The first Executive Study Group (ESG) seminar 2017 – Leadership Strategy series named “How to use Collective Innovation to engage Post-80s and 90s Staff Effectively” was held by the ESG, Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy Limited (APIFS) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTPC) on 28 Feb 2017. I would like to summarize the seminar for sharing below.
In the beginning, Dr. Mark Lee discussed his recently study report named “Happiness Ranking of Hong Kong” and then briefed today’s seminar content included “Bringing Out the Best” in Post-80s & 90s Generations, their grew up environment, Myths and Reality about them. Finally, 7 strategies of Collective Innovation was proposed to handle them.
Firstly, Dr. Mark Lee briefed some misleading advice to handle millennials. Most of actions were wrong. Read needs of millennials were strong, highly engaged managers. Structure and boundaries; guidance, direction, support and coaching were needed. Clear expectations and know somebody was keeping score; and understood the context of work every step of the way. Post-80s and 90s all are purchasing success.
Then he explained the different definition of Millennials and their growth environment as follows:
- First-wave Millennial (those born 1978 through 1989) as “Generation Y” (so-called Post 80s)
- Second-wave Millennial (those born 1990 and 2000) as “Generation Z” (so-called Post 90s)
They faced SARS (2003) when studied in primary school and then met Financial Tsunami 2008 when studied in high school or university. Moreover, their life under “Helicopter Parenting”!
Then comparing the population with Tertiary Education in Hong Kong between 1981 and 2006 was studied. It was found that 7.46% of university graduate against 46.67%. It demonstrated how large competition for graduate jobs among Post-80s. Another topic was “Globalization”! They needed to complete to the whole world.
After that Dr. Mark Lee mentioned 13 Myths and Reality about Post-80s and 90s and recorded below.
Myth 1: Millennials are disloyal and unwilling to make real commitments to their employers.Reality 1: There is no Kingdom Loyalty but Free Market Loyalty (They called it “Just-in-time Loyalty”.)
Myth 2: They won’t do the grunt work.
Reality 2: They are so eager and want more credits. They don’t believe long-term rewards.
Knowledge and Overconfidence
Myth 3: They don’t know very much and have short attention spans.
Reality 3: It is because of information overflow era that more information available at their fingertips than anyone ever has before.
Myth 4: They want the top job on day one.
Reality 4: They want to seek improvement and invent new things and no interest in taking their time to “get a feel for the place.”
Myth 5: They need work to be fun.
Reality 5: They want to be taken seriously and see how to fit in big pictures (to be challenged).
Myth 6: They want to be left alone.
Reality 6: They want managers who know who they are and want engagement; as well as, they expected services provided from supervisors.
Dependence and Career Flexibility
Myth 7: They want their managers to do their work for them.
Reality 7: They expected high-quality teaching.
Myth 8: They don’t care about climbing the well-known career ladder.
Reality 8: Millennials’ career paths would be irregular and diverse (not expect a straight path) and self-building path (DIY Uniqueness).
Myth 9: Money and traditional benefits don’t matter to them.
Reality 9: They want the best deal but money and benefits are only a threshold issue.
Myth 10: Money is the only thing that matters to them.
Reality 10: If specific actions, they are asking for more. Millennials care about five other things included Schedule, Relationships, Task Choice, Learning Opportunities and Location.
Respects to Others
Myth 11: They don’t respect their elders.
Reality 11: They do respect their elders but they want to be respected too. (Win-Win Collaboration)
Technology-Oriented vs People-Oriented
Myth 12: They want to learn only from computers
Reality 12: They want human and computer integrated learning.
Myth 13: It’s impossible to turn them into long-term employees.Reality 13: Daily engagement could turn them into long-term employees.
After that Dr. Mark Lee introduced seven Collective Innovation Strategies across generations.
1) Treat Millennials Seriously starting from Day One
Some examples to engage post 80s & 90s that CEO personal welcoming to new staff on Day One of joining the company (e.g. Sulwhasoo that only employ new staff in the one special day in each month)
2) Build up Small but Meaningful Job Portfolios earlyIt is like to play a game and improved in every step. So called Meaningful Role Problem that unbundle complex roles and then rebuild them one tiny piece at a time.
3) Tap into their Savvy of Digital KnowledgeEmployed their digital knowledge because they are familiar in that environment and could give advices.
4) Turn them into Knowledge Workers contributing AdvicesNow, everyone is knowledge worker and we need to leverage information.
5) Show them your Care but don’t pretend as Friends
That’s connection by knowing them but not loving them. Just care enough to help them succeed at work.
6) Give them Structure and Boundaries to Innovate within
They would like to avoid unnecessary mistakes through guidelines but allow them to express creativity. Ask them to do “Feasibility Study” is the best!
As CEO, the following two questions are useful.
“What are your difficulties?”
“What can I do to help you?”
7) Change Annual Appraisals into Frequent Check-insDr. Mark Lee said 1.5 years was the maximum tolerance. So annual appraisal was too late but frequent check-ins was must. That’s as Facebook collection of LIKE.
Before the end, Dr. Lee asked us to do excise to select two most difficult strategies for discussion.
HKSTP - www.hkstp.orgAsia Pacific Institute for Strategy Limited (亞太策略研究所有限公司) – www.apifs.org