Education Featured

Embracing the younger generation

September 29, 2022

In the last of his series, Dominic Blake, Managing Director of The Blushes Collective talks about embracing the younger generation.

Blushes was founded in 1984 and has been renowned for a great place to work, a luxurious, high-end salon in the Costwolds with top talent. Fast forward to 2017 and Darrel Blake passed the reigns to me, and I am now managing director. Since then we’ve grown from one salon to five in the past five years, with more to come. 

Previously Blushes Hair & Beauty, we rebranded to The Blushes Collective in June 2021. We wanted to create dynamic environments where people come to flourish – creating an inclusive community of people, bringing an emphasis on the clients and the team being the forefront of the business’ innovation.

It’s all about the future and part of this is working in a new way with new people, the next generation. We are a young team, and to some this may seem like a negative, but we believe having a younger team enables us to really have our finger on the pulse when it comes to business. Our management team are all young – an average age of 27 – and having a younger management team means we take bigger risks and reap bigger rewards when it comes to business decisions. Younger people tend to move quicker when it comes to making changes they feel are necessary to be evolving, in an industry that changes so rapidly.

It’s all about balance, younger people – for example our Gen Z team members – have a priceless knowledge of technology and digital. While arguably social media and technology can be a negative in many respects, the younger generation have grown up with technology more so than anyone else, it’s ingrained in them and they understand it better than anyone.

It’s also about enthusiasm, working with younger people who are at the beginning of their working life and career and nurturing that. However, it’s a question of traditional methods vs modern, and the convergence of the future with the wisdom and experience of the older generation. It’s valuable to have both in business, being able to understand the importance of a differing perspective. Naturally, with older people the experience that they have is priceless and can offer something that younger people perhaps haven’t quite got yet. But again, it depends entirely upon the results you’re looking for. On balance, younger people can often be more in touch with the world and the culture we’re living in now. Both opinions and methods of the younger and older generation work together in harmony.

Naturally younger people who have just come out of school or are a couple of years older than that are just starting out in the world of work and that can come with a few challenges. Starting out as a junior member of the team can feel unfulfilling to start with, and frustrations may grow, but at Blushes we pride ourselves on recognising talent and qualities in people regardless of their age and strive to nurture that and coach them in a direction they want to grow in.

There’s certainly a stigma surrounding hiring younger people, with the misconception that they won’t see a long-term career with the business and will jump from job to job. But our managers, and the teams themselves, work so collaboratively with each member of the team and act as coaches themselves helping to guide them into a career that they will be fulfilled by.

On the flipside, the biggest pro of working with younger people is that you’re working with them at the very start of their career journey. This is the most exciting time, they’re enthusiastic, they’re eager to learn and it’s your job as a business owner or manager to provide them with opportunities and exposure to things that will inspire them and educate them.

The majority of the workforce now is on the cusp between being Millennials and Gen Z, the cultural shift between the generations is massive and mostly it’s understanding the difference between the two and what individual people need.

Top tips for working with a younger generation

1 Allow them to make a difference.

2 Let them bite off more than they can chew, and support them through it.

3 Don’t put too much focus on skills, that will come in time with experience, instead focus on the unique qualities that they have to offer.