Magazine article Talent Development

Give Them What They Want

Magazine article Talent Development

Give Them What They Want

Article excerpt

There are seemingly endless ideas about how Millennials function at work, what they are like, and whether early or late Baby Boomers will be able to train them effectively to "fit" in the organization. But Millennials aren't a generation that has come from a galaxy far, far away. They're a heterogeneous group that has evolved in the information technology age. Between the ages of 18 and 35, Gen Yers have been raised in globalized and localized cultures within a changing economic and social spectrum.

Since they have dealt closely with evolving information technology, Millennials have easy access to information and content at the click of the mouse or the tap of a finger. Whether or not the information they have access to is authentic is of course debatable, but the point is that they know how to seek the information for their benefit, when need be. Because of this easy availability of content and their increased general knowledge, Millennials often are characterized as narcissistic, upbeat, impatient, intolerant, overconfident, or egotistical (and more).

There are several conflicting personality traits that people associate with Generation Y, but to think of it, all of these traits can be found easily in any other older individual as well. So what gets Millennials to learn? The Middle East is adopting innovative methods to suit the

needs of these new-age learners, who are eager to learn and improve. Here are some strategic focal points that organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are adopting to train Millennials effectively.

Know your audience and understand what they want

Many organizations in the Middle East have made an effort to clearly understand Millennials. Everyone has information available to them at their fingertips. However, Millennials are clearly the digital natives of the world, who have been the early adopters of information technology and who are driven by their devices.

Though it is understood that not everyone in a generational cohort behaves the same, behavioral patterns and traits have been recognized of Millennials. They are fast thinkers, multitaskers, and global citizens of the world. Organizations in the region are leveraging these traits to use their thinking skills, curiosity, and zeal to work innovatively.

Satiate their eagerness to learn, their way

Unlike what Baby Boomers think, Generation Y is more keen to learn. Talent development professionals in the UAE are investing in learning technologies that can help engage these learners. Gamification, app-based learning, and bite-sized content are reigning supreme to engage with Millennial learners in a fun and informal way.

Banks, airlines, and the hospitality industry are exploring these technologies to satiate the Gen-Y employees' eagerness to learn. Though largely characterized as impatient and intolerant, Millennials only get bored when classrooms aren't made engaging to them. The key word is experience, which is what Millennials are looking for. In the region, these learners are given coachable opportunities to enhance their organizational ability and work skills.

Know that they need more than just information

Because Millennials can access any information they want, what trainers and talent development professionals can bring to the table is first-hand experiential and technology-led learning, whether inside or outside the classroom. Gen Y is thoroughly engaged through bite-sized content delivered over time that can be viewed on their schedule.

The Middle East has steadily embraced the idea that these high-tech information masterminds need to constructively and strategically explore workplace learning. For example, a renowned national bank of the UAE is actively incorporating game-based learning to teach Millennials the company's best practices and train them on dealing with customers more efficiently. The game enables the new recruits to experience real-life banking practices and to learn on their own time and convenience on their own devices. …

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