PETALING JAYA: Don’t let your personal life get in the way of work. That is the warning that employers are sounding out to new workers as the job market gets tougher.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the advice was for millennials, the latest generation to enter the workforce, to show more professionalism.
Millennials, also called Gen-Y (born between 1977 and 1997), who form the bulk of the social networking generation, have no qualms about surfing the Net, updating their Facebook, engaging in instant messaging and receiving personal texts on their smartphones or devices, all on employers’ time.
“Employers want total commitment from these employees. Personal business should be left at home,” said Shamsuddin.
“Employees should be mindful that their personal communications do not disrupt work or portray a negative image of the company.”
He warned that about 180,000 fresh graduates entering the workforce annually, and increased operational costs were of no help.
“Jobseekers would also be competing for fewer openings as about 915,000 private sector employees have been retained in the workforce for the next five years with the extension of the retirement age from 55 to 60,” said Shamsuddin.
Most employers, he explained, enforced rules on the use of communication devices at the workplace, irrespective of whether the device is provided by the employer or owned by the employee.
The MEF represents 4,500 member companies and 18 affiliate trade associations.
Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Azih Muda said the work attitude of millennials was “very different from the older generation” because of exposure to technology and the digital media.
“They are on their gadgets all the time,” he said.
“This is something we have to nip in the bud and not let it affect work. It’s not right to use office hours for personal matters because you are paid for your time.”
Cuepacs regularly organises courses for civil servants so that they are aware of the Government’s expectations of them.
“There are limits to freedom and personal space. Those who cannot stick to the rules can always look for another job or start their own business,” Azih said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has also touched on the issue, commenting in Nusajaya last month that it was no longer possible to practise top down management as the younger generation did not like being told what they could or could not do.
However, he said, the Government was committed to preparing Gen-Y to face whatever might come their way.
Adjusting to new expectations a tough challenge