Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gen Y workers expect higher starting salaries than previous year

Gen Y workers expect higher starting salaries than previous year
By Dominique Loh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 18 March 2009 1252 hrs

SINGAPORE: A recent study has shown that despite the difficult economic conditions, the younger generation is still expecting higher starting salaries than in the previous year.

Commentary: Reminds me of recent survey of Koreans preparing for marriage and their expectations regarding the accrued fortunes of their potential mates?

University graduates are hoping for three per cent more pay, while those from polytechnics want 10 per cent more.

Commentary: All of this during an economic downturn?

The study was carried out by Temasek Polytechnic and human resource consultancy company GMP Group in November and December last year to gauge the perceptions on the work attitude and the expectations of the Generation Y - those borne in 1981 or later.

Commentary: I see. Perhaps the results were somewhat expected?

It involved more than 2,600 participants, including working adults and students in universities and polytechnics.

The study showed differences of perception on the work attitude of the Generation Y workers. While the younger workers felt they were putting long hours at work, their older colleagues and bosses felt they were not putting in enough.

Commentary: How could there be such a wide gap in expectations?

The study also showed differences in expectations between younger workers and their senior colleagues. The Generation Y workers felt their bosses should be caring, inspiring and competent, preferring relationship-oriented leaders. But their managers believed in a more task-oriented approach.

Commentary: They want their bosses to be cuddly teddy bears perhaps?

While both age groups cited career advancement opportunities as a way to retain staff, younger workers also wanted good work-life harmony and good relationships at work.

Their bosses, however, thought that learning and development and good compensation were more important.

Commentary: There appear few cross-over or shared values listed here.

The study suggested that under the current economic conditions, companies should find ways to help employees manage their workload. They should also not neglect the issue of work-life harmony.

Commentary: If the younger people could demonstrate ways to do the same thing more effectively, more efficiently and more cheaply then I am sure the bosses will reward them with better life-work harmony and perhaps higher pay?

GMP said it is advising fresh graduates to expect salaries of as much as 15 per cent lower than in 2007.

Commentary: That would be 25% below their inflated expectations.

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