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Posted: 8th October 2020
Following on from an earlier thread raised in the chatroom about supporting early careers remotely, I’m wondering what different organisations are doing to look after your early careers populations now that the rules are more opaque.
Work from home if you can, but go into the office if you can’t, or need to, or…
I was a home worker who travelled to offices only for large meetings even before lockdown and I’m an advocate for flexible working, so I’m not rushing to get anyone back. However, there are a number of benefits to being in the office too, and I would suggest that’s particularly for early careers and new starters e.g. social interaction, informal learning, sense of belonging etc.
Are you supporting early careers to come back into offices on a full-time or part-time basis, or encouraging them to continue working from home where possible? What systems are you putting in place to support line managers to change how they support early careers staff?
As we’re starting to see more and more local lockdowns, this post is already feeling a bit out of date and I see that we’ll be needing to support our early careers new starters more remotely than we’d hoped to. Still interested in any hints and tips others have around supporting this population in particular.
When we went into lockdown, this was something that we were quite conscious of especially because our industry has been hit so hard by the virus. Our approach was to consider what HR could do and what the line managers could / should do. Here are some of the ideas that we linked to our ‘out of sight, but you are in mind ‘ theme.
Thanks for the reply, Louise.
I am perhaps over-thinking this as we do a lot of this already and maybe what we need is similar to the newsletter that you’ve mentioned but specifically for our early careers or new joiners. We’ve got loads of resources and have created a “Working from Home” hub, which may be similar to the “one-stop-shop” you’ve mentioned, where we’ve got lots of info about DSE, wellbeing, communicating and staying connected, family friendly info and resources, learning tools, financial wellbeing. Perhaps what we need to do is to curate this for our early careers and new joiners to target them on things they might find useful at this stage. We’ve got so many resources and communication that some of the feedback we get is that it’s over-whelming and people don’t know what to focus on/what’s relevant for them.
Similar to you, we’ve also provided guidance for managers around not simply focusing on the work, but taking care of wellbeing. Inevitably some of our managers are better than others at this and some had thought about trying to replicate the “social glue” e.g. virtual quizzes, Friday pizza lunch etc.
On a positive note, since the original post, we’ve done some listening groups with our early careers staff and they’re all really happy and enjoying themselves. We were a bit surprised as this is a cohort we were particularly worried about and thought we should be doing more to support. But, we’re maybe over-thinking and perhaps we’re doing enough.
I like the blog idea. We’ve done similar with our working parents network but not published a blog. With our working parents network we ran “Whose in my boat?” sessions. Recognising we’re all in the same storm but in quite different boats. People told us what kind of experience they were having e.g. small children, not yet at school, can’t be left unsupervised; juggling home-schooling and working life; older children affected by GCSE and A level difficulties; single parents etc. and introduced them to each other so they could talk with someone who had experience of what they were facing to support each other, commiserate with each other, share hints and tips etc.
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