It costs a lot of money, time and resource to bring new talent into the business; the last thing you want is to squander that investment with an inadequate programme that fails to leverage the energy of our young professionals.
Successful graduates have demonstrated their abilities to learn so this early time period is perhaps the greatest opportunity to maximise that learning curve.
The journey follows a pretty simple format:
They don’t know what they don’t know until we tell them.
They now know, because we told them, so now they need to try it.
They ‘get it’, they can do what they need to do and they do it with confidence.
They know it so well it’s like riding a bike; done without the need to think about it.
Creating a Graduate Programme to take them on this journey sounds a lot easier than it really is.
Is easy to deal with; more graduate training courses, more graduate workshops, more sitting in meetings to watch and experience with others. Nothing too difficult, surely enough experiences must make it “stick” right?… wrong! Just because you’re told ‘active listening’ is great for communications doesn’t mean you can do it.
Avoid over expectations and remember graduates have an abundance of curiosity at this time so lots of experience, lots of training IS the correct step but it's only the start.
Is slightly more tricky; just because they’ve been told of ‘active listening’ doesn’t mean you throw them into client meetings, negotiations or any other real time engagement. You need a “sand pit” for them to play in, to try it for themselves, perhaps with some guidance, perhaps in some simple situations. It doesn’t take much, it is after all a “have a go” moment.
Not too series, not too soon; let them play first.
Is where you need a proper playground. Let them kick the ball to one another time and time again. Mix with a little real life experience but with guidance and support.
Lessons from Level 3 - Let them know they can wobble and make mistakes.
They won’t know they’re doing it; this is where their mentors or coaches must recognise this progress for them. It’s not in the hands of the graduates to tell.
THE NEGOTIATION CLUB!
Negotiation skills are something every graduate should be competent in and at the TNC we provide the pathways for Level 2, 3 and 4.
Perhaps your own internal trainers will deliver it but please, please don’t make the mistake that just because they’ve been 'told' about negotiations they can now negotiate.
I was on a Graduate Programme many many moons ago and I so wish I had been able to practice.
Let your graduates play 'negotiator' at the TNC; perhaps the best graduate investment you’ll ever make!