Case study: Young Enterprise Scotland.

Young Enterprise Scotland was the joint 2018 Winner of the Top Scottish Employers for Working Families Awards - Third Sector category.

Time to shine

YE Scotland is a small organisation which encourages an entrepreneurial mindset and develops skills in young people. Entrepreneurs are successful if they are flexible, adaptable and creative, and YE Scotland is committed to ensuring their own staff team reflects this working practice and approach.

The small but committed workforce come from all walks of life: mothers, fathers, older people and young people. All staff have full flexibility with the opportunity to have varied work days; varied start and finish times and remote working. Of 22 staff, 60% work part time and 100% work flexibly to fit around family or other personal commitments.

Almost 50% of the YE team are under 26 and in their first ever job. YE offers a supportive mentoring and appraisal systems to help them make their first experience of working life a success. To reflect their focus of their investment in their young staff, the organisation has achieved the highest gold award from Investors in Young People.

Illuminating ideas

  • All young staff under 26 are allocated a career mentor from the organisation’s board of Directors
  • All employees have an individual working pattern that allows them to have a positive work/life balance
  • Use the ‘Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ recruitment logo and toolkit to engage new staff
  • All of the senior team work flexibly - changing working days or hours or working at home when the need arises to accommodate personal commitments. Two members of the senior team also work part-time.
  • A holiday flex scheme enables staff to 'purchase' extra holiday days if additional time off is needed
  • The CEO believes that the team’s levels of motivation and productivity and the organisation’s improved financial position is largely down to their positive work culture. Results include:
    • High staff retention (turnover less than 4%)
    • Increased the number of young people the organisation works with by 4000/year.
    • Consistent high feedback from staff

“I am registered disabled and came to YE Scotland as a receptionist in 2014 after being out of the workplace for 20 years. The flexible work environment has allowed me to keep working and I have progressed further than I would have thought possible. I have the freedom of being able to work from home when my pain is bad and change my work days. Without this freedom I am certain I would have had to take sick leave and possibly leave my job." -- Julia, Fundraising Executive

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