Managing Recent Grads

college graduationFor many new managers, the hardest task is managing employees who have never worked before. This is because, in addition to ensuring work is being done effectively, deadlines and quotas are being met, and the standard workplace drama is being kept under control, there must now also be time spent teaching these new employees everything. They need to learn how to do their job while also learning how to function in the workplace. And they often still have a college mindset, meaning they may not take things as seriously as you do. They can be, in a word, a nightmare.

But, successful managers are able to groom recent graduates into the best members of the team. Recent grads are usually hungry to perform, eager to impress, and are a blank slate, meaning they don’t have bad habits, yet. You can mold them into the employee you want, without them fighting against your style (what’s to fight – you’re all they know). So while the hand-holding phase of onboarding a recent grad can be time-consuming and frustrating, the end result can be worth every second to a good manager, because they get a highly motivated, highly productive employee who doesn’t know how to cut corners and doesn’t desire to take your job or leave the company (yet).

Unfortunately, there is still that difficult hand-holding phase to get through. And navigating it can be difficult, especially for inexperienced managers. But the first step is accepting that there will be some hiccups in …

Employee Development Planning

employee developmentWe all want to know where we’re going next. Whether in life or professionally, developing to the next level is fundamental to all of us. Unfortunately, many companies do not have serious development plans in place for employees. Instead, there is an expectation that employees and manager will have conversations about promotions when the time is right for employees to move on. Unfortunately, this kind of policy can lead to inconsistencies within a company and can lead to good employees leaving to go to a company where development is a focus.

To ensure appropriate employee development conversations are happening with everyone at your company or within your division, you need to start by ensuring you have a clear grasp on what your development conversations should look like. They should have future career progressions in mind, as well as opportunities for growth in the employee’s current role. This allows an employee to not only make future plans known but to begin developing the relevant skills to get to that next level.

There should also be a conversation around whom to contact regarding that next job when the time comes to begin looking into the next role. For most, that is a year to six months before they will look to move on. This will both get buy-in from the potential future manager and give the employee an opportunity to see what skill sets are required for the next job. In addition, it will allow for buy-in from the employee, making it …