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How to support and manage graduates – 5 top tips

How to support and manage graduates

 

The biggest jump in a person’s career is typically the one from university or colleague into the world of work. While many students may have taken on part-time roles to support themselves throughout their studies, nothing can quite prepare you for taking the first step on the career ladder.

Millions of young people are currently embarking on this transition, and most companies are keen to take on graduates because of their enthusiasm and ambition. Entering a full-time position can be a shock to the system though and there may be teething problems as graduates adjust. But providing businesses effectively support new employees, these should be minimal and companies will appreciate the injection of energy that graduates bring.

So what steps can companies take to get the best out of their grads?

Induction programme

Starting a new job for the first time can be extremely daunting, especially when you have no previous experience. One thing that can really help entry-level hires get up to speed quickly is providing a thorough induction programme. New starters should have an opportunity to sit down with each member of their team in the first week to get to know them better and understand how their role fits into the wider team. A comprehensive starter-pack with instructions on everything they need is also key. There can be a lot of information to take on board when you start a job and having an information pack to refer back to is extremely helpful.

Make time for new starters

When you’re trying to meet a million deadlines and your inbox hasn’t stopped pinging, it can be hard to put aside time in your day to chat with new employees. However, just five minutes a day to ask how they are will make a world of difference. Graduates may well be feeling out of their depth and if nobody in the team makes time to talk to them, they are likely to feel unwelcome and unhappy. Promoting a friendly work environment is key for every business and all employees, but especially new recruits.

Promote good teamwork

Many graduates may not have experienced working in a team before, and if they are the most junior member, it can be easy for them to assume that their role is less important than more senior staff. This is never the case however, the success of a team rests on every individual members’ shoulders. Managers should explain to graduates why their role is crucial and why the team couldn’t function without them. This will give graduates a necessary sense of importance and inspire them to produce a good standard of work.

Recognise and nurture new talent

Graduates need regular feedback and it’s key that managers and the wider team recognise and celebrate their talents. This is one of the best ways to motivate employees.  It will also make them feel an important and valued member of the team. If you can see a new starter is particularly proficient in a certain area then encourage development in these skills, providing the role allows. Likewise, if you can see a graduate is struggling with a particular aspect arrange extra training to help them – with the right support every graduate can flourish!

Weekly check-ins

It’s vital that line managers meet with graduates at least once a week during their first few months in the job. This is a key opportunity for you to provide them with feedback on how they are doing, and for them to update you on any issues they are experiencing. Without regular line-manager contact, graduates may sit on problems until they become major obstacles, which is something you want to avoid. Making the time for entry-level employees is something they will appreciate and will benefit both of you in the long-run.

If managers put in place these simple tips to support graduates it will result in happy, incentivised employees. If entry-level hires are made to feel like a valued part of the team the work they produce will reflect this, and the business will benefit as a result.

 

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