A Different World, A Different View: Japanese Millennials

life work balanceMillennial is a term to describe the generational group that is age 18-34 this year. In many places around the world they are projected to overtake the Baby Boom generation (ages 51-69 in 2015) in total numbers this year as the largest living generation. Millennials is not projected to overtake the Gen X (ages 35-50 in 2015) in number until 2028. Why does this matter? By 2025, three out of every four workers globally will be Millennials. They already make up 80% of the workforce in some companies. Soon, they will dominate the workplace and shape the future of organizations worldwide.

The Asian Millennial

japan flagTypically characterized as having a different career outlook than previous generations, Millennials will generally approach their careers in 2-3 year increments. Asian Millennials appear to conform to typical Millennial characteristics. They are notorious for job-hopping. Value is placed on job security, prestige, and company reputation. Addressing societal issues are important to them.

17-Country Study by MSL Group

A 17-country study by MSL Group found almost 73% of 8000 millennials surveyed feel their governments cannot solve societal issues. 86% of the survey participants belonged to Asian countries such as Japan, China, and India. 83% believe that business needs to take an active role in helping to solve such issues. Growing involvement by business in social issues is viewed as a key factor for attracting and retaining Millennials. The study also found that Asian Millennials have a perception of brands involved in social action as being forward thinking and responsible. What companies actually do is more meaningful than why they do it.

Japanese Pessimism

Millennials - new generationThe study found that Millennials do not have clear ideas or views about their own citizenship. They do not believe they can create difference in the world. Of the global Millennial groups surveyed, Japanese Millennials tended to be the least optimistic. More than 70% expressed a lack of self-belief they can bring about positive change in the world. This pessimism may stem from the reality that Japanese Millennials largely grew up during a 20 year period of stagnant economic growth.

 While the Japanese economy has experienced multiple economic recessions, workforce issues, such as job security, create a pessimistic feeling towards the economy making a strong return and creating employment opportunities in the job market.

 As the population age gap increases in Japan, Millennials feel the need to support a larger number of older people in the country. Even though Japan enjoys modern means of transports, advancements in technology, low crime rates and excellent public health services, the younger generation doesn’t have the security of employment their parents and grandparents had.

 This lack of security has contributed to more cut-throat competition in the job market which can lead to lower motivation and optimism towards developing healthy work cultures.

New Contract: We vs. You

Vocal in their opinions of what companies are doing and not doing, 69% of Millennials want companies and employers to provide opportunities for them to contribute and make a difference. 51% percent want to get personally involved in making the world a better place. Millennials want to make a difference. They are seeking a working environment that empowers and supports them to achieve that. The new organization must distance itself from self-interest and take care of the world it exists in – its employees, customers, and society at large.