Bosses have been reminded of their responsibility to train and mentor their young staff, rather than expecting you to know everything on Day One in a new job.
A new document has been produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), outlining ways that employers can make their organisations more ‘youth friendly’ so it’s easier for new recruits to settle in and gain the skills they need to do the job they’ve been hired for.
For some time, Graduate Fog has been concerned that organisations expect too much from their young staff, seemingly forgetting that many of you have never have had a proper job before. Others will only have done short periods of temporary work or unpaid internships, in which you have probably not received much formal training about the many subtle (and sometimes downright weird!) ‘rules’ of the workplace and how the culture differs from the environment you’re used to at school, college and university.
We have seen that many employers are excellent at complaining that universities are failing to give you the skills they need you to have, or that you do not have enough experience to be useful to them on Day One.
Their solution seems to be that universities should run more work skills sessions for students and graduates, and that you should do endless unpaid work experience placements and internships to bring your skills up to meet the increasingly high standards they demand before they’ll award you with a permanent, paid job.
But don’t employers have some responsibility for training you up too? The document – Managing Future Talent – a guide for employers – suggests so. Positions taken by young employees must be well structured, and good communication and clear expectation-setting are vital. Katerina Ridiger, Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns at the CIPD said:
“It is crucial that when a young worker first enters the workplace, the experience sets them up for a long and successful career. Here the role of the line manager is crucial in helping young employees with the transition into work.
“For any employee, a good line manager is vital. However, for a young person new to the world of work and inexperienced in workplace cultures, employer expectations and day-to-day processes, their needs can be different from those of a more experienced worker.
“As such, they may require a different level of support, reassurance and guidance to navigate through those early days before comfortably establishing their place in the wider team.”
Graduate Fog is encouraged to see this document being published and circulated. While it is unclear how many employers will read it, let alone implement its suggestions, it is good to see official bodies recognising that employers have a responsibility towards their young staff. The way we see it, they can whinge about young people not having the skills they wish you had, or they can roll their sleeves up and help you to acquire them. If they’ve hired smart graduates, they should have faith that you’ll pick it up quickly.
*COULD BOSSES DO MORE TO HELP YOU SETTLE IN?
If you’ve started a job, how welcome and supported did you feel? What are the main surprises or difficulties graduates experience when beginning their first proper role? Do employers expect too much from their new, young recruits?