They are used to getting on well with hundreds of near strangers. They are practiced in the art of empathy and are surprisingly good listeners. Humour is never far from their lips, and with their infectious enthusiasm, they are often a pleasure to be around.
When a new wave of graduates joins a business, it often takes the energy levels up a notch, both in the office and out of the office. The first instance is important, as shaking up the daily office routine is always healthy, but it is often the case that socialising out of the office is where the real magic happens.
Many grads are naturally social animals, and their impact in this area should be nurtured by HR departments as a catalyst for bringing everyone that little bit closer.
It is a cliché, but it is often the younger members of the team who suggest going for a drink and maybe a meal after work every now and again. Many employees with families probably wouldn’t suggest this themselves, but surprising amounts of them would be very happy to “tag along for a while” if someone else has seized the initiative and organised it. Recent grads often act as the social secretaries who galvanise slightly tired teams to get out of the office and actually talk to each other as normal people.
Getting out of the office is the important part.
Too many of us feel a little restricted while we are in our offices. Everything we can say can be overheard by the most inappropriate of people, we don’t feel that we can let our hair down too much and we feel that conversation should be confined to work related matters. In short, we may find it hard to be ourselves when we are chatting to others at work. There are always exceptions, and certainly more companies are encouraging people to bring their authentic selves to work, but for the most part, we can’t relax too much.
When we are out with colleagues in a social context, this is also the case to some extent, but it is definitely true that our personalities can come to the fore that little bit more. When you are having a drink in a bar, it is almost taboo to talk about the sort of stuff that you have been droning on about all day. Yes, most people love their work, but not so much that they want to talk about it 24/7.
If companies encourage their grads to be sociable with each other (cross functionally), they will then naturally form social groups outside of work, groups that will invite other colleagues to join in with, thus binding people that little bit closer. Much is said for the guiding impact of experienced mentors, but the impact of the sociable graduate is also a factor in binding a team together.
It is nice when we feel that we can open up to the people around us. An injection of grads every year can ensure that this energy never leaves our teams.