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As more Millennials assume leadership positions around the world, organizations are becoming increasingly concerned with how to ensure their success. However, most existing research on those born between the early ‘80s and late ‘90s is skewed toward understanding what a narrow, typically Western, population wants. Conclusions based on such a limited sample could lead to bad decisions (and missed opportunities) around attracting, retaining, and developing millennial leaders in a global business environment.
To broaden our understanding of what Millennials want at work, INSEAD’s Emerging Markets Institute, Universum, and the HEAD Foundation conducted the first of what will become an annual survey of Millennials — and the largest study of its kind. We surveyed 16,637 people between 18 and 30 years old, in 43 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. The data was collected from May to August 2014, and the results are presented in “Millennials: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation.”
While the data have limitations (for example, random sampling could not be used and some regions/countries had more responses than others), the size of the sample and its global reach allowed for clear patterns to emerge. When asked about the desire to become leaders, the importance of work-life balance, and the expectations around retirement, we found that some common assumptions rang true, while others did not. But perhaps most importantly, we found that almost all views varied considerably by culture.
Millennials are interested in becoming leaders — for different reasons. On average, 40% of respondents claimed that becoming a manager/leader was “very important.” This ranged from 8% in Japan to 63% in India. And the reasons (money, opportunities to coach, building career foundations, etc.) also varied across cultures.
Check out the rest of this cool article, and see if you agree: HBR Article on Millennials in Management.