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July 2018
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Vernon Bryce

What Graduates Want – What is their 5 per Day?

Posted by: Vernon Bryce, Chief Commercial Officer, Capp.

 

Graduates are different, graduates are hungry, graduates know what they want. These are the many opinions floating around graduate recruitment and development.

 

In the AGR Student Development Conference (13 March 2014), research was presented to test out what exactly is the real data on what graduates want and need to engage their hearts, not just their brilliant minds. Also what is the smallest thing we can all do today to increase graduate engagement at work tomorrow?

 

Research shows 90% of grads feel they deserve their dream job, 80% want regular feedback from their managers, 70% want more ‘me time’ at work. There appears to be a lot of ‘me’ in the data, give me time, give me space, recognise and value me. So how does this compare with other generations of workers and indeed other Gen Y’s? The data shows less concern for customers, job security and reward than older generations, yet like Gen Y’s there are five big conditions to engage and retain them.

 

  • Recognition: more than other employees grads need very open regular feedback, being valued and very regularly is critical to them – or they will seek it elsewhere.
  • Reputation: they will work and engage with employers of high repute, more than other generations who needed / wanted job security, we have to prove our value to them.
  • Empowerment: this is about trusting grads to get on with important things – they will go the extra mile or ten for employers who give them large scope and long reach.
  • Communications: more than other employees they need more communications, they have a deep hunger to know what’s going on – so we need to feed this in specific ways.
  • Careers: it not the job they want it’s the ladder, and they want to see how older grads have really made good– like leaders who once were grads – learning from/working with them.

 

The opportunity is there for the taking, and as if to remind us what happens if we do not provide – there is a major drop, like a stone in grad engagement within a year or so of joining. Graduate engagement drops from typical highs of 70% or even 80% to lows of 50%-60% at best with all their other expectations performance and loyalty.

 

So what can be done? These opportunities are already nailed by many top grad recruiters. Whether by design, data or desirability, there are many great examples.

 

First, engage them early, pre-hire not post hire. Second, message your schemes high on regular recognition – show case studies of grads receiving internal awards from senior leaders, working with leaders, position the recognition your company is getting too, external awards for initiatives, innovation, growth, focussing on Talent for example. Third, give early responsibility, working on key senior high value projects imperative to the business yet match their strengths. Communicate within a social grad network so they learn and grow from others’ successes, so building a future social leaders network. Finally showcase extreme performance, positioning success and reputation of ex grad scheme employees.

 

These and the already many innovations in place we could all share are not just ‘good ideas’, they are practices that feed the few deep essentials that engage grad hearts and minds.

 

I you would like to discuss graduate recruitment and development further, please contact me directly on: Capp +44 (0) 2476 232 363 or Link In with me, send me an in-mail, and I’ll contact you: uk.linkedin.com/in/vernonbryce

 

Nicky Garcea, Chief Customer Officer, Capp and Vernon Bryce, Chief Commercial Officer, Capp presented ‘Engaging the Hearts and Minds of Graduates’ at the AGR Student Development Conference, 13 March 4014.

www.agr.org.uk

 

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Your New Year’s Resolution – Give One Day

Posted by: Vernon Bryce, Director, Capp

 

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”

Martin Luther King Junior, 28 August 1963

 

One day you were young and people cared about you. You had dreams, ambition, hope and energy. In school, your teachers worked hard to realise your potential, teaching you things that they knew you needed to know. You probably disagreed and preferred to get back into your music, sport, seeing your friends and having a social life. Nevertheless, people around you pressed on with your development, whether parent, sibling, neighbour, gang, friend, person of worship. So you had a few breaks. You had a few setbacks too, but you cracked on, hoping that your drive, your hopes and aims would lead to something. They did.

 

Now you are older and you have made a few steps forward. You are in work. You have a career. You have options and pathways ahead of you. You get holidays. You travel. You learn. You grow. You even have days of learning and growing. You are online. The world’s web is open to you. You win.

 

Now you are older and made a few steps forward, you may wonder how the young of today are doing. Well friends, more than 430,000 young people are facing long-term unemployment in the UK. Across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East the numbers are no less, and no less worrying. A forgotten generation who wonder who will care for them, their dreams, ambitions, hopes and energy. Who will help realise their potential? Who will invest in them as others invested in you? They’re into sport, music and the people around them whether parent, sibling, neighbour, gang, friend, person of worship do care, yet no breaks.

 

‘’With more than 430,000 young people in the UK facing long-term unemployment, it is frightening to think about the young lives that could be wasted if we fail to give them the urgent support they need’’

Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust

 

Let’s imagine one day, somebody gave them a day. Just one day of their time. And it started feeding their hunger, their need to grow and succeed like you. Then another gave a day. They started to invest one day a month, offering this time to young early career people in their business, work-place and neighbourhood. The skills, knowledge and expertise were transferable and then replicable. Yet more was to come. In transferring this, those giving their time began to gain insights experiences and skills. Their work improved, their engagement and innovation improved. Transfer made a difference.

 

One day. That’s all it took. And because one day some time ago somebody invested in them, one day made a difference. Giving one day made them who they were. That one day was all it took. It mattered then to you in those days and it matters now. Imagine your one day will make a difference, one day.

 

“The statistics are terrifying – the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO)
estimates that close to 75 million 15-24 year olds are out of work”

Hannah Barnes, BBC News, Radio 4, 12 September 2012

 
 

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Managing Change: Resilience is Fertile (with apologies to The Borg)

Posted by: Vernon Bryce, Director, Capp

 

“We are the Borg.

Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be assimilated. Resistance is futile1

(Ascribed to The Borg, an alien race featured in Star Trek the Next Generation)*

 

One of my favourite lectures in my undergrad psych degree featured ‘double approach avoidance theory’ (DAAT) thanks to the genius of Kurt Lewin, in which he theorises that many decisions in life (like marriage, moving house, career planning perhaps) confront us with conflicts, In DAAT, both goals have advantages and disadvantages causing great conflict.

 

In lay terms, DAAT of course means everyone can win yet everyone can lose, very convenient I used to think , both positive and negative, similtaneous yin and yang, balance and counterbalance in each choice at the same time, everyone has their cake and eats it; or not, it seems. Brilliantly painful and yet pleasurable at the same time I thought, and so is managing change I since learned.

 

How so? Managing Change is probably up there in the one-time Top 10 of business imperatives, along with decision making in global versus local markets, make or buy manufacture, invest not invest, organic or acquisitional growth.  Even so, within the Top 10, change is vastly under-rated both in its complexity and dynamics. Change is both threat and opportunity, managing change is a conflict between sticking with the advantages of the known status quo and the potential advantages and disadvantages in the alternative. Hence, ‘double approach-avoidance theory’.

 

This has major implications for hiring promoting and positioning people in organisations. Do we choose people who embrace change or resist it? Do we decide for singularity or plurality? Those who will resist change when opportunity presents or risks the jump? The evidence is clear.

 

In managing change, opportunity and threat is ever-present, thus embracing yet resisting change is fertile, hence ‘resilience is fertile’. In recruiting for change we need the wise insight to recognise the options, their advantages and disadvantages, the courage to hold the double approach avoidance dilemma in our thoughts, yet lead our people to the vision which inspires and sustains.

 

To find out how Capp can help your organisation manage change, please contact me directly: vernon.bryce@capp.co, connect with me on LinkedIn uk.linkedin.com/in/vernonbryce or call +44 (0) 2476 323 363.

 

*Author’s note: The Borg are a fictitious alien race, unlike Star Trek which all of us know is not!

1Source: Wikipedia

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Success is a Science

Posted by: Vernon Bryce, Director, Capp

 

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success
if they are dedicated and passionate about what they do”

(Nelson Mandela)

 

A student scanned her university’s psychology reference library shelves. They were full of outstanding studies in delinquency, depression, drug addiction, divorce, debt; many important yet curiously incomplete pictures of human behaviour. Where were the triumphs, joys, adventures, the peaks of human endeavour and success she wondered?

 

In another place and time, a first class coach in sporting team performance, unusually at the time, recorded the winning plays in his team’s games. He then replayed them to his team. Impressively, the team improved its winning performances as never before and, as they observed and learned from their winning plays, their success was sustained.

 

Both had something in common; belief that success and failure, though important, are opposite to each other only in a dictionary. Behaviourally they are not opposite. Focussing on one, in the absence of the other, is neither enlightening nor productive. In business, we are getting better at understanding this difference, the difference between failure and success in terms of turning the master keys to improving performance.

 

Consider this. Some Sales, Leadership, L&D, Grad and Recruitment specialists each ask for £10,000 from their CFO’s discretionary ‘value creation’ fund. Some teams ask for the fund to spend the money on reducing costs, some ask for spend to study failure rates. One team, rather hopefully they thought, ask the CFO for £20 000, asking her to invest in Success. To the amazement of the other teams, the ‘success study’ team won.

 

Here’s what the CFO had to say. “I have often puzzled on why in business we spend an inordinate slice of our precious time investigating why things go wrong and not investing why things go right. We can learn a lot from why customers buy from us, more than why they do not. We learn more from why our successful people stay than why they may leave. In my view it’s the successful people we have now that will make us great in future. So I had no hesitation in investing in Success’’.

 

Opportunity is there for the taking; opportunity to create sharper workforces. Let’s study success, let’s get data on its strengths, nuances, capabilities; then find how to measure success robustly, accurately and reliably. Let’s draw and develop success models. Let’s study the many positive role models out there; also their best plays, in leaders, engineers, art, teaching, healthcare research and front line professions, sales, service, retail, projects, science, technology and design.

 

Some say the “War for Talent is over; Talent won’’. Soon, people will say the “Strengths revolution is over, and Success won’’. Strengths and Success are the new kids on our block; they are more than siblings, they are twins in our quest for talent.

 

“Success is a science. If you have the conditions you get the results”

(Oscar Wilde)

 

 

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