How supporting recent grads in the workplace boosts your company culture
Engagement 3 minute read

How supporting recent grads in the workplace boosts your company culture

Megan Orr | November 25, 2021

Many new hires struggle with workplace norms and impostor syndrome, so employers must work proactively on supporting recent grads in the workplace.

Starting a new job can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing, particularly when it’s the first job after graduation or a role in a new industry. According to Personnel Today, “one in three young people say they feel ill-equipped for work”. 

It’s the employer’s job to help new hires feel well-equipped instead. Here are a few ways to do just that. 

Create a roadmap to success, but don’t get too caught up in the specifics. 

Supporting recent grads in the workplace, as well as employees who are new to your industry, means creating a roadmap for success. A roadmap should contain markers for their role through onboarding until at least a year with your company. The roadmap can include things such as when onboarding and training should be completed, at which point they are expected to understand certain programs, and when they should be able to complete projects end-to-end independently. 

However, it’s also important to not get too caught up on a timeline and judge performance based on arbitrary criteria such as ‘understands the program’ at three months. Instead, use the roadmap as a general guideline. 

Be willing to invest in training, even if you’re worried about turnover. 

One of the main reasons employers are reluctant to spend time and money on training and development is the worry that their employees will leave and use that training at another organization. Realistically? Yes, they probably will. 

People are now far less likely to stay with one organization their entire career, with statistics noting that “the average high school student today is going to have 23 jobs in their lifetime”. However, that doesn’t mean that employers can’t aim to support their employees along the way with proper training and development opportunities. 

Supporting recent grads in the workplace means ensuring that they’re set up for success with thorough onboarding and continuous training. Not only will it help them be successful in their role at your organization (and others), but it will also reflect well on your organization to have employees who are knowledgeable and able. 

Many employers provide a learning and development stipend for their employees to take classes, attend webinars, go to conferences, buy books, etc., which allows employees to choose how and what they want to learn and build up their skills. 

Consider creating a guide for company culture/any commonly used lingo. 

Organizations usually have policies or guidelines for any explicit rules, such as dress codes or time off. Where they tend to miss out is on capturing some of the implicit rules that make your workplace unique. 

For example, do people normally go out for lunch together on Fridays? Does everyone call the kitchen the cafe? Is using headphones to listen to music okay? Does everyone wear pink on Wednesdays?

Compile a document of all the “office quirks” your new hires should know. Share it with managers and key employees for feedback. A what-to-expect document will help employees fit in better and faster—and help them avoid any missteps.

Supporting recent grads in the workplace also means offering a bit of extra attention to any new hires who may not be familiar with your particular work environment. Offer continuous support and check in regularly to ensure their—and your—success.

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