Millennials May Have a Different Work Ethic

They may be undependable & non-committal, but their behaviour on the job may not be much different from earlier generations

 

The generation now entering the workforce, people in their late teens and early 20s, are consistently panned by many employers as not ready for the workplace. But while there are real differences, their behavior on the job might not be so different from that of previous generations. In surveys, middle-aged business owners and hiring managers say the new workers lack the attitudes and behaviors needed for job success. They don’t have a strong work ethic, these reports say. They’re not motivated and don’t take the initiative. They’re undependable and not committed to their employers. They need constant affirmation and expect rapid advancement. 
A recent report by Bentley University for example, found more than half of corporate recruiters rated recent college graduates with a grade of C or lower for preparedness; nearly 7 in 10 said young workers were difficult for their organisation to manage. The Pew Research Center found that more than half of college presidents thought today’s students were less prepared, and studied less, than students did a decade ago. 
But complaining about youth on the cusp of adulthood isn’t novel. 
In the Middle Ages, masters complained about their apprentices’ work habits. “You can find these complaints in ancient Greek literature, in the Bible,” said Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School. “It reflects the way old people see young people.” Cappelli said that young peoples’ attitudes toward work and career had not changed significantly since the baby boomers came of age in the 1960s. “There’s no evidence millennials are different,” he said. “They’re just younger.” Adam Tratt, 42, manages several employees in their 20s. From a work standpoint, he and his friends looked a bit aimless at that age too, he said. 
“I remember very explicitly when I was graduating from college, this stereotype of Gen-Xers as slackers,” he said, referring to those born from roughly 1965 to 1982, and who are now in their mid-30s and 40s. Tratt, who runs a software startup in Seattle, said his generation gained a reputation in middle age as entrepreneurial and hardworking. Cappelli challenged middle-aged managers to remember when they were 22. “You probably wanted to get out of the office in a hurry — you were interested in what was going on after work,” he said. “You had these bursts of energy and great enthusiasm about something, but you also didn’t have a lot of resilience.” Many people who supervise young workers, though, do echo the prevailing view that millennials have some troublesome work habits. Robert Boggs is an administrator at Corinthian Colleges in Southern California and has managed several people under 30 on his staff. “They tend to be very self-absorbed; they value fun in their personal and their work life,” said Boggs. “Because they’ve grown up multitasking on their mobile, iPad and computer, I can’t expect them to work on one project for any amount of time without getting bored.” 
Thomas Gallagher has hired several young athletes over the years in his sporting equipment business in Wilmington, Del. He says he thinks many young workers lack perseverance. “I worry that if I give someone a longterm task, if things don’t work out in the short-term, I’m going to get an email or phone call saying, ‘You know what? This isn’t for me. I give up, I can’t do this,’“ Gallagher said. Some of these negative views are even shared by many in the generation in question.

 

Source: Economic Times

Date : 28th March 2014

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Multiple Insurance Broking may have to Wait for 5 Years

Banks and insurance companies may breathe easy. The order mandating banks to sell insurance policies of multiple companies may come into force five years from now, helping those with bancassurance tie-ups to reap the benefits of their ventures. 
However, those without such tie-ups such as Birla SunLife may find it tough to gain market share in a cut-throat industry. 
The committee set up by the finance ministry to break the deadlock between the finance ministry and banks on insurance broking is likely to suggest that banks will have to sell covers of multiple insurance companies, but they should be given five years to migrate to this model, said a senior bank official familiar with the report, who didn’t want to be named. Over the past two months, the finance ministry and banks are at loggerheads over the insurance broking issue: while the ministry wants banks to sell cover of multiple insurance companies, banks are opposed to the idea on the ground that different banks are tied to different insurance companies for exclusively dealing in their products. 
Rajiv Takru, secretary, financial services, had set up a committee headed by Reena Banerji, general manager, RBI, to suggest a solution for banks to adopt this model. The panel has members from the Reserve Bank of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Indian Banks’ Association and senior officials from commercial banks. “The committee is in the process of finalising its report and it will be submitted to the finance ministry very soon,” said a banker. The report suggests that banks should be given five years to achieve 25% ceiling on the extent of business that a bank can do with an insurance company. 
Meanwhile, Takru also made it clear that private banks will also have to follow the insurance broking model since IRDA and the finance ministry are on the same page on this. Bankers had argued that they do not have the requisite expertise and staff strength to sell insurance covers of multiple companies. The ministry believes that if banks sell products of different companies instead of being tied to a single company, it will reduce the instances of misselling of a product. 
Almost all banks in India currently follow the corporate agency model where they sell products of the company they have an equity tie-up with, or a specific agreement to exclusively sell their products. However, banks are worried since their agreement with insurance companies has an exclusivity clause which could be challenged by their equity partners if they adopt the insurance broking model. 

 

Source: Economic Times

Date : 28th March 2014

‘Higher FDI Cap in Insurance will Boost Investor Confidence’

Aegon chairman Alexander Wynaendts says India has lowest FDI limit & offers scope for further opening up

India has the lowest foreign investment limit in insurance in the world and raising it will 
encourage foreign investors, says Alexander Wynaendts, chairman of the executive board of Dutch insurer Aegon. In an interview with ET, Wynaendts talks about the
 insurance penetration in India, the importance of its protection element and the performance of Aegon’s joint venture in the country. Edited excerpts: 

What long-term potential do you see in the Indian insurance sector? 
If you look at the demographics, it is very clear that the long-term potential is really enormous. The population is growing; it is a young population, and wealth is being created. There is a realisation that every person has to take responsibility for securing his financial future, like saving for his future and saving for the education of his children. The challenge is that we need to help people understand that they really need insurance. Often, people buyinsurance without knowing why they buy it. Once they understand why they need insurance, it will become easy. 
Why is the insurance penetration level in India so low? 
As I said, people need to be educated that they need insurance and that cannot happen overnight. In many cases, people cannot afford it. But more and more, with growing wealth and the realisation that you have to yourself take the responsibility of a secure financial future, it will increase. But this will take time. 
In India, insurance was sold as an investment rather than a protection instrument. Do you think this was a mistake? 
It is good we focus more on the protection element. That is at the heart of our business. We provide people long-term security, which you cannot get from other financial products. What insurance provides you is investment and protection. I think the element of protection has not been receiving sufficient attention in the past. Insurance is about protecting you and your family against calamities, protecting you against not being able to save for your children’s education, and protecting you when you are old and there is no regular stream of income. It will allow you to live and allow you to take care of the basic needs of health insurance and everything that comes with it. 
How important is the further opening up of the insurance sector for you and for the sector at large? 
From the beginning, it was the intention of the government to increase the FDI (foreign direct investment) limit from 26% to 49%. The question was more about when it would take place. I think it is important for us that we should be able to have a joint venture, which is a real joint venture on a 50:50 basis. I think it will give a lot of confidence to the insurance sector, to foreign investors and it will be very positive. I really hope this takes place very soon. India does have the lowest FDI limit in the world, and we look forward to Parliament passing the law, which has been pending for over five years. It is clear that we are committed to this market and we are also confident that the law will be passed. 
How has Aegon Religare performed? 
We have had a slow start in an environment, which from an economic point of view, has been challenging. But what is important really is that we have built a very solid base for growth in future. We have a good company with strong infrastructure and excellent management, which is the most important thing. We have an infrastructure that is well placed and the fundamentals are there to continue to build on and to capture many different opportunities. The differentiation is that we are the innovators of online life insurance and that has been a great experience. We need to ensure that we do the right things and then the growth will come as there is a demand for what we are doing. 
Do you think you entered India a bit late? 
The market is large enough for many players, especially for players like Aegon that come up with specific differentiating elements. The early companies focused much more on investment-related products, especially unit-linkedinsurance products (ULIPs). Till 2009, most insurance sold byinsurance companies was ULIP and so, when you look at our company, there are two differentiating features — focus on protection and focus on innovation of the online channel. So, we are not late, in fact; we have just started helping to transform the industry. 
New York Life has left India while a few other foreign companies are looking to exit the country. Do you see consolidation happening in the Indian insurance sector? 
You know, you always see this kind of activity. I can talk about us, and Aegon is committed to this market and we are committed to stay here. We believe we have the right infrastructure to take advantage of many opportunities. Consolidation is inevitable, I do not know who is going to do it, but we will focus on developing our business organically.

 

Source: The Economic Times.

Date: 26/03/2014

‘Working empowers you, makes you confident’

Mumbai: Dipali Goenka is one of those who walked the rare path of getting married and raising children before making a career debut. She was 32 years old and a mother of two daughters, then aged 10 and 7, when she decided to step out from her cushioned living room and into the competitive board room. 
    It wasn’t easy for Goenka, even though she was the wife of the $4-billion Welspun Group’s chairman. Her husband had told her, “This can’t be a hobby as business will be at stake. You will have to show what you can do and prove your worth.” 
    A determined Goenka started from scratch, handling various roles in different departments from purchase to HR to design and worked her way up. Today, the 44-yearold heads the group’s home textile business. 
    “Women should work. They should go beyond clothes, bags and jewellery,” says Goenka, adding, “Working empowers you, it makes you confident and in charge of yourself.” 
    She says that work helps women understand their partners’ professional commitments and hence build an “evolved” relationship, keeping them on a par. 
    Nothing in life, however, comes free. Even as she juggled with the new routine, trying to take time out for her girls, Goenka missed out on her social life and in the bargain lost a few friends. “The price I paid was nothing compared to what I have learnt and continue to learn. But there were times I was tugged in all directions.” She narrates an incident when she was away at Harvard for a course and her daughter got typhoid. The disturbed mother wanted to come back but her 
husband comforted her and told her that she should stay put as she had gone all the way. 
    When Goenka joined the group in 2002, women comprised just a minuscule 2% of the workforce, which today has risen to 40%. Ironically, though the home textile industry is largely male-dominated, the products are mostly bought by women. “While men are all about IQ, women bring with them EQ,” says Goenka, who has worked towards creating an environment conducive for women employees in the corporate office as well as in the plants. “Women also bring diversity, balance and a different thought process.” 
    What took her so long to start her career innings? Goenka, who grew up in Jaipur, says it was important for her to be with her kids during their early years. “Despite the father — as also servants — being there for the children, it is only the mother who can inculcate culture in them,” says Goenka, who draws her inspiration from her mother, who was the chairperson of an urban co-operative bank and who broke the glass ceiling in a conservative Marwari community where women are usually known to keep to the backstage. 
    The managing director of Welspun Global Brands advises women to be disciplined and committed if they want to be taken seriously. Since the time she hit work, there hasn’t been a single day that was boring, says the glamorous Goenka, who starts her day early and wraps up late. 
    “If you don’t wake up with a spring in your feet, the work is not worth it,” says the fitness freak and trained kathak dancer. 
    As she sums up, “Respect yourself woman. Period.”

 

Source: The Times of India.

Date: 24/03/2014

GIC Stares at 75-cr Claim for Missing Malaysian Plane

General Insurance Corporation, the country’s sole reinsurance company, expects . 75-crore claim from Malaysian Airlines, one of whose aircraft vanished between Malaysia and China last week with 239 passengers on board. 
GIC has a 3% share of the total claim, which may be around $400 million, including for passengers. GIC’s policy covers the plane’s hull and machinery and passenger liability. “For us, the claim will come to around . 75 crore,” said AK Roy, chairman and managing director, GIC. Hull and machineryinsurance is a protection for airline from any damage. However, the company has bought reinsurance to protect itself from a large aviation claim. 
GIC participates in consortium of global reinsurers who write protection forinsurance companies, which, in turn, insure projects such as factories, airlines and railways against natural calamities. Insurance companies seek protection from a bunch of reinsurers such as Munich Re, and Swiss Re, as keeping huge risks such as the latest airline claim could wipe out an insurer. 
The airline was insured for $300-$400 million for passenger liability and $100 million for its parts. 
The incident may push up the premium for insurance as well as reinsurance of aviation companies, say insurers. Premium is directly proportional to claims. The premium rates have been steady in the past few years as there were not many claims. “This might harden the aviation rate for Asian market,” said an executive from GIC. “The rates were soft since 2010 as there were not many large claims, thanks to safety records.” Indian airline companies will renew their policies in later part of the year. There were no major claims since 2009 when an Air France flight crashed in the Atlantic, and Libyan airline Afriquiah Airways at Tripoli International Airport and Air India crashed in Mangalore. Air France led total claim of $650 million on global insurance industry in which GIC bore 3.5% of the claim. 

 Source: The Economic Times

Date: 13/03/2014

Writer: SHILPY SINHA MUMBAI 

YOUR EX wants you back! PLANNING TO RECONCILE WITH YOUR EX-EMPLOYER? EXPERTS DISCUSS WITH YASMIN TAJ WAYS TO MAKE A ‘WORKPLACE U-TURN’ A LESS BUMPY RIDE

Hardly do people think of a job change as a potential U-turn. After all, the intention is always to move on, right? Earlier, there was a stigma associated with employees who wanted to return to a previous employer. They were usually perceived as disloyal (if they voluntarily quit) and most employers pondered over the quintessential question: why did they leave in the first place if they had to return? But times clearly are changing.

    Ashish Garg, director for recruiting, Convergys India comments, “In today’s business climate, an increasing number ofcompanies are considering rehiring former employees. In the Business Process Management (BPM) industry, there is a good number of former employees who express an interest to return after being

    able to

compare the culture and opportunities they found with their previous employer against the ones available with the present one. Many, under these circumstances, feel that the former employer was far more rewarding. From an employer’s perspective, this arrangement involves less time spent on training and inculturation. However, it is important to note that organisations encourage only those exemployees who had left voluntarily and had a good performance record.”

    Returning to a former employer is no longer looked down upon, points out Harish Parameswaran, HR director, UST Global. “Many employees who ‘boomerang’ usually end up appreciating their past job more. And their careers can emerge unscathed, if they give sound reasons for flipflopping and stay put for a while in their second stint. As a matter of fact, the term, ‘boomerangs’ has been coined exclusively for such employees who leave a company only to eventually come back home to roost,” he shares.

    So, is it acceptable to take a U-turn? According toRajita Singh, head HR, Broadridge Financial Solutions (India) Pvt Ltd, this is a paradoxical question as it is very personal with a professional impact! “The answer is of course yes – depending on your perception of it. In a workplace, is it ok to do so? Why not? In my opinion, India is the most tolerant country, so this could be well-receivedwithout any qualms. These days, most workplaces do not have formal structures,” she explains. So, once the realisation has dawned upon, how can a professional go about taking a workplace U-turn? Mona Cheriyan, director, human resources, ASK Group expresses, “Sometimes, an employee does not fully understand the expectations/culture of the new organisation and may find that he/she does not fit in within the first few months. Maintaining positive relationships, giving a complete handover and having an amicable exit are key to the success of a workplace U-turn.” Parameswaran suggests, “The employee should weigh the pros and cons and make a list of why he/she left the job and make another list of what the benefits would be if he/she went back. If the pros outweigh the cons, the best decision would be to consider going after the old job with your former employer. Remember that you bring along critical experience, updated skills and know-how. Boomeranging is not a retreat after all; it can help you get ahead as well.” One can make a successful U-turn by leveraging on one’s new skills and proving the valueadd that one can contribute to maintaining, redesigning, or improving on a company’s practices, advises Garg, adding, “Staying connected through social media groups can prove useful to make a workplace U-turn.”

    Boomeranging to your previous employer might just become a pleasant experience if you do it right. After all, looking back is not always a bad option!

RAJITA SINGH, HEAD HR, BROADRIDGE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS (INDIA) PVT LTD SHARES A FEW TIPS ON MAKING A WORKPLACE U-TURN POSSIBLE:

    The cliche,‘never burn your bridges’,may sound trite,but it’s in the best interest of any relationship.Ideally,the best working relationship is when your boss (former and current) supports your career goals,even if that means you leave the company to pursue your goals with another employer or start your own venture;

    Be dignified during your resignation process;so that you preserve your relationships;

    Be honest in sharing longterm plans and how you would contribute on rejoining;

    Attitude is the key – ensure you have done your bit of soulsearching.

 Source: The Times of India

 Date: 12/03/2014