What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 10:44

For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune.

But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance:

A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills and make a positive contribution to society.”

With advice to readers being

Employers that think ahead can respond to the group’s priorities, Coleman said. Those embracing digital technologies—both in how work gets done, and in creating and selling products—have a leg up in attracting millennials. Offering leadership opportunities and focusing on culture and values also helps.

Now, I am not sure if this is what the boomers were looking for.  They are in power at the highest levels right now, and while I spend a lot of time speaking with this generation about strategically finding meaning in their company and creating visions filled with meaning, tactically they just aren’t there.

So is this how the two are similar?  That they both “want”, but neither “can’t”?

Early in their careers, what I am seeing is that for the millennials is that they are solely focused on getting good grades at a good school that will lead to a good job.  A “good” job will pay the bills and allow for the purchase of an apartment, which will provide the assets needed to get married and have a kid (or two).  But, this isn’t anything different than other generation is it?

Which leads me to wonder what this generation will really want?

Sure, as an employer, you will need to cover all the bases and keep an eye on salary levels, but is that going to be enough going forward as this group moves up from staff to management to executive levels over the next 20 years?

For me, one of the big questions will be whether or not they will be able to accept challenges, take on risk, and innovate.

What do you think?  Is this group different than the others?

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