SINGAPORE (Aug 1): A majority 79% of employees in Singapore prefer to work with managers who are of the same age or older than them, according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor.

Globally, seven in 10 employees prefer their direct managers to be their age or older. The sentiment is higher with 82% of respondents saying as such.

In a media release issued on Wednesday, Randstad says that this is reflection of a typical Asian culture where people tend to value status and seniority at the workplace over learnability and competence.

The survey also found that 86% of employees around the world prefer to work in a multi-generational team, as they believe that an age-diverse team can help promote innovation, while more than eight out of 10 said that they are already working in a multi-generational team.

According to Randstad, the notion of respect in the Asian culture is also apparent in the workplace as managers tend to treat colleagues differently based on their age.

Seven out of 10 respondents in the region said that their direct managers treat their colleagues from various generations differently, and this sentiment is the higher in Hong Kong and China.

Managing an age-diverse team can be challenging as leaders may feel overpowered by an experienced and mature co-worker, as compared to a younger one who may request more autonomy at work.

Jaya Dass, Managing Director, Randstad Singapore says, “Having to report to someone who is younger may cause conflict in the company as coworkers may question their authority to lead due to the lack of experience. However, employers sometimes need to make difficult decisions and risk possible conflict situations as they plan for the future.”

“It is also no longer possible to avoid working in an age-diverse workforce in a country with an ageing population. A multi-generation workforce works best only when people put aside age differences and focus on the determining factors of a future leader such as leadership skills, competency, learnability and ability to influence,” adds Dass.

On the other hand, Singapore employees are more likely to think about and act on their future career goals than be concerned about immediate tasks and deadlines.

However, this sentiment is not shared with the rest of the world as only four in 10 employees globally prioritise their future accomplishments.

“The increasingly competitive job market forces employees and job seekers in Singapore to think more about their future. A long-term vision provides people with a direction of what they need to do in order to attain their goal and encourages them to discuss their career development path with their managers.” adds Dass.