This time of year marks a transitional point for most companies as many open their doors to a crop of students who have recently landed their first internships and graduates stepping into their first full-time roles. While companies are eager to cultivate young talent and glean the social media insights of the tech-savvy younger generation, often this enthusiasm does not translate into organization. Some companies make the mistake of treating students or recent graduates the same as experienced hires, which means that onboarding and developmental programs may not be a priority. But think back to your first job out of school. You likely walked into your new office with trepidation – ready to elan and prove yourself, but also fearful of making potential mistakes.
There is a learning curve to every new position, especially entry-level roles. In addition to simply getting used to working in an office environment every day and adhering to the rigors of a company schedule, young employees are also tasked with learning new technological systems and honing business communication skills. Any young employee in the throws of this process is likely feeling the pressure is likely feeling the pressure to succeed, or at the least, not fail. Rather than letting your young hires go it alone and flounder in the process, your organization can establish a system that not only supports their current endeavors but also sets them up for future success.
Platforms like SAP SuccessFactors enable companies to instill and manage talent development roadmaps for every individual in the organization. The platform serves as a centralized hub for all onboarding, goal-setting, and on-going development. Both employers and employees are able to log in to a talent profile, review past discussions, and make updates based on recent developments. The equal access allows both parties to stay informed regarding individual progress.
It’s fairly easy for individuals to fly under the radar in big organizations. Many CPG companies and financial institutions bring in hundreds of new associates at one time. And beyond the standard first-week activities like team meetings and compliance reviews, it can be difficult for these companies to stay abreast of the struggles and successes of every new hire. Transferring all talent-related activity into one streamlined and accessible hub ensures that organizations don’t run the risk of overlooking talent development – a common mistake that quite often leads to high turnover rates.
For young hires especially, the first couple of months at a new job are the most critical. This time period is fraught with challenges and opportunities, stress and success – all in equal measure. The companies that support the new hire period are the ones that, not only set individuals up for long-term success, but also see the highest return on performance value. Adequate onboarding is the key to both retaining and engaging new talent. But comprehensive onboarding programs, especially for hundreds of employees, are difficult to manage. On the one hand, you don’t want to hover over each new hire to ensure proper completion of every training and sufficient understanding of every business concept and corporate approach. On the other hand, simply setting new hires free to exercise their own onboarding initiative may curb learning and performance progress. A program like SAP SUccessFactors serves as a heppy medium; employees have agency to navigate new trainings while employers have the ability to periodically track progress.
But SuccessFactors cannot be successful if it is implemented all on its own. No program, regardless of how intuitive or accessible the interface may be, can make up for human-human interactions. Scheduling weekly or monthly check-in meetings between new hires and their managers and team leader is crucial to ensuring that no individual falls off the track. Additionally, implementing a mentor program that pairs experienced employees with new hires also cast another new of support and encouragement to ease some of the growing pains of the new hire timeline. The SuccessFactors platform is most powerful when it is used as a supportive tool for your company’s unique onboarding training plan.
Bringing young employees and interns into an established team environment is always going to be challenging. Companies have to balance instilling support with setting professional expectations. Luckily for today’s organizations, it’s easier than ever to successfully set new employees up for career development and longevity.