Get SMART: Why perspective is vital for early career professionals

Posted by VERCIDA on May 20, 2019 10:04:57 AM

Early career professionals are transitioning into busy work environments. They are learning their trade. They are developing their skills. Their experiences and needs are different from those of experienced professionals. They may be unfamiliar with workplace systems or professional norms and may be working within a strong professional hierarchy. How do we support them?

Giving employee feedback

Offering feedback and experienced perspective is vital for managers when shaping the experiences of their teams. Early career professionals have less of a base to draw from when making professional decisions and appreciate discussion on equal terms.

They need you to talk to them, to encourage them, and to help them navigate the new experiences of work and professionalism. Remember also that ways of work are changing, just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean a new perspective couldn’t see things done better.

The mind set and approach of younger people coming into the workplace is refreshing and different. We now live in a culture of instant gratification, of continual feedback, of open communication. Our advice if you want to effectively manage early career professionals? Get SMART.

How to support younger team members

HR professionals have been supporting line managers and senior professionals to give feedback that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based for some time. In this context though, the structure may be particularly relevant to the needs of younger employees starting to build their careers. Remember again, it’s not about laying down rights and wrongs. It’s about open discussion and coming together on a clear set of shared, clearly explained, objectives.

- Specific: Eliminate ambiguity when setting goals. For example, “being more productive” doesn’t say much about what you want. Instead look at workloads and agree on reasonable ways to establish increases. For example, faster turnaround times.

- Measurable: Good measurement is important on both sides – the employee need s to know how they are being assessed. The employer needs to be fair in assessing improvements.

- Achievable: Goals and targets need to be discussed together before being agreed. To get the best from staff, they should be challenging but sensible. Ask questions. Be open to new ways of doing things.

- Relevant: Employees need to feel that their work is meaningful and makes a contribution to shared goals. Explain why you’re asking what you’re asking. And the difference it makes.

- Time-based: Setting timeframes for objectives offers clarity on when something should be achieved by. This could be monthly, weekly or over a longer period but flexibility is important where appropriate. Be prepared to recognise progress and reset expectations if needed.

VERCIDA was created with a purpose. To support companies, and more importantly, people to thrive in the workplace. Find out more about how we can support you to develop inclusive, robust recruitment strategies. Interested in joining our pool of dynamic companies currently hiring diverse candidates in our extensive jobs database? Get in touch.

Topics: Youth Initiatives, Training, early career, graduates, Support

VERCIDA Group is a global inclusion consultancy and talent attraction organisation. We specialise in diversity onboarding, leadership development programmes, and creating inclusive work cultures. VERCIDA group consists of VERCIDA.com and VERCIDA Consulting

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