Hear Us Out

Authors: Amal Al Kooheji & Sajeda Al Asfoor
Genre: Self-help, Non-Fiction
Format: Paperback
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Our world today has paved way to a digital present and future so why is it taking so long for certain corporations to adjust to this new age and why is Generation Y aka ‘Millennials’ getting the the short end of the stick? Let’s find out as our two main characters Mrs. Hope (Generation X representative) and Saj (Generation Y representative) interact and attempt to understand each other’s generations especially the gaps that ‘Millennials’ need accommodating with, i.e. leadership skills, flexibility and impact.

Why do I find this book very relevant to today’s world?
This book was beautiful in sharing factual insights of the goings-on of the business world globally including the Middle East. It was truthful in its entirety and pointed out the gaps that many of our HR processes and systems suffer from, which is mainly not accommodating to the needs of Generation Y and Z. I found it interesting that the authors indicated traditional performance appraisals should be steered away from as this does not reward employees but only satisfies corporations in an operational compliance level. Although I categorized this book as non-fiction, it does have two fictional characters, each representing her own generation and although their interactions were limited, the reader does get the feeling that they deeply respect one another and aim to understand the other party’s objectives.

The main character: Mrs. Hope and Saj are distinctly characterized as people of Generation X and Y.
Mrs. Hope is frustrated at the challenges ahead of her in accommodating new recruits who have different expectations from her generations’. She worked hard to gain the position she is in today and expects the same from the youth but the feedback that she receives during interviews leaves her underwhelmed. It was really moving to read her growth as a character who understood that she needs to embrace change as the values of Generation Y aren’t bad at all but have changed due to the several influences such as the environment they grew up in and especially technology being in the forefront for them.
From the get-go I immediately related to Saj, the second main character, a Generation Y representative. We share similar traits in feeling like we want to contribute to the society by leaving an impact rather than just punch in and lead a corporate zombie-like career. Her thought process doesn’t sell her off as an irrational and entitled character as generalized by well-known lecturers who are quick to judge and completely dismiss an entire generation. Through the course of the book she learns that her voice is valuable and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be challenged at work and compromising her values in order to fit into a political corporate bureaucracy is not in her plate.

Why you should give it a chance?
This book doesn’t shy away from announcing its purpose which is to wake up HR as an entity and managers before it’s too late. Under the current economic conditions, ‘Millennials’ are entering work places with expectations contrasting the previous generation’s, yet they are still expected to follow the status quo. The authors point out how corporations don’t realize that their traditional ways such as performance appraisals, lack of flexibility and incentives are contributing to the fact that ‘Millennials’ are discouraged from staying in a company at a long-term basis.
In addition to the research and facts mentioned, the book handled the differences of generations X, Y and Z very tastefully. The issue is obviously not black and white but it’s deeply rooted in society’s negative perceptions in youth which needs to be rewired for the betterment of the generations to come. This book is meant to encourage that change is inevitable and is a great accompaniment especially for people holding positions in Human Resources and Management.


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