It’s a well-known fact that today’s modern society is work-rich and time-poor! We live in a cult of busy and operate at a pace unknown to generations before us. So when, as employers, we hear words such as ‘progression’, ‘flexible’ and ‘balance’, we can feel a little nervous.

But the fact of the matter is supporting these requirements in the workplace does not have to be the reserve of large corporates. There are things you can do and offer to successfully meet the needs of today’s young talent and attract exceptional people to your organisation. As these are not always obvious, I have put together a list of practical initiatives that you can implement to ensure you are able to compete for the best graduate talent around…

  • A chance to shine

With ‘progression’ high on the priority list of today’s young employees, it’s important that, even if you cannot provide guaranteed, regular progression, that you provide opportunities for graduates to showcase their leadership skills.

63% of millennials believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

One way to get graduates exercising their leadership capabilities is by assigning them a project to work on. Perhaps this is that CSR project that you’ve wanted to execute for months but never quite got round to, or perhaps you’re looking to a change a supplier. Allow them to be accountable for the project and gently guide them when necessary. Encouraging them to set up regular project review sessions will complement their continual development and ensure they are constantly thinking ‘what could be done to improve this?’ ‘how will I learn from this problem?’ what could I do differently next time?’ Being responsible and accountable for projects will provide excellent learning experiences, preparing graduates for their next career step whilst allowing them to prove their abilities.

  • Working smart

Whilst many of us are culprits of checking emails at evenings and weekends, we should not expect our graduate employees to do the same.

62% of millennials measure the success of a company on employee satisfaction

Many young people are in fact excellent at working smartly, meaning that when five o’clock comes, they can head home having achieved what they needed to during the working day. If this is the case, we should be supportive of it – and maybe learn a thing or two from them! In most cases, the reasons for wanting to achieve a healthy work-life balance are so they can do things to improve their productivity and performance at work: more sleep, exercise, socialising and good nutrition are the ingredients of a healthy mind; minds which we want engaged and taking our organisations to the next level.

  • Sense of meaning and purpose

No matter what type of business you run, or what field you operate in, you will always have a purpose. Ensuring your graduates know and buy in to this purpose is key.

50% of junior millennials (graduates) said that purpose was part of the reason they chose to work at their company

The term ‘purpose’ is sometimes a little overused and cumbersome, but put simply, it’s just about clearly communicating the direction in which you and your company is heading. Here are some starting points…it’s important that, as managers, we communicate to our graduates what we want to achieve in the team, the department and the company. We need to communicate what we get energised and excited about, what gives us a sense of purpose at work. Having this conversation will help graduates make the link between their role or their team’s role and their manager’s vision or the company’s vision. It will most likely motivate and drive them to help you realise your goals. Have this conversation often and you will continue to remind graduates of their purpose, ensuring they remain focused and engaged with achieving their goals.

Source: The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016