If you’ve been a manger in IT for any length of time, you’ve noticed that youth and energy can represent powerful assets for your company. In the IT field, standard practices, tools, and technologies change fast, and young employees are often highly motivated to stay on the cutting edge of these changes. Young people and new graduates also tend to be ambitious, and they don’t know much about limits, since they haven’t encountered them yet. All of these traits make young employees a delight to work with and a powerful resource for a growing company.
But without fostering and careful coaching, this energy, creativity and ambition can be drained away. Even worse, young employees who don’t get what they need from their current employers can eventually leave and sign on with a competitor. Keep these things from happening and keep your talented young staff members on board by taking these considerations into account.
1. Share your passion. If you love this field, let your love show. Don’t just allow and encourage excited talk about the hot topics of the moment; join in. Let your young employees know what attracted you to this field in the first place, and listen when they discuss their own passions and ideas.
2. Be a mentor. Try to check in with each of your young employees at least once a week for an informal chat. Take an interest in where they’d like to direct their long term careers (even if your company can’t get them all the way there). Send them articles and blogs that relate to their area of interest, and offer connections and resources that can help them with outside training and continuing education.
3. Let them loose. Don’t punish risk taking just because a bold idea or project doesn’t bring great results. Most bold ideas don’t. But if you encourage innovative thinking and provide a safe place for them to make suggestions and try new solutions, your employees will grow faster—and more important, they’ll respect and appreciate your flexibility.
4. Make employees feel involved by letting them know the meaning and intention behind the projects they’re assigned. Whenever possible, involve them in company decision making, or at least keep them informed. Provide multi-sector experience and shift responsibilities periodically so each young employee can be exposed to as many sides of the business as possible.
Remember: young people (and passionate employees of any age) are highly motivated to learn new things, even if this doesn’t always show on the surface. Engage them, challenge them, and make them feel appreciated, and they’ll be more likely to stay on board and grow with the company. For more information, reach out NH IT recruiters at Techneeds.