Part 2 - How to lead a graduate?


Part 2 - How to lead a graduate?

This is a series of articles where Studentwork Finland’s CEO Emmi Kantonen is writing about how to lead, engage and motivate graduates and about the importance of culture and values for young talents. In the second article of this series Kantonen talks about her learnings within inspiration based on her experience and our wide” Graduates at work 2017” study where we had 3000 attendants in Finland and in Sweden.

Part 2 - How to lead a graduate?

This time I would like to dig deeper into “inspiration”. As a tool to engage young talents and graduates at work I suggest that a Manager should investigate the source of inspiration within his/her team members. Think about a moment when you have felt inspired: You sit in an audience and listen to a climber who has conquered Mount Everest. You feel inspired. And you want to go back to work and search for that same feeling from the things you are committed to do in your everyday work.

How can we as Managers create inspiration or feed inspiration? I would say that everything starts from a purpose - from the reason to come to work day after day. It is a luxury situation if the purpose of your company “talks to your people” and inspires them. Sometimes it doesn´t and then you might want to reconsider it or approach purpose from an individual perspective. It is equally okay to create and feed individual purpose amongst your people. If you do that, you also carry the risk of losing some sense of purpose when individuals move on.

“Why do you wake up every morning and go to work?” When was the last time you asked this question from a team member of yours? My personal answer to this is that I go to work because I get inspired of what we do at work and how we do it. I get inspired by my people or my clients, who are passionate about something. Basically, for the same reason I got inspired by the climber. What I have understood during the past couple of years is that it is not enough that the goal is inspiring. The journey must be as well.

Instead of reminding your people about the goal in the end, we as Managers should remind them about the greatness of the journey; why are we doing things day after day and how can we change the world every day. Inspiration is being born from single moments. So, let´s aim at creating great, memorable moments on the long journey towards our goals. That will make them want to come to work tomorrow as well. Have an inspiring week everyone!