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Benefits of gamers in the workforce

April 24, 2019
Interview with ABB's Hampus Scharing

Amanda Del Buono interviews ABB’s Hampus Scharing about the benefits the gaming generation can bring to savvy organizations.


Amanda Del Buono: Hello, and thanks for tuning into another episode of Manufacturing Tomorrow’s Workforce. I’m your host Amanda Del Buono.

While industry continues to try to attract young people to the new digital positions that automation is opening up, attracting and retaining millennials and the generations to come is essential. How do we do this? First, it’s about understanding their strengths and the ways they work in order to ensure that your company is ready for them.

Recently, ABB released a white paper titled “Attracting generation ‘G’ to 24/7 control rooms.” The white paper discusses the benefits that the gaming generation can bring to control rooms and industry, and the expectations these young people have for their workplaces.

To further discuss this topic and the white paper, I’m speaking with the paper’s author, Hampus Scharing, digital lead in Northern Europe of Industrial Automation at ABB.

Thanks for joining us today, Hampus.

Hampus Scharing: Thank you also. I’m glad to be joining.

AD: So, when we published the white paper online, I read through it, and you wrote a lot about generation G and attracting them. Can you define what generation G is for our listeners? Who is a part of it and how are they unique compared to baby boomers, generation X or millennials?

HS: It’s basically the millennials. So, my definition of generation G is the gaming generation. So, they are born after the millennium, and what we can see for this generation, if you’re familiar with the Malcolm Gladwell outliers, we can see the millennials or the gaming generation have spent more than 10,000 hours on average playing video games, that’s why I want to call the millennials the gaming generation as well.

AD: Yeah, I know that as a fact. As a millennial, I don’t play video games, but I’ve grown up with everybody else does.

HS: Yeah, and 10,000 hours it equals a bachelor’s degree, so they have pretty much experience in playing video games, and I mean if you spend 10,000 hours on something, you’re truly becoming an expert in the area. This generation are experts at playing video games, so we need to take care of that as well.

AD: Yeah, I thought that was interesting, and in the whitepaper, you note that it’s 90% of school-age children in the United States, and 70% of homeowners report are using. How has this changed the way they’re making their career decisions? Is it changing the choices they’re making or the industries they want to go in to?

HS: Definitely. I mean, playing video games, if you have that background, I think you’re getting bored much, much faster as well, so I think you’re looking for a job where you can get a lot of rewards and also acknowledgement. They are raised in the world of Instagram and Facebook where you’re triggered by different likes and so on, so I think you’re also searching for those triggers when you’re looking for a job as well.

Also, I think collaboration is key as well, and especially if we look in the control room environment, because if you went to university and you start working in the control room, you have so many potential alarms that were not there 10 years ago as well, so you really need to understand that collaboration is a key in those environments and you need to help each other out, and I think that the gaming generation appreciates the collaboration of the work as well.

For more, tune in to the Manufacturing Tomorrow’s Workforce podcast.

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