[Webinar] The challenges of managing Korean generation Zs and millennials in Korea with RDI Worldwide and FKCCI

On Jan 13 2021, the French-Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a webinar with RDI Worldwide on leading generation Z and millennials!

The webinar gathered more than a 100 live participants and was introduced by Cédric Legrand, FKCCI managing director, alongside Eric Wan and Gordon Dudley from the Korean-based consultancy cabinet RDI Worldwide, who gave in-depth insight on understanding young generations in the fast-changing Korean landscape!

As Cédric Legrand recalled: "We are turning to the future. That’s why we want to talk about younger generations as our first topic in the beginning of this year! We are indeed witnessing a lot of transformations in the economy, labour market, and people’s life, so we would like to take our part, at the FKCCI, to analyze those major socio-economic changes".

Indeed, new generations have recently joined the active population or will soon reach employment in companies, thus bringing their habits, way of life and their own values in social interaction. As this last point is at the core of management, understanding Gen Zs and millennials’ expectations has become essential for any manager.

Gordon Dudley, CEO of the global HR consultancy RDI Worldwide, recalled the necessity of adapting management and putting effort in leadership up to the challenges, as more than 63% of people were found to be disengaged at work according to some studies.

Eric Wan, principal consultant and certified leadership practitioner at RDI Worldwide, also explained that, although the topic emerged about 3 years ago in Korea with the arrival of the first millennials on the job market, it is still seen as opaque by many managers.

In South Korea, Gen Zs and millennials represented 43,2% of the population in 2019, which means they will take the most part of tomorrow’s work force. Moreover, millennials are getting older: some of them are becoming managers themselves, and bring with them a new mindset. In this regard, it is now widely understood that the “do as I say” is not a relevant managing strategy anymore. As Eric Wan said, “these new generations should not be understood as stubborn or lazy, but as people with different expectations of work from their elders”.

He explained through the Korean term shilgamsaedae (mixing “realistic feelings” and “generation”) that Gen Zs and millennials value authentic experiences that engage all five senses. For these future employees, salary remains a important factor, but only for their first job. The most important motivating factor that comes out of every survey conducted by RDI is instead the employee experience. Gen Zs and millennials expect a great onboarding experience, alongside a rich working experience (meaning attractive and engaging), within a company that develops itself and its employees. According to a survey by Ypulse, ordered by RDI, 92% of 18-35 years old consider that having a meaningful career is the outmost of their professional priorities. Therefore, as Mr. Wan examined, salary seems to be a less motivating factor than a rich and pleasurable experience.

Thus, the impact to come on careers and management is enormous. If we look closely at Gen Zs and millennials’ career advancement, we notice that the ladder progression logic seems totally outdated. The lattice pathway (varied paths in opposition to linear paths) logic seems to have taken the lead in this regard, putting aside the traditional perspective of hierarchy grinding. Being able to leave when they do not feel satisfied is one of the major vectors of change. That is why the role of the manager has to change. As Mr Wan said, the goal of the manager becomes more about building trust with his employees, and offer them a visible purpose for them to understand how their work has an impact on the company. The manager needs to reach consensus, favour flexibility and autonomy in his management, understanding that incremental influence becomes the golden rule.

Check out the replay here and RDI Worldwide website for more information on their HR consulting services to go further!

FKCCI also released an entire edition no109 of its Corée Affaires magazine on the "Generations in the 'New Normal' era" dedicated to understand the current disruptions across all generations : check it out here



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