Not any house – The House of Lords!
The APCRG – All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group – holds regular meetings on different subjects for MPs, subject specialists and employer members. The topic Selwyn and Jane James was invited to yesterday afternoon was on Intergenerational Workplaces.
This has a strong synergy with Growing Talent which is open to anyone over the age of 18. The collaboration of ages, cultures and social backgrounds of Growing Talent Associates, makes for a vibrant mix of life skills, personal experiences delivering strong learning and greater empathy for others.
Harrow Green had given Selwyn the day off to prepare. He arrived at PwC’s offices London Bridge at 3pm. He and Jane then left for the quick journey to Westminster – arriving at 3.10pm – plenty of time for the 4pm start – you’d think! Jane checked with the security police on what time they should start going through the security process. ‘3.30pm will be plenty of time’. Famous last words!
Selwyn had never been to the House before so we took some time to look around and get a few photos. Above is Selwyn – wearing his Growing Talent badge with pride – outside the Queens Gate. ‘Is that gold leaf or paint?’ they debated.
Selwyn loved the architecture of the building – amazing considering the builders then didn’t have power tools!
No double glazing here!
Finally, at 3.30pm we made our way back to the security entrance………. to a rather large queue! Still we had time to admire Oliver Cromwell – who Selwyn is now going to research!
After the security measures – same as the airport without the sunshine flight at the end! – we made it into the meeting 5 minutes late! Luckily five others followed in after us! It didn’t help being in the last Committee Room at the end of a very long corridor!
Expert guest speakers were Tim Drake, Head of Talent Management at Hudson UK, Brian Beach Researcher at the International Longevity Centre UK and Steve Robinson Chief Exec of the Beth Johnson Foundation. A lot of research data, European experiment results and what the rest of the world is doing around intergenerational working. Amongst other things, Steve spoke about 5 innovative businesses that had been set-up in various industries including travel and hospitality. There had to be a total of five employees all from different generations. All work well. Which goes back to the foundation of Growing Talent – mutual respect!
One core issue all expert speakers seemed to miss was the changing social issues each generation now has to deal with which can impact their entry and sustainability into the workplace. Housing, relationships, carer responsibilities, mental health issues such as depression, debt, understanding of workplace etiquette. These affect every generation to varying degrees. For employers, these issues will affect staff entering and already in their workplaces.
Selwyn was going to share his recent experience which illustrates the benefits of intergenerational working by having a generational mix. Communication is the key to great working relationships. Selwyn was able to diffuse a recent training issue where his younger peers felt they were being spoken down to. Selwyn was able to explain to them their perception was wrong. He understood what the trainer was trying to say as they’re from the same generation.
Equally, younger generations have a different style of communication. They often share everything about themselves on social media – which most older generations don’t. When they try to get to know people it can come across to older generations as prying. When this happened to Selwyn, his younger peers (Michael, Josh and Daoud) were able to explain his perception of prying wasn’t right, its just ‘getting to know you’. Both of these situations could have blown-up into bigger issues without ‘intergenerational mix’.
We’re incredibly lucky on Growing Talent. We don’t recognise labels at all. Working from a clean slate, where everyone is treated with the same respect and honesty supported by employers to grow into productive employees regardless of what generation they’re from.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, Selwyn and Jane didn’t get a chance to share their experience of intergenerational working on Growing Talent but had a great trip out!