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This article does not attempt to provide
all the solutions. There are many more
areas to cover, such as early recruitment
strategies, promotion opportunities and
changes in the physical environment.
But at the heart of this paper is a desire
to start a conversation with educational
leaders across the nation about how to
rebrand education as a career of choice.
It is time for educational leaders to get
on with the daunting and exciting task
of building attractive workplace cultures
and actively going after talent for their
classrooms. In my opinion, this will curb
the tide of teacher attrition and, in time,
build a new brand for a career in edu-
cation: a brand of innovation, oppor-
tunity and significance.
I would welcome your comments or
ideas in response to this article with a
view to initiating a conversation about
how to rebrand education as a career of
choice. If you have ideas to contribute,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Breakspear is currently co-authoring,
with Peter Sheahan, a white paper entitled
'Rebranding education as a career of choice',
to be released later this year by the Centre
for Skills Development. In October 2008
he will begin an MSc Educational Studies
(Comparative and International Education)
at Oxford University as a Commonwealth
Scholar. He is 24 years old.
CRITICAL ISSUES 2
Sometimes described as Gen Y, Echo
Boomers, Millenials or the iGen (internet
generation), people born in the 80s and
90s are challenging traditional notions
of reward and remuneration. Anders
Sorman-Nilsson, self-professed Gen Y
devil's advocate, provides seven tips for
Heads who may be wondering if Gen
Y staff are off-line with reality or in-tune
with the future.
Define what your employer value proposi-
tion is and examine whether it is Gen Y-friendly
-- if it is not, start a cross-generational thought
exchange on how you can make it so.
Bring your employer value proposition and
the employee experience into alignment by
surveying your current staff's attitudes to the
question, 'Is this school a staff-friendly place
to work?' Map the generational differences.
Ask your current Gen Y staff what your
school's current strengths and blind spots are.
Gen Y are the bloodstream of global change
and will know whether you are optimally
positioned for the future.
Implement an emotional intelligence train-
ing program for your Gen Y staff. Research
shows that they display lower levels of emotion-
ally intelligent workplace behaviour, and emo-
tional intelligence is directly correlated to en-
gagement, job satisfaction and performance.
Paradoxically, the more training and develop-
ment (CV strengthening) opportunities Gen Y
staff have, the more likely they are to stay.
Involve them in formal two-way mentoring
and coaching programs with Xers and
Baby Boomers. This will ensure cross-
generational understanding of the demo-
graphic diversity in the workplace and
facilitate a cross-pollination of the three
Es -- the enthusiasm of Yers,
the expertise of the Xers, and
the experience of the Boomers.
Give them responsibility for innovation,
creativity and intrapreneurship. These
activities are the birth-right for Gen Ys and
if given the chance to contribute in this
space they will positively surprise you with
new solutions for your school. Just asking
their opinion starts the feedback loop and
will communicate that you care. Have the
chutzpah to implement the most thought-
Encourage them to go away. And incenti-
vise them to come back. Gen Ys love travel
and a formal international secondment pro-
gram will be a very attractive drawcard for
your school -- paradoxically it will ensure
greater long-term staff loyalty and bring back
valuable international experience. Why not
integrate it with your rewards and recognition
program? If you don't yet have one, imple-
ment one asap.
Anders Sorman-Nilsson is a
reformed lawyer and linguistic
gymnast who challenges his
clients to 'think funky, future-
proof their business brains,
and maximise their Return on Thinking in a
world that is a little out of whack'. He is the
author of the 'Gen Y 2.0 Lime Green Paper:
from awareness to funky solutions', and is
the front facilitator at Thinque (www.thinque.
com.au). His client list includes Macquarie
Bank, ANZ, Optus, Minter Ellison, Canberra
Grammar School, Rivendell School and the
NSW Department of Education and Training.
Attracting, engaging and retaining
Gen Y staff in a talent-short world
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