by Hope Silveira
The Flame PR team was out in force to attend the London launch of social enterprise, Get The Gen. Hosted in the Cannon Street offices of City law firm CMS - Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang. The event was a great opportunity to learn more about how Get The Gen supports businesses with the process of engaging young people within the workforce – people like Holly and myself. We also heard more about the challenges and opportunities of flexible working in a superfast world. Flame PR supports flexible working so it was good to learn more about how this can benefit all generations.
Rooted in the background of its charitable work in Scotland, Get the Gen raises awareness of the barriers that young people face in the challenging business world and offers businesses practical solutions to help them integrate into the workplace successfully. This is very valuable if you consider that millennials – like me - will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 .
Get the Gen Director, Graham Robertson, and Head of London, Hannah Lindsay, led an evening of engaging conversations, group tasks, and panel discussions. One of the tasks was getting a download of a stranger’s life history instantly – one minute is longer than you think!
The panel members were Phil Raymond, Director of HR for CMS and Claire Hill, Head of Implementation & Delivery Front Office Transformation, Commercial Banking, RBS Group.
Here are our three top takeaways from the event:
1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
For the first time in history, we are seeing five generations of employees working together under the same roof. Generation X is gradually replacing Traditionalists and Baby Boomers, but the bulk of the people on the ground, the do-ers, are millennials.
Sophie Devonshire, director of business consultancy The Caffeine Partnership, delivered a fantastic keynote speech that highlighted the generational gap that has been stigmatised, as opposed to addressed. According to a recent LinkedIn report, a Multi-Generational Workforce is in the top four global trends in 2020. A culture which nurtures the idea that good work is ageless must be prioritised.
2. Flexible Working
We heard that 31 per cent of employees would rather have flexible working arrangements, such as working from home than take a pay rise . Such arrangements bring many benefits to an employee’s life such as increased job satisfaction, an improved work/life balance, and a boost in employee morale.
Sophie juggles the challenges and opportunities of flexible working, or what she referred to as ‘Flexi-Sexi’, based on the 16 employees and 27 associates of The Caffeine Partnership:
“I don't mind where or when you do it, as long as you deliver for the client on time and to a good quality.”
3. Time Management vs Energy Management
Another key learning point that resonated with me was the matter of ‘time management vs energy management’. It’s ironic but is time management actually a waste of time? Should business leaders and employees be focusing more energy on a shorter period of time to achieve more? We are all often guilty of wishing we had more hours in the day, however in the pursuit of results, we shouldn’t lose sight of maintaining a healthy work life balance and setting realistic goals. How you manage energy in a smart way and create ways of working for your team that fit with what motivates team members is so important – you will soon notice a difference.
Once considered mainly in relation to new parents in the workplace, the concept of flexible working has become relevant to anyone who wants to sustain that balance between working and living. As we progress into a more connected society, offering the option to shift hours or work remotely for all team members helps build trust within the employer-employee relationship and encourages better productivity as a result.
Undoubtedly, flexible working may not work for all employees, but it’s the choice and support that is appreciated, by a younger workforce in particular.
“A happier workforce means a more productive workforce. A more productive workforce means more revenue and more revenue means more reward for our employees.” KPMG