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How to Develop a Learning Culture for Young Talent
August 19, 2019
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The following article is by Tristram Hooley. Institute of Student Employers

How can we best develop young employees? This new research on the development of early talent from the Institute of Student Employers shares key insights.

Tristram
Tristram Hooley

Young people can be one of the greatest resources for employers. When you bring young talent into your organisation you’re gaining access to new ideas, enthusiasm and the latest skills from the education system, but you need to think carefully about how to manage younger workers and organise training and development in a different way from established staff. 

Many young people will never have been in a workplace before and they will often have a lot to learn about how your organisation works.

Two of the key roles for learning and development professionals is to help line managers understand the skills that their new hires have (and do not have) and to provide them with a pathway to developing these staff. 

Strengths of new hires

In the Institute of Student Employers’ Student Development Survey 2019 we asked employers to reflect on what things graduates, apprentices and school leavers were good at (and not so good at). They reported that all entry level hires were typically good at the following things: 

  • IT and digital skills (including using Excel)
  • Numeracy
  • Presenting themselves effectively in the workplace
  • Staying positive and building effective relationships with others
  • Teamwork 
  • Writing

For learning and development professionals this is a really strong base to start from. New hires come out of the education system with some of the key building blocks that they will need for successful careers, but they are often less clear on how to make use of these skills within the workplace. 

Helping young hires to consider how to apply the skills and knowledge they have within your business is therefore a key objective of induction and early career development programmes. 

Weaknesses of new hires

The weaknesses that employers raised with the different types of young hires are also interesting (see table for full list). Key areas of weakness included: 

  • Business appropriate communications
  • Commercial awareness
  • Job-specific skills
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • The ability to manage up
Employer perspectives on what skills entry-level hires lack

All of these weaknesses are strongly related to transitioning into the workplace environment. Where young hires struggle is in learning how to operate successfully within the workplace, to work with others (including their managers) and to deliver what is expected of them.

This requires learning and development professionals to rethink induction processes and to view them as a process of cultural acclimatisation that may go on for an extended period of time – the focus of early career training

Given that early career hires have both strengths and weaknesses, an important issue is what employers can do to develop their hires and strengthen their skills. 

On average, firms reported that they were spending £3,850 a year on each of their entry level hires. Often using the apprenticeship levy to fund some or all of this. 

The available resources should be spent on both cultural acclimatisation and on developing specific skills and knowledge that is required to perform in role and progress in career.

Employers in our survey typically invested in the same areas that they reported young hires were weak in, although areas, like presentation skills and teamworking, continue to be important for training even though entry level hires arrive relatively strong in these things. 

How Employers Can Help Young Adults Integrate into the Workplace
July 5, 2019
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The following article is by Agapi Gessesse is Executive Director of CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, an organization dedicated to addressing economic issues affecting Black youth in Canada.

How many times have we heard that the next generation knows nothing about hard work? In reality, their version of hard work – and their expectations – just look different than that of their parents. With Millennials and Generation X making up most of the labour market, workplace culture is changing in many ways.

As I was preparing to write this article, I brought it up at one of our morning scrums (a scrum is a place where we solve problems, share ideas and current events or ask non-work-related questions). I asked our Millennial and Gen X employees and volunteers, what are three things that you think are the responsibility of an employer to help young adults integrate into the workplace? As a team, we came up with three main themes: career management, culture and engagement.

Career Management

Contractual work is increasingly common, which leaves workers uncertain of their employment status within organizations. To build trust and help young workers plan for their future, transparency is essential. Employers need to ensure workers are informed of organizational funding and the diverse changes that may occur in job requirements. Also, transparency builds loyalty; if you’re transparent around the decisions that you’re making as a leader or as an organization, professional and personal mutual respect can develop. It can also help build loyalty around a common goal. Millennials and Gen X employees may be eager to jump in on special projects or to develop new solutions, as they are unbelievably resourceful and like to problem-solve and learn new skills.

“To build trust and help young workers plan for their future, transparency is essential.”

At CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals, we experience how system navigation and social capital is a large barrier for young people moving upward in their careers. To help young people grow their career, organizations should have a culture of mentorship between senior-level leaders and more junior employees. Senior leadership should meet with employees at least once a year to discuss their goals and ways in which they intend to reach those goals. To be most effective in influencing career management, mentorship should lead to sponsorship; if an opportunity comes up that a young employee is ready for and has expressed interest in, a senior-level employee can extend an introduction and/or provide recommendations.

Culture/Engagement

Mental health and stress have become an epidemic among younger generations. This becomes costly for employers due to the fact that employees are taking time off work and, when they are at work, they feel overwhelmed and experience higher anxiety levels.

Other ways to address mental health and well-being in the workplace is by creating a physical space for employees to go and take a break that is pleasant to be in. At CEE, we incorporated a wellness room with a couch, a plant wall, soft colours and a relaxing environment. The colour schemes, plant life and leisure decor offer a zen environment. In some organizations, this area may be geared toward creating a game room or a staff lounge. Whatever it is, a place for employees to take moments to relax is of great importance.

A culture of acceptance can also help young adults feel more comfortable in the workplace. One of the things that was repeatedly spoken about during our scrum conversation was employers understanding younger generations and embracing them for who they are and what they bring to the table. For instance, if we look at CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, they were creatives, geniuses and business owners, but they dressed how they wanted. Youth have fresh ideas and perspectives to bring to the table, but if they are forced to conform to corporate ideologies of dress code and etiquette, they may feel their unorthodox perspectives are not welcome. This open-mindedness can be extended to allowing employees to take risks at work and ask questions without fear of retribution.

This generation wants to do things differently and, as employers, there are ways to make the most mundane things – like meetings – more engaging (i.e taking-walking meetings, having 1:1 mental health checks to see how things outside work are going, creating opportunities for employees to come together once a month and have a company-sponsored breakfast or lunch). All these things tell the next generation you, too, are willing to put effort in to meet their needs. Summer hours or flexible hours are also something this generation is looking for, which means employers need to create accountability practices for things like working from home or away from traditional work areas.

Making Change to Keep Talent

As our society changes and new generations dominate the workforce, we have to pivot and change our approach to retain talent. Practical, tangible changes need to take place, as loyalty is not gained so much by a paycheque any more, but by work culture, engagement and investment in employees’ professional growth inside or outside of the company.

Guide to Spotting the Stresses of Climbing the Career Ladder
May 30, 2019
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Landing a promotion, getting your first full-time job or returning to work after having a baby are all meant to be exciting milestonesgrayscale photography of hands under body of water in a person’s life. However, expectations of these events may leave employees feeling underwhelmed when they occur.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19th May), Bupa Health Clinics1 has released a new report which reveals Britons admit to feeling upset or down after comparing their experience of a milestone to someone else’s on social media. Eighty-five per cent of people said they felt this way when returning to work after having a baby; 70% said it happened when starting their first job and 64% said they felt low after getting a promotion and seeing someone celebrate the same occasion on social media. 

Bupa Health Clinics’ Medical Director, Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, says:

“This new research shows how important it is for business leaders to be aware of their employees’ highs, as well as lows. It is important for leaders to be aware of external pressure that employees can bring into work and not just recognising pressures of things at work. 

“It’s easy to assume that someone getting a promotion or returning to work after having a baby has good mental wellbeing, but that isn’t always the case.”

Read more

Unemployment Falls but Wage Inequality Rises Reports HR Magazine
May 16, 2019
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While UK unemployment hits another record low, the TUC warns of wage inequality between sector

UK unemployment dropped to 3.8% in the first quarter of 2019, marking the lowest rate since 1974, according to the latest labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, trade union the TUC has warned that wages and productivity remain low and wage inequality is on the rise. Its analysis of the latest ONS data found that wages in most sectors are still worth less than before the financial crisis, and overall real wages are still £17 a week lower than a decade ago.

Read more

5 Ways to Demonstrate Your College’s Positive Intent and Impact
May 8, 2019
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The following article is by  Anthony Horne – Emsi’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

One of the most common areas of discussion I am having with senior management in the Further Education sector right now is that Anthony Horneof “demonstrating positive intent and impact”.

This is perhaps unsurprising, since Ofsted have recently included sections on Intent and Impact in their proposed new Education Inspection Framework.

But with the spotlight on these themes, it is perhaps an opportune time to look at whether we can measure the outcomes of Intent and Impact in a tangible way.

The answer is we can, but what is particularly interesting is how many different angles of measuring Intent and Impact are highlighted by college leaders.

For example, here’s a sample of some of the comments I’ve heard over recent weeks from college principals, about what they would like to be able to measure: Read more

3 Women’s Scientific Contributions That Continue to Power Modern Society
April 7, 2019
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The following article published by www.here.com may be an inspiration to your clients considering a STEM-related career.

In honour of America’s Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a few of the technologies we rely on today that might not exist if it weren’t for the pioneering women who dared to dream…

three_women_in_tech_HERE

History may now look back on these women as innovators, though they seldom received acknowledgement for their work during their own times. But if it wasn’t for the brilliant and analytical minds of these three women, the likes of smartphones, cars, and computers might not operate as they do today. Read more

Career Resiliency – Building a Better Future
March 21, 2019
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The following article was written by Julie Marseu, B.Sc., CRS. During her career, Marseu has helped thousands of people withJulie Marseutheir career transitions.

When I think of career resiliency, I think of my friend Molly, who applied nine times before she was promoted from a Customer Service Representative to a Learning Specialist.

In the first interview, Molly was told she didn’t have the necessary education or experience. Instead of giving up, she asked for suggestions and immediately enrolled in the recommended university program. After the second attempt, she began volunteering as an instructor with Junior Achievement, where she applied her new learning to engage students, and eventually earned a commendation. At home, she threw herself into a learning quest and surrounded herself with people who believed in her. At work, she stretched by coaching new employees, serving on the Quality Council, authoring a quarterly newsletter, organizing events and being involved in everything possible. Read more

4 Reasons Why You Should Adopt Blended Training
March 7, 2019
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The following article is by Robin Singh, Technical Support Executive. Robin is an expert in various LMS and employee training Currently, he is a residentRobin Singh, Technical Support Executive learning management expert at ProProfs.

Every student is different. In recognizing that, educators not only accentuate the differences that exist between students of various ages or intellectual abilities, but also the fact that two persons can be at the same phase of physical and cognitive development and still have different needs, preferences, and approaches to learning.

Some acquire knowledge by listening, others thrive on visual cues. From these highly individual affinities stem different learning styles. Auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and reading/writing approaches to learning are only a few of them. Others are more hybrid and suggest combinations of learning techniques that vary from one person to another. Read more

How to Get Behind National Apprenticeship Week 2019 #NAW19
February 25, 2019
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The following article is by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

With the start of the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019) just around the corner, new resources to help the sector get behind the week have been published.

Highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships to employers, individuals, local communities and the wider economy, the ‘Blaze a Trail’ themed week, running from 4 to 8 March 2019, will see a range of activities and events being hosted across the country, aimed at challenging the outdated views many people still have about apprenticeships.

The week will also highlight the huge number of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities available at all levels around the country, in a huge variety of sectors, including aviation engineering, nursing, finance and policing. Read more

Age Discrimination Biggest Obstacle to Re-entering Employment
February 15, 2019
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Age discrimination is the biggest obstacle preventing people from getting back into employment, according to jobsite Jobrapido reports HR Magazine.

It surveyed 2,027 people in the UK currently not in education, employment or training and who had previously worked in management, executive, administrative or manual labour positions.

The research found that almost a quarter of respondents (24%) believe the biggest obstacle to getting a new job is their age and that the role they apply for is given to a younger candidate. Other obstacles included not being able to find a suitable role (11%), that they frequently go to interviews but are rejected (11%), poor health (9%), and not being sure what job they want (6%).

When asked about the challenges securing their job of choice, 32% said the skills needed are very different from when they first started out, 29% said the market is too competitive and the jobs tend to go to people in-house before they’re published externally, and 14% said the development of technology has meant some jobs are now redundant.

Rob Brouwer, CEO of Jobrapido, said that the results reveal age discrimination is still at play in the hiring process. “In spite of the progress of UK employment law and measures to mitigate against the risk of discrimination, it is clear that some companies are not giving candidates a fair playing field,” he said.

“It is disappointing that so many of those trying to get a job believe that age counts against them when their experience should be seen as an asset. HR departments should be scrutinising their equality policies and ensuring that all applicants, regardless of age, are given a detailed breakdown of why they were unsuccessful. Transparency is crucial.”

The research also found that nearly a third (30%) of respondents have lost their confidence and do not feel they can get a job anymore. A further 30% have had to cut back on their spending and change their lifestyle.

Respondents also cited wanting more guidance on the jobs they should apply for. Seventeen per cent would like advice on how to improve their CV, 14% would like better interview feedback so they can learn from their mistakes, and 8% would like advice on how to improve their interview technique or careers counselling to feel more confident.

Brouwer added that, while it is important for candidates to be prepared for interviews, employers could play a stronger role in helping to improve the confidence of those seeking work: “This is a strong call to action for those working in the recruitment industry and to employers and HR professionals to look at ways they could support and help those trying to get employment. This could include running CV workshops, career counselling sessions, a masterclass on interview techniques, how to answer challenging questions, or guidance as to what jobs might be suitable for their existing skills.”

Nearly a third of those surveyed (30%) had been out of work for three to 12 months, 9% for one to two years, 6% for three to five years and 21% for more than five years.