Hiring graduate employees will give a business in any industry the opportunity to benefit from a fresh outlook on operations, as well as helping to prepare for the future.

While a typical graduate training programme will serve to prepare young employees for their new role(s) at the business along with integrating them into the team, they can be improved in order to ready them for the greater responsibility that they are likely to undertake in the future.

In focusing on leadership development techniques, the younger workforce is more likely to feel immediately valued and therefore, more likely to remain at the business.

There are several modern techniques that can improve the return on investment of your graduate training programme.

Making the most of your graduate training programmes

When it comes to creating and implementing an effective graduate programme, it is critical that before anything else, it is related to your specific business objectives and KPIs. Without a clear focus on this, a graduate is unlikely to understand exactly how your business operates, and how they are to succeed despite being qualified for the role. The fallback of this is that companies will not get the best out of their new hires.

Once the programme has been constructed to give graduates the best opportunity to achieve at the company, drawing on the experience of current senior employees will allow graduates to flourish. As well as helping with organisational team building and morale, allowing younger employees to learn leadership development skills from executives who are successful in their roles is hugely beneficial.

Research has shown that a good first impression on graduate employees is essential. According to a study conducted by Ultimate Software, one-third of employees knew whether they would stay at their company long-term after being on the job for one week or less, and 63% had decided within the first month.

Especially with graduate employees, who consist mostly of Gen Z and millennials, it is particularly important to show them how they are to progress within the business. Younger employees are more typically motivated by flexible working and opportunities for career-progression, meaning that implementing a focus on leadership development may be the key to retaining talented new employees from the very beginning.

How can businesses structure their programmes to focus on leadership development?

As previously mentioned, allowing graduate employees to learn from current leaders is invaluable and effectively adds no cost to a training programme. Those who have been in senior positions for a long time will know precisely what works and what doesn’t and have likely made mistakes on their journey up the hierarchy. Therefore, their wisdom on how best to perform at the beginning of your career in order to succeed as a leader is extremely beneficial.

Adopting a modern training strategy is likely to deliver a significant return on investment. Here at MDA Training, we draw on experiential learning methods, which are designed to improve learning retention and engage employees. These methods allow individuals to actively participate in tasks and workshops, including business simulations and virtual learning to develop the leadership skills they will one day need. For more information on our programmes, please click here.

The benefit of experiential learning is that younger employees can actively attempt to deal with real situations they will have to face in their careers, but in a risk-free environment, meaning that mistakes can be embraced as part of the process. As the younger generations have grown up with technology around them, they are more likely to engage with these innovative methods compared to traditional forms of learning.

As well as benefiting graduate employees, leadership development training serves as an opportunity for executives to implement tasks to ascertain which employees are suited to future leadership positions and, perhaps more importantly, those which aren’t.

Graduate training programmes do not have to merely be about showing young employees the ropes to maintain operations. An organised business will use these programmes as an opportunity to work toward the end goal of identifying those who are to take up leadership positions in the years to come, thus ensuring business continuity.