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Millennials and managers; Mars and Venus

Published: 23/10/2018

With a current vacancy for a Modern Apprenticeship in the team, Helen Herd, senior HR manager with HIE, looks at bridging generational gaps in the workplace.

Young employees bring new energy and fresh ideas to any organisation. Recruiting, developing and retaining young talent can however be challenging.

Most of them rate work-life balance (74%) and supporting staff development and training (76%), as very important to them (see report here).

The HIE workforce, two thirds of whom are female, is dispersed across the region, from Shetland to Argyll and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray. Agile and flexible working is therefore essential in talent attraction and retention.

With all this in mind, we recently teamed up with ProjectScotland to run a couple of thought-provoking workshops for our employees.

ProjectScotland has more than 12 years’ experience in working with young people on their journey into the world of work. They help employers address the challenges of intergenerational working.

The ProjectScotland workshops, entitled ‘Millennials are from Mars – Managers are from Venus’, focused on the so called ‘generation gap’ and explored the differing work-styles associated across ‘Baby Boomers’, ‘Gen X’, ‘Millennials’ and ‘Gen Z’ in the context of HIE.

HIE has a workforce spanning all four age groups and the workshops sparked excellent ideas for working across generations and meeting the expectations of younger employees, especially for recruiting and developing the young talent we need for the future.

There was also an opportunity to explore what HIE is like to work for (in the context of developing the young workforce) to make sure that what we say we do, and what we actually do as an organisation is fully aligned.

Graham Robertson, ProjectScotland development director, said:

“HIE is fast becoming a leading employer in the area, embracing flexible working and looking to provide the highest possible standards of recruitment, progression and retention for young talent.

“That’s what these workshops were all about. We were delighted to work with the organisation’s highly engaged and motivated managers and leaders, as part of HIE’s wider engagement with the Year of Young People 2018.”   

As a public sector employer HIE is constrained in terms of some financial benefits. However, we take an innovative and positive approach to providing and promoting flexible opportunities, which our employees really value and appreciate.

Examples include three days a year employer supported community volunteering, time off to research and access carer resources, special leave and flexible working policies to reflect a variety of needs.

This approach attracted a recent Best Practice award from Working Families UK for going the extra mile in supporting parents, carers and developing young people.

We are currently recruiting for a Modern Apprentice within the HR team, supported both financially and during working time to undertake a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3 in business and administration. 

We are targeting this opportunity specifically at care experienced young people. We can provide a supportive working environment and create opportunities to build confidence, experience and transferrable work and life skills. 

All our vacancies are posted here

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