As college lets out for the summer, students and recent grads alike are on the hunt for either summertime or full-time employment. Some take on short-term internships to build their skill sets, and others are looking to take their first step into their professional careers. Either way, someone had to take these bright-eyed youths under their wings and help break them into the rhythm of 9-5 work. If you’re the one who’s given the responsibility, here are some tips to ensure their success and your own.
Host a formal and in-depth orientation
While your new workers may have plenty of formal education from the classroom, they’re going to need an orientation to learn the customs, rules, roles, structure, mission, and purpose of the company. The same way they sat through intense orientation when they started college, they’ll need a similar training to guarantee their success in their new environment. Assemble a binder and walk through the standards and culture of the office.
Provide clear instructions and expectations
Young adults are just as eager as they are confused and prone to distraction. It’s incredibly important that you are transparent and explicit in your instructions when it comes to assigning tasks and projects. Weekly or biweekly, update their project sheet to keep the tasks and due dates accurate. If there’s any room for misinterpretation, have a meeting and break down the step-by-step of each of their to-dos.
Adjust to their learning styles
Each of your new employees will likely have a slightly different way to take in information and may require an individualized managing style. Pay attention to the way you can best connect with them. This will also help you help them reach their personal goals. By determining what they want to get out of their experience, you can help ensure you’re catering to their needs in a way that resonates with them.
Be available for coaching and questions
Your young teammates will undoubtedly have lots of questions about the job, the company, the work you’re giving them, their performance, and life in general. You may want to set up weekly check-ins so that you and your young teammates can talk openly, frankly, and frequently about the progress of projects and how they’re adjusting to their new climates.
Live a good example
If you’re in charge of a young worker, they’re likely to impress upon you like young ducklings and take a lot of their corporate social cues directly from you as their first point of contact in the real working world. Make sure you cross your Ts and dot your Is around your interns. They’re always watching, whether you realize it or not. Watch your mannerisms and keep in mind that your behavior will be a template for these young people for years to come. Take the invaluable opportunity to show these young people how it’s done in the adult realm of things.