Whether you hire from Cornell or a Community College, you will have noticed that the graduates that join your company seem to lack something to make them instantly productive. The reason for this is that our educational environment is, for the most part, remote from the business environment and the people teaching your future employees have not necessarily lead companies or teams or anything for that matter.
You will be able to count on getting the most up to date knowledge about the processes and theories that underlie your business but the practical implications that make this knowledge productive take time to develop.
Recent graduates can develop faster if you invest in their:
- Company knowledge
- Business knowledge
- Personal Development
From learning the company products and processes to learning all there is to know about the roles from various teams, departments and people in the company, the graduate will benefit greatly from your investment in a solid orientation program. You can read some more about the importance of and the preferred content of orientation programs in companies HERE, HERE, and HERE. Orientation programs will add to the effectiveness of your business and help employee retention.
An orientation program in your specific company however does not address some other needs that the recent graduate may have. Programs like finance for non-financial managers or an introduction into the specific business that your company operates in. Also courses like Six Sigma and effective business writing will help the new graduate employee to become more effective at a faster pace. You can suggest a range of online resources or you can schedule a series of off site courses for the graduates over the first two years that they work at your company.
Finally the recent graduates need to develop their company identity and be weaned off the campus life. One of the most powerful tools is to thoroughly know yourself. You are the measure by which you evaluate the world. Everything in this world is seen through your biases, opinions and experiences. The more you are conscious of your views, emotions, values and opinions, the more you will be able to develop your view on the world around you and play an effective role in it. Knowing yourself will provide you with a confident base to work from. Learning how to ask and provide feedback is another crucial development that the graduates may not have acquired in school. The recent graduates will eventually get there on their own, we all do eventually, but designing specific interventions will grow their insights faster.
Larger companies will have programs that develop their employees through a series of assignments in different departments and locations, smaller companies may have to do with some days or shifts work in adjacent department or at head quarters but whatever the size of company you are, paying attention to graduate development will definitively boost the graduates performance, commitment and retention.
We will discuss the pros and cons of having a mentoring program for new employees in a future blog post.