• Seminars & Conferences
  • Seminars & Conferences

Seminar shares ways to help employers engage post-80’s talent


Eliza Lee

The Department of Management at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) organised a seminar on 2 June which discussed effective strategies for attracting and engaging the post-1980’s generation talent. The seminar was attended by nearly 100 executives and human resources professionals.

The seminar, titled “Employer’s effective strategies for attracting and engaging the post-1980’s talent” aimed to provide human resources executives a clearer understanding of characteristics of the post-80’s generation, in order to assist them in development of human resource management strategies suitable for this young generation that presumably has capabilities and attitudes that are quite different from peers.

Speakers at the seminar included Ms Caroline Mak, Regional Director - North Asia, Dairy Farm Group; Dr Sunny Fong, Senior Director, HR Business Partner & Total Compensation, Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa, McDonald’s Corporation; Professor Leung Kwok, Head, Department of Management, and Dr Eddie Yu Fu-keung, Associate Professor of the same department.

Dr Yu said “employees’ engagement” refers to employees’ satisfaction with and involvement in their work. There has been ample evidence in the West suggesting a positive correlation between employee engagement and firms’ attainment of strategic goals denoted in terms of profit, productivity and employee retention, etc. Studies on engagement of Hong Kong’s post-80’s employees have been few. The seminar helped employers understand the characteristics and needs of post-80’s employees.

Professor Leung said phenomenon of the post-80’s generation that happened in Hong Kong had already been witnessed in the US in the 1960’s, when the US society witnessed unprecedented prosperity. People who form this phenomenon are characterised by four features: concern about one’s own feelings, pursuit quality of life, strong individualism and keenness to express one’s self. Employees of the post-80’s generation show lower level of work commitment, work engagement and occupational commitment than employees of older generations.

Ms Mak and Dr Fong quoted their respective firms as examples and shared with the audience the ways their respective firms had not only attracted and retained post-80’s employees but had also enhanced their sense of engagement, meeting their talent needs effectively.

Dr Fong said that large-scale surveys are useful in helping firms understand how valuable the employees are for firms and, therefore, help firms devise customised human resource management measures. Examples of specific measures include uniform change and increasing communication opportunities for employees’ teams, besides others. Ms Mak indicated that firms need to acknowledge characteristics of the post-80’s employees, understand their values and establish appropriate communication strategies. “We have to join hands with the post-80’s employees to work hard together and let them be the firms’ future leaders,” she said.