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Regularly updated and topical articles from our resident blogger Lucy Massie

Innovation in all Ages

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Companies are always thinking of new ways and ideas to target new projects and bring in interesting ideologies. One way companies address this is by having a diverse workforce in terms of age demographics. Companies that implement this into their practices are seen to utilise a wide range of skills to create a dynamic workforce.

How does thinking differ across age demographics?

In this vast growing technological world, young professionals are being immersed into computer savvy ideologies. Most of them can access the world from their pockets with over 90% of young professionals having a smart phone. Bringing in youthful thinking could therefore be pivotal for companies looking to embark on new technologies and make the most of opportunities.

However, traditional business values are also vital for companies to retain. These traditional players pass on vital information and practices to younger professionals after years of accumulated professional experience.
McDonalds is an example of a company who specifically take on over 60s for competitor advantage.  They believe their traditional values, have a positive effect on customer satisfaction and this is backed up in their results claiming that restaurants with staff over 60 have 20% higher customer satisfaction levels.

Having a workforce mainly composed of one age demographic can cause companies to go obsolete.

Therefore if a workplace is dominated by young professionals there is no opportunity for mentoring to take place resulting in lack of direction. However if a workforce is dominated by mature employees, when they retire the company will be left with few individuals to implement company values.

HBL like to find innovation in all ages of people. The company have had retired individuals joining their team due to the relaxed, friendly and flexible nature of the company. Their years of experience and lifetime values have been pivotal towards helping the company. The company also invest in students over summer periods, offering work placements in areas such as Engineering, Chemistry and Business. This gives students hands on experience and results in the company bringing in new and fresh ideas – something that is very useful for product development.

Alex Rodgers studies Chemistry at the University West of Scotland, and has been working for the company for the past 3 years. While working at the company he has been hugely influential in the research and development of plasma chemistry for modifying medical devices. He believes getting hands on experience out of the classroom has been hugely valuable, for putting his skills into real world application practice.

Alex busy pipetting reagents

Rachel Fraser is also a student who is working for Highland Biosciences, returning for her second summer at the company. Rachel studies Sports and Product Design Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Rachel has been pivotal in the production process, making innovative cartage designs and fixtures.  Rachel struggled to know what she wanted to do after completion of her degree however, working at Highland Biosciences for the past two summers has illustrated that product design of medical and biological products is an industry that she could see herself working in the future.

Rachel operating the 3D printers

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