. How to make waltz, jazz, hip-hop, and black POP resonate together on the same stage is a question worthy of in-depth thinking by corporations and managers. A better starting point is to respect differences and seek common ground. This stance immediately enhances the flexibility and clarity of management and allows companies and leaders to think creatively to meet the needs from various generations. This point of view ultimately fosters the sustainable development of corporations and their continuous creative vigor. Managers can then use the findings of our study to understand its employees and adapt ideas from the case studies to create their own managerial success.
This study was designed and implemented by N-Dynamic Market Research & Consultancy Ltd. Data was collected from 2,480 employees born in 1960-1990 by online survey; 40 managers from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou were divided into two focus groups and had a 7-day online discussion; 2 face-to-face focus groups of Gen-Y managers were held in Beijing and Shanghai; and 8 organizations that have a large workforce demographic consisting of 80's individuals were interviewed in great depth, to understand their best practices in recruiting, managing, motivating and retaining Gen-Y.
N-Dynamic, founded in 2000 in China, is a full service market research & consultancy company. N-Dynamic aims at helping its clients make sound business decisions by providing timely and quality research and consultancy service. Passing through strict quality examination, N-Dynamic joined IRIS (International Research Institutes) as the only representative in China in 2004. IRIS is the largest international market research organization, which comprises of more than 35 members worldwide- all these members are independent market research agencies, with only one member per country.
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