Tag Archives: post-80’s generation

Chinas Generation Y Is Changing Office Culture – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Chinas Generation Y Is Changing Office Culture – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

The Gen Y, post-80’s generation, are becoming an even greater population of the workforce.  They have now been in the workforce and gaining experience.  They want greater advancement more than ever.  On the other hand, the post-90’s generation are now entering the work place.  It is becoming an even more greater challenge for managers and human resources to create a dynamic workplace that can cater to the needs of this generation.

26-year-old Hazel Wang decided to quit despite not having another job lined up.

“It was a huge decision for me,” said the former Shanghai resident. “But I felt the old job could not help me achieve my self-actualization goals.”


report issued earlier this year by human

-resources consultancy AonHewitt found that members of Gen Y, which the findings of this survey describe as people born in the 1980s, became the main age component in China’s talent market in 2012.

“If you want to have post-80s employees, you have to make the workplace more inclusive and more creative,” Ms. Lu said. “Gen Ys don’t just want to execute orders, they want to participate in decision making.”

As this younger generation becomes a bigger part of the workforce, many Chinese companies—including both state-owned and independent firms—are overhauling human-resource management to attract and keep this vital demographic.

What are you and your company doing to keep the Chinese Gen Y’s engaged?  Leave your comments below.



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Talent Management in Emerging Markets (China, Indonesia, India)

In my most recent interview by Sumathi V Selvaretnam of Talent Mgmt CoverHRM Asia I shared my insights on managing talent in China.  In particular, she asked if I can discuss and share my experience on key HR challenges, managing Gen Y or the after 80’s generation (八零后) and approaches to developing talent.

There is no shortages of stories of the level of difficulty companies face in attracting, developing and retaining talent in China.  This will be an ongoing issue for the near term (maybe a bit longer).  But these are the issues HR leaders will need to grapple with and look to strategy and solutions to mitigate negative impact to business results.

A Paradox

In a country with the world’ largest population it remains difficult to find qualified talent to market demands.  Companies face a tremendous uphill battle firstly, to find required talent; secondly, after talent is identified, company HR teams need to provide basic training to get new hires up to speed.

Demand is clearly outstripping supply in labour markets.  Global companies with a strong presence in China are expanding from first-tier cities into second and third-tier cities. Their continued expansion creates and even demand for human resources.

Chinese firms are beginning to build strong global brands with an entrenched foothold in China and now expanding globally. They are now competing against internationally recognised corporations for global market share.

Little Emperors

China categorize their generation groups by decades.  The Gen Ys are those born after 1980’s.  This generational group were born after the cultural revolution but grew up during China’s rapid economic rise.  Another term for China’s Gen Y is “Little Emperors,” who grew up in single child families as a result of China’s single-child policy.  Parents and and two sets of grandparents doted on the child.

China’s Generation Y are also a privileged class who come from a generation of “Little Emperors.”  They have high expectations of the employers and managers, and are eager to climb the corporate ladder.

They don’t realise that beyond the surface level, racking up a few projects does not equate to depth of experience.  Generation Ys will look for other employers for career growth if it is not offered by their current employer.

A Marathon

There is no magic pill to solve China’s talent development needs.  HR need to direct resources to talent development programs and training plans should include both the hard and soft skills.  Given the talent quality is still weak competition for talent is as fierce as ever.  Development talent and leaders in China is a marathon, not a sprint.

Despite growing demand, Chinese universities and technical colleges have not kept up with academic and industrial training to meet the needs of industry.

Internships or other forms of co-curricular education are also not the norm.  This leaves many Chinese graduates ill-equipped for entry-level work…

 Rather than focusing on a single top performer HR directors need to work with business unit heads to identify several replacement players in case the incumbent employee resigns.


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