I recently had the privilege of being a panelist at an HR Conclave organized by Dr. Shweta Jain, Dean of ICFAI Business School, Jaipur and her capable team. Despite the challenges of time management from my extensive travels across India, the topic at hand, “Managing Millennials and Gen Z whilst Readying for Alpha,” resonated with my expertise as a soft skills training expert and Director, 3T (Triumph through Training Pvt Ltd). Flying through bustling airports and railway stations, I seized the ‘waiting time’ to delve into the intricacies of preparing for the discussion, having read, practiced and preached about time management, thanks to ‘Eat that frog!’ by Brian Tracy. And of course, my assistant Ms Rajavee Arora filled me up with latest research regarding the different generations that I was going to speak about and address.
The event unfolded at IBS, where the students showcased impeccable soft skills and etiquette, a testament to the guidance of their adept faculty. Being early granted me and Rajavee the opportunity to glean insights from esteemed speakers like Ms. Richa Mahendra and Ms. Sheeba Tyagi, enriching my perspective on contemporary HR practices. Additionally, the other panellists in my plenary session, viz., Mr. Ambikesh Vyas, Mr. Hitesh Gulati, Ms. Medha Behal, and Ms. Deepa Yadav contributed greatly to the topic in their own unique style.
Drawing on my 28 years of experience, I found myself addressing not just my own generation X, but also delving into the dynamics of managing Y, Z, and even contemplating the future challenges presented by Generation Alpha. As a Master Trainer conducting numerous training and development interventions on communication skills and soft skills, I couldn’t agree less that collaboration and communication are the 2 C’s which work wonders for all the four generations we were discussing. Soft skills development, facilitated through training interventions, emerged as the linchpin for optimizing resources across generations. Dr. Shweta Jain’s insights underscored the importance of tailoring management approaches to the unique characteristics of each generation, from Y’s desire for autonomy to Z’s focus on the quality of work and Alpha’s preference for workplace flexibility. Besides, all the generation were marked by diversity in their tastes, thought processes, and lifestyles—which HR professionals had to bear in mind in order to attract and retain talent from such varied demographic profiles.
As a proponent of lifelong learning, I emphasized the pivotal role of skill development in professional growth. Alvin Toffler’s wisdom echoed through the discussion, emphasizing the need for continuous learning, unlearning, and relearning in the 21st century. Acknowledging the digital transformation sweeping the world, our Management Development Programs at 3T seamlessly integrate technology, making learning accessible, cost-effective, and flexible for the ever-evolving preferences of Z and Alpha. So, for professional and personal growth of their employees, client organizations outsource the employee training and development interventions to organizations like ours (3T). In our Management Development Programs (MDPs) or Executive Development Programs (EDPs) we ensure we can hardly negate the digital transformation which has taken the world by the storm. Most importantly, it appeals to generations Z and alpha, specifically, if not Y to such a great extent.
In our evolving learning landscape, micro-learning has emerged as a powerful trend. While interacting in Bengaluru with Mr. Ayush Mittal, a professional working in the US with Apple, in leadership position, I learned that his favourite way of learning and keeping himself updated was listening to podcasts everyday while driving to work. Hence, the younger generation prefers chunk sized knowledge nuggets to absorb and internalize. It is apt to mention, that I introduced the attendees of the Conclave to Learning from Leaders series, hosted by team 3T, where we share success mantras of leaders, the unsung heroes of the corporate and academic world who have proven their mettle. These short videos capture success mantras and cater to the diminishing attention spans of newer generations.
Soft skills training, encompassing communication, team building, emotional intelligence, stress management, and conflict resolution, now finds its home in podcasts, videos, and interactive modules, complemented by gamification and simulations, in addition to the in person training sessions. In essence, the transfer of learning, fortified by these innovative methods, serves as the compass guiding the future for Generation X, Y, Z, Alpha, and even Beta, steering them through the ever-changing tides of the professional world. The journey ahead is one paved with soft skills, a roadmap to success in the dynamic and diverse world of tomorrow.
All the best!
3T (Triumph through Training Pvt Ltd)