Most of us with a few years of experience under our belts know that training and learning are all part of the job. Learning didn’t stop after you left your place of education and in fact, developing skills is an essential part of growth within the workplace.
However, this realization is lost on many employees in entry-level positions. In a 2013 Accenture survey, it was revealed that over of recent grads say they didn't receive any training in their first jobs. This might seem trivial, but without that continued skill development, we’re setting up entry level positions to fail, or lose interest in our companies.
While employee training and development can seem time consuming and inefficient, employee training for entry-level hires can ensure greater retention within the company and more competent coworkers down the line.
Any role within a company will require some form of communication. Let’s face it, we’ve all got to talk to each other from time to time. Developing good communication skills for entry level employees sets them up for faster growth. It also will make working with them a heck of a lot easier.
What does developing communication skills look like? Working on communication skills might be as simple as providing feedback with an employee. It might mean going through a presentation together, or working together in an email to a client. For some, it might seem easier to send that email yourself, or just do the presentation, but in reality that means setting up your less experienced employee to fail down the line. Instead, offer solid feedback, criticism and advice to ensure a growth experience.
Also, no matter the experience level, any team could benefit from a verbal/nonverbal communication workshop or working with a coach. The way workplaces speak and interact have so many nuances, working with a trained professional in the coaching field can shed light on practices many don’t even know exist. Learning about body language and verbal communication skills training can do wonders for both internal interactions and external communications.
Time Management Skills
If there’s one thing we’re all in need of more, it’s time. When it comes to teaching time management to an entry level co-worker, providing feedback can be the best way to learn. Make debriefings a natural part of projects, assignment or presentation. Encourage entry level employees critique themselves about their best use of time. Self assessments are powerful learning tools, as is strong feedback from you or other higher level employees.
As always, leading by example is a strong tool. Make sure you leave the metaphorical door open for employees to come back to you for advice or additional feedback in the future.
The list of technical skills an entry level employee can acquire is seemingly endless. While it can be overwhelming, it’s also never been easier to pick up a certification in a new technical skill. From online courses to weekend bootcamps, the only limitation is the drive of the employee.
The best way to help entry level employees grow their technical skills is by employing their passions. Learning a new technical skill will take some dedication, so it’s best your team member is actually interested in the skill at hand. When the employee chooses, it gives him or her agency and initiative, putting them in control of their own personal growth.
You can make learning a new skill for the position a quarterly or annual goal. Have them seek out ways to apply the skill on current projects. It’s essential you discuss this step. Creating a metric of success with an employee ensures that continuing education is taken seriously.
Entry-level employees might be out of school, but that doesn’t mean they’re done with learning. While we’re often reluctant to take time and capital to develop skills in entry level employees, without developing these skills, we’re leaving these team members very little to be invested in. Learning on the job shows a path to growth, and can help inspire team members to be forward looking.