The latest Randstad Workmonitor has found 83 per cent of the respondents in Asia say that they would rather work with a manager who is older than them. This compares with almost seven in 10 employees around the world. The finding is a reflection of a typical Asian culture where people tend to value status and seniority at the workplace over learnability and competence. In Singapore, 79 per cent want to work with a manager who is older than them.
Jaya Dass, managing director, Randstad Singapore said, "Having to report to someone who is younger may cause conflict in the company as coworkers may question their authority to lead due to the lack of experience. However, employers sometimes need to make difficult decisions and risk possible conflict situations as they plan for the future. It is also no longer possible to avoid working in an age-diverse workforce in a country with an ageing population. A multi-generation workforce works best only when people put aside age differences and focus on the determining factors of a future leader such as leadership skills, competency, learnability and ability to influence."
The notion of respect in the Asian culture can be witnessed in the workplace as managers tend to treat colleagues differently based on their age. Seven in 10 respondents across Asia said that their direct managers treat their colleagues from various generations differently. This sentiment is the highest in Hong Kong SAR (80 per cent) and mainland China recorded the lowest (67 per cent).
An age-diverse workforce can be challenging as leaders may feel overpowered by an experienced and mature coworker as compared to a younger executive who may request for more autonomy at work.
Less than four in 10 employees around the world are concerned about their future accomplishments than their immediate tasks. Employees and job seekers in Asia are also more likely to prioritise their daily tasks as compared to achieving future goals (71 per cent).
As compared to the other three Asian markets, employees and job seekers in Singapore are more likely to think about and act on their future career goals. "The increasingly competitive job market forces employees and job seekers in Singapore to think more about their future. A long-term vision provides people with a direction of what they need to do in order to attain their goal and encourages them to discuss their career development path with their managers," Dass added.
Randstad’s Workmonitor is a quarterly research on global employment trends. The 2018 quarter two research was conducted between April and May 2018. A minimum sample size of 400 interviews is required in each country.