Mentoring Freshly Recruited Employees
28 October, 2021
In my early career, my company recruited interns from nationally reputed universities. I was part of the selection team and we were very excited to get some fresh ideas into the team. We got one of the brightest engineering students to join our team. Unfortunately things were not going well and I felt there was something which was hindering her.
She had been assigned a mentor from the team but I suspected there might be some dissonance in that relationship. I discussed this with my manager and devised a plan to investigate and help the new intern.
In any situation like this, I think it is important to not make any judgments prior to finding out more about the situation. I scheduled a meeting with both mentor and mentee to get an understanding of how both felt they were learning and gaining from this experience.
I set up a meeting with her to find out about her experiences and gather her observations about the team and the work. I sensed that she was feeling intimidated and not clear about how to get the information she needed for her projects. I reassured her that in any new environment it is natural to feel uncomfortable but there were a lot of resources at her disposal.
I also took care to meet with the assigned mentor and realized that they suddenly had a lot on their plate with work projects. I proposed and got their approval for me to step in to help the intern.
This was indeed a new challenge for me, and I wanted to get my hands dirty to resolve it as soon as possible.
I took over the mentoring and the work review of the intern. I setup daily checkin meetings and let her know that she could utilize me as a resource for her learnings.
Moving forward, I set expectations for her by questioning her daily status, checking her daily updates, and providing her with the right tools and support from the team.
When it came to performance, I saw that she had excelled in her assignments. She started coming out of her shell and actually started contributing during brainstorming. I emphasized to her that networking is required in offices and also connected with her with the larger teams. I found more opportunities for her and invited her to different workgroups and meetings. Successfully one by one, she passed all the tests and met our designed requirements.
In a short period, she was able to learn new things and try her hand at some individual projects. She completed her internship by giving a presentation to our VP. And at a time, she did that as well and surprisingly in an extraordinary way. Then we took her feedback based on our mentoring system. And she sounded pretty content with everything and way more expressive from the first time we interviewed her.
- When hiring a fresh grad, make sure that they receive adequate training with the right people. Keep in mind that they might become easily intimidated, and keeping them motivated in the field is genuinely your job as their senior.
- Interns need to be involved in all aspects of the job.
- Give your team members some personal space so that they can understand and explore their worth within the company. Sometimes they might also need some space to know if what they are doing is what they want to do.
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