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Engaging young staff

Being engaged at work is all about being committed to the job. Help boost the engagement of your employees by trying a few of these simple tips.


First impressions count

When it comes to engaging your staff and getting to know them, the initial conversations matter, so it’s important that you create the right impression from the start.
  • Aim to create an equal relationship between the two of you.
  • Treat your young staff in an ‘adult like’ manner – this will gain you respect and show you respect them.
  • Always thank your staff for their time.

Build rapport

Building rapport is an essential part of being a good mentor. By establishing good rapport, you’ll be seen as a ‘trusted advisor’ and be in the best position to help your young staff member.
  • Start your conversation with some friendly questions – did they find you ok? How’s their day been? How did they get to you? How are they finding the work?
  • Ask them how much time they can spend with you today.
  • Ask them how they feel about meeting with you. Explain that most new staff usually feel nervous having this first conversation, so if they do, then it’s completely normal.
  • Ask them about their job – what they like and what they don’t like.
  • Draw some parallels with yourself so you can find some common ground.



Create clarity

Make sure they are clear on your role, the role of your mentoring program and how it can help them.
  • Ask them, “How much do you know about me?”
  • Put the power in their hands and ask – “what do you want to know about me?”
  • Ask them what they know about the mentoring program and use this opportunity to fill in any gaps.
  • Many youngsters may fear this will add to their workload, so re-assure them you are there to help and support them in their role.
  • Explain to them what is expected from you and the program.



Ask for feedback

Show your staff that their opinions matter to you by making an effort to ask them for feedback throughout your conversations. For example:
  • Ask how they are finding talking to you.
  • Ask them what they think of the program and how they think it could benefit them.
  • Ask them if there’s anything they think you could do differently that would make working together easier.
  • Ask where they would feel most comfortable meeting/talking.



Next steps

After an initial conversation with your new starter, you’ll need to explain what happens next:
Explain that you’ll need to work with them to get to know a bit more about them and what they want to get out of the program. Explain that you’ll need to sit together and set goals and things you’ll work on together. Ask them when a good time to start this conversation is, and if it’s not at that moment, schedule a suitable time soon to have this chat.



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