6 Hands-On Tips for Managing Recent Grads Entering the Workforce
Each generation of Americans has different thoughts and ideologies based upon the way they were raised and the surrounding culture at the time. One of those outdated ideals is the hesitation to hire younger workers which typically is a mistake.
Each new generation has untapped potential and most practices will quickly see results by dedicating just a bit of time and resources to training these younger employees. While your current employees may feel comfortable and adept with their skills, a pair of fresh eyes can bring new life into the office and a vivacity you won’t find elsewhere. To manage recent grads, however, you’ll need to adapt your training approach and consider the needs of your young trainees if you hope to retain them. So, to help you get started, here are tips for managing grads entering the workforce.
What Do New Grads Want from a Career?
Gen Z employees are ambitious. They’re also personable and focused. More specifically, they’re focused on building their skills. According to a recent survey by Tallo, these skills include:
1. Leadership skills like communication, management, and critical thinking.
2. Technical skills like those related to science, technology, engineering, software development, and design.
3. Agility such as collaboration opportunities, experimentation, and continuous learning.
4. New languages. As the internet continues to build global connections and society becomes more diverse, second, third, and even fourth language skills are a key asset for any employee.
Imagine you hire a few young employees to round out your team. What benefits could they bring to your practice? Perhaps your new hygienist speaks fluent Spanish and converses easily with Hispanic patients. Maybe your new assistant is an organizational wizard and creates a spreadsheet to keep track of supplies. These are small changes that can lead to huge payoffs for your office.
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Check Out These Practical Tips for Managing Grads Entering the Workforce
Maybe you’re eager to hire some recent grads but feel like there’s a huge divide between your management style and what they need. This isn’t a new concern. Every new generation of college graduates creates panic for existing managers. The communication divide isn’t as wide as you think. Just remember a few of these important tips for managing grads entering the workforce, especially recent graduates with untapped potential.
1. Teach Them That Failure Is Okay
First, expect failure from your employees. They’re new to your practice—and to work in general. They’re going to make mistakes; they’re a natural part of the learning process. Teach them how to handle those mistakes and recover as needed.
If your eager new dental assistant somehow offends one of your oldest patients, you’re both going to feel upset. However, this is an excellent coaching opportunity. Talk with the team member to understand what happened and if there was a misstep. If there was, then this a great opportunity to walk the team member through where they went wrong and how to handle that situation in the future. Then allow the new employee how to apologize. A heartfelt apology goes a long way. You can rebuild the employee-customer relationship and the employee likely won’t make that same mistake twice.
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2. Remember that Patience is a Virtue
Of course, if you’re going to teach that mistakes are okay, you’ll need to exercise patience yourself. Working with the younger generation can be tricky. They’re newer to the workforce, and may need a bit more hand holding at first. If you can invest the time in younger talent, and remember that you were once where they are now, you can nurture these employees and build your talent pipeline for future leaders.
3. Focus on Training
When it comes to training, don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. This generation may have different needs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fit for the job. Evaluate their experience level and plan their training from there. As different training sessions are completed, check for understanding to ensure they have mastered the training content. Questions you should be asking yourself are, are you getting the results you expected, and does the employee feel ready to tackle things on their own?
4. Acknowledge Their Strengths—And Use Them
Every employee has their own set of strengths. You can use those strengths to build self-esteem and a better workforce. Are they personable and friendly? Organized and efficient? Eager and helpful? Each of these strengths can be used in your office. If an employee doesn’t quite fit the position they’re in now, consider the additional support that you can provide them with so they’re working to their maximum potential. Examples of that include shadowing peers, repeating online training or having more frequent one-on-ones and/or performance reviews with the employee to proactively identify any areas for improvement and/or additional support.
5. Constantly Give Feedback
Your employees need to know how they’re performing—even if the news isn’t positive. Never wait until a review to offer constructive criticism. Give feedback immediately and often. Please note: This applies to all generations of employees. No one likes feeling blindsided at a performance review or working with managers who ignore their efforts.
6. Encourage Future Leaders
Some employees may stand out from the rest, but remember that success on a single project doesn’t always indicate future management success. If you observe repetitive leadership performance from a specific employee let them know. Acknowledge their success and give those “high potential” employees special projects or tasks that involve leading other people. You can evaluate their leadership skills more accurately before placing them in a leadership role
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It’s essential to create a pipeline of employees who know your processes, culture, and mission. Your current employees won’t be around forever. As they retire or leave your practice, you’ll need replacements who feel comfortable and confident. Start training them now so they’re ready when the time comes. Need help getting started? Schedule a consultation.