Engagement From The Kitchen Table: How Are Your Newly-Employed Graduates Coping?

Put yourself in a grad’s shoes: you’ve been waiting for this moment for years. You’ve finally started your dream graduate position. You’ve invested in a new work wardrobe, adjusted to the 9-5 life and just started to feel comfortable within your team – and BAM! A global pandemic hits. Your whole office is working from home, you still don’t really feel like you know what you’re doing, which isn’t helping with your diminishing motivation and the temptation of Netflix… You’re not too sure how to take initiative with tasks, and secretly feel afraid to bring this up with your manager: what if there isn’t any work for me? Will I be made redundant in my first year out of uni?!

Hi Graduate Employers! If you haven’t met us at an AAGE event before: here’s a little bit about us. We’re Testgrid – Australia’s market-leading provider of psychometric assessment. Our point of difference is that we’re not a test publisher, but providers of a platform with access to 2500+ assessments from a range of publishers. We take an agnostic approach to psychometric assessment: one size certainly does not fit all, and each role and organisation might require a different assessment – so we give you access to them all.

What About Development?

With the name Testgrid, some people are unaware of the other aspects of our business: including development solutions. That’s what we want to talk to you about today. If we step into the shoes of a recently-employed graduate, it’s easy to understand the thoughts running through their minds at the moment. To help counteract this unmotivated and fearful mindset, it’s important to take evidence-based steps to maintain engagement of graduates working from home. From reviewing the literature, extensive research has shown key predictors of successful remote working, including things like clear communication and collaboration, self-motivation and organisation, ability to embrace change, and a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s work. You can read more about graduate engagement and the latest challenges graduate recruiters are facing in our latest 2021/22 Graduate Recruitment Trends Ebook. On the back of this information, Testgrid has created a unique competency framework that can help identify strengths and gaps in key skills for remote working.

Our Tips For Engaging Remote-Working Grads

Foster Meaning and Purpose

Recently-employed grads may struggle to understand the wider impact their work is having on the organisation. Extra direction is paramount in this climate, as well as crystal-clear communication. Research into Millennials has shown they commonly need to see the value and relevance of their work, which can be cloudy when working remotely. Go out of your way to give an extra bit of praise and direction – even if it feels cheesy! In these work conditions, new grads haven’t had the opportunity to see the outcomes of their work, so may need a reminder.

Direct Grads On Their Path of Development

Remote working provides the perfect opportunity for professional development and upskilling, and what does research show Millennials love? Development opportunities. Take this time to invest in your future workforce and make the most of their time. Development gives individuals intrinsic motivation – a natural sense of satisfaction from personal growth. This will make grads feel valued and motivate them to excel in your company long-term. Alongside our variety of assessments, we offer a range of development and engagement programs for your graduates. In the form of online workshops, these assist not only with graduates’ personal and team development but also to foster meaning and connection with their work and your company in a time of social distance.

What Should A Remote-Working Grad Engagement Program Look Like?

1. Assessments

Begin with a behavioural/personality or emotional intelligence assessment, for example:

DiSC

HBDI

Saville Wave Professional Styles

Saville Wave Work Roles Reporting (for a teamwork-focused approach)

Genos Emotional Intelligence Inventory

Genos Emotional Intelligence 360

Testgrid Remote Working Competency Framework

2. Debriefs

Zoom/telephone debrief with a Psychologist (1 hour)

Structured discussion of assessment results to equip grads with self-awareness of strengths, development areas and relevant strategies.

3. Online Workshops (via Zoom or similar)

To identify the most important areas for development and engagement of your specific grad cohort, analyse the group data to determine themes. Appropriate activities can then be selected to ensure grads engage in a workshop that is as well-suited to their development areas as possible. Activities and assessments can be customised based on your organisation’s desired engagement and development outcomes. To learn more about the trends you can expect to see in graduate recruitment and how to tackle them, read out latest guide here, or Contact us to to see how we can help you prepare for the new inevitable challenges ahead.

Contact us to learn more

We're always happy to have an informal chat and share our insights on how to improve your recruitment, employee development and engagement.