Sometimes it is easy to say – I haven’t the time to develop young people.  Time is always such a precious commodity isn’t it?

Cullen Scholefield has always championed the value of what I call “bright young things”.  I value their opinions and contribution to our organisation.  The sad thing is that in a small organisation they have a short shelf life, so if you do a classic Return on Investment it could be difficult to make the business case.  Saying that CIPD’s Research Report in September 2012 has good ideas. I felt that Valerie Stevenson ex HR director at Deloitte hits the nail on the head when she says “Morally we recognise that helping young people is the right thing to do.  If we get more young people into work, our economy will look brighter as a result of it”.

We are on the cusp of a 5G workplace – by that I mean that we will have 5 generations working together very soon, as those born after 2000 come on line.  A new report from CIPD Developing the Next Generation was published this week.  The benefits of “growing your own talent” are enforced by some excellent case studies.  Having a pipeline of future leaders has always been the smart way of retaining talent.  Our three year programme with Cineworld has demonstrated this.

Other challenges facing us are that with a diverse age range we will run into different learning preferences and different responses to working.  Whilst we may say the baby boomers have been lucky they are on the whole a pretty committed bunch of workers who would put career first and family second. Long working hours are also tolerated and the mobility required by those working in large corporates an accepted part of the job.  Will the Millennials and Generation Z be as biddable?

So how are we going to manage all of this?  Playing to strengths has got to be at the core of any approach, combined with speedy and specific feedback for positive re-enforcement and identifying where performance or skills need to be improved.

Some old staples like helping young people understand their learning styles and preferences will be good.  A thorough introduction to Emotional Intelligence (EI) will also help them be more self aware and able to make choices in the way they respond to colleagues.  Mind you, EI is a universal requirement and we all need to select the best way of responding and modifying our behaviour accordingly.

You may wonder what prompted this week’s blog – well I have been working with our latest bright young thing – Seb Hockaday.  He has just finished his degree and helping us out on the marketing front.  He hopes to work in London in a media company, but is pragmatic enough to realise that a local job now could help him secure a good position.  If the experiences of our other bright young things are anything to go by, this will happen!