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Y Work With the New Generation?

18 July 2014

When it came to designing the introductory video for the home page on my website, I will be the first to admit that the last thing that crossed my mind was to hand the project over to a group of first year students at college.

The notion only came up thanks to a chance meeting with a friend in a business park, who was visiting to check in with a group of students he was sponsoring.  It turns out the students were successfully running the café we were sat in, as part of an enterprise to give them exposure to ‘the real world’ whilst continuing with their studies.

This wasn’t work experience as some of us generation X people may remember (yes I admit I belong to the generation X club… just!), but rather, an ongoing commitment to gaining genuine exposure to running a business.

Impressed and intrigued, I asked my friend to tell me more and he shared some interesting thoughts with me:

1. Generation Y people were born between 1982 and 1994.  They know what is trending and comment on everything… a lot!

2. Generation Y have in excess of 500 social friends via 50 networked sites

3. By 2025, over 75% of the workforce will comprise of generation Y 

4. 30% of generation Y start a micro-business in college

5. 35% of generation Y have a side business

6. Generation Y will look to work with Organisations that share values similar to their own, such as social causes, flexible working, work-life overlap and a desire to share feedback

Off the back of this meeting, I approached Banbury and Bicester College to enquire whether they had any students who would be interested in designing and producing a video for my website.  I arranged to deliver a presentation to those who were interested and was greeted by in excess of 30 students, all of whom had something valuable to offer.

In the end, I elected to work with three students, all of whom unsurprisingly turned out to be bright, articulate, engaging and crucially, willing to ask questions and challenge my thinking.  I found the experience extremely rewarding and was delighted to find myself learning from these students as they took me through the journey of designing a story board, filming, editing and final production.

The implications for leadership of course are far reaching as this impacts on recruitment and retention, reward, management styles, working patterns, communication and so on, not to mention making our Organisations attractive to the customers of tomorrow.

Similarly, the significance of apprenticeships cannot be overlooked. One of my clients for example has taken on 12 apprentices in the past 18 months, 11 of whom have been retained and are adding genuine value to the business.   

For further information or to arrange a complimentary consultation, please call 01295 675506 or contact us via the website.

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