Nearly two million students are expected to graduate from college in the next year.
That’s a huge untapped potential workforce just waiting to be snapped up. If you’re one of the many companies expecting to reach out to this population, you should know there are some things you can do to make the process smoother for the recent grads and your business.
In this article, we look at six ways to manage fresh out of school employees.
#1: Enhance Your Business’ Communication
Today’s college graduates expect an open line of communication. They live in an instant access generation and as such, they expect you to be available to them at all times.
By keeping your lines of communication open with this fresh crop of graduates, you can eliminate any problems before they happen. Plus, you ensure that your new staff feels connected and in touch with what’s going on at your company.
Establish a procedure for regular communication with your fresh out of school employees. Perhaps it’s a daily email or text message. It could be an internal instant messaging program.
Whichever way you choose, touch base with your new staff on a daily basis to keep them on track, avoid issues and monitor how things are going.
#2: Provide Regular Feedback
The days of yearly employee reviews aren’t going to work with your recent graduate new hires.
Today’s generation wants and thrives on ongoing feedback. They prefer it in real time and on an ongoing basis.
This helps your business, too. You don’t want these employees moving forward on projects on their own without daily or weekly feedback as they might get quickly off track.
Consider regular feedback part of their onboarding process. It will make them feel better while helping you avoid issues down the line.
#3: Reward Your Staff
Your new college graduates grew up in a world where everyone was recognized for what they did whether it was winning or not. Just consider the group of 30 gymnasts who all got participation awards even though they didn’t finish in the top three.
This generation expects to be rewarded. Now, this doesn’t have to be with physical things.
A few words of well-placed praise keep them moving diligently forward. This is the simplest and most inexpensive way to recognize your employees and improve employee morale and engagement.
You’ll help instill loyalty in your fresh out of school employees and give them pride in their work. Do this sometimes alone and sometimes in a group, as public praise is usually very well-received.
#4: Provide Ongoing Education and Training
Your new recent college graduates don’t know everything they need to know to work for you, even though they might think they do.
In addition to regular employee training, you can offer them some specialized training that focuses on things they wouldn’t know since they’re new to the workforce.
Some ideas include:
- How to work as a team
- How to manage a work project
- How to budget time
- How to negotiate health insurance
- What to know about retirement and how to save for it
- Education on how to pay for their student loans
- Budgeting 101
Think about helping them navigate the “grown-up” world. This also helps you because you are teaching them valuable work and life skills. By learning these, they are less-stressed and better employees.
#5: Provide Them with a Mentor
One of the best things to do when it comes to managing recent grads is to give each one a mentor. Look to your most loyal staff with longevity to find the best mentor.
This gives new grads someone to help them learn the ropes. They can teach them the ways of a business professional and much needed business etiquette.
Mentors guide new staff through the onboarding process, help them navigate office culture and provide them career insight.
#6: Involve Them in the Process
Fresh out of school employees are used to collaborating. Yet, they are also used to being assigned tasks and assignments in class. But, you’ll remember back to your college days – they aren’t ordered and told what to do.
They are given assignments, and it’s up to them to complete them.
You want to give them a game plan that includes tasks and assignments, but you don’t want to bark orders at them.
Get creative and bring them around gently. Encourage their involvement in the assigning of tasks, but make it clear you are the final decision maker.
This gives them buy-in and encourages their good worth ethic.
Finally, hiring fresh out of school employees is good for your business. While they may be a little green around the edges, the best thing about recent grads is that they are moldable.
They do require some extra hand-holding upfront – more than you’d expect from a new employee. Remember they’ve just made a major life change.
Help them negotiate the change and teach them how to be a grown up in a professional world, and you’ll be well on your way to a loyal team for your business.
One last thought – don’t forget that the way you train and manage these new hires dictates how successful they’ll be into the future.
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