ESSENTIAL BUSINESS SKILLS
FOR YOUR YOUNG
Young people with the right
skills make great employees.
A graduate-style development
programme will help you recruit
and retain the very best young people.
With one in four graduate employees likely to leave
their employer within 12 months of joining, how sure
can you be that your young employees will stay with you?
Four of the top reasons that employees give for leaving their job
lack of genuine interest in their development.
lack of skills development and opportunities to utilise
their skills, expertise and abilities.
lack of recognition for the contribution they make.
lack of career progression and promotion.
Providing your young employees with a graduate-style
development programme will help considerably with
addressing these issues.
It will decrease the likelihood that your young employees
will resign in the early stages of their career and
prevent the disruption and inconvenience that
that can bring to your organisation.
Founder of the GradStart®
Managing Director, Akonia Ltd
What our clients’ say:
“Lucy Electric is an inclusive
business that believes in its people.
As such we need staff development programmes which
are wide-ranging and challenging in order to bring out the
best in our people.
I am very pleased to have discovered GradStart®
programme offers a depth and breadth of business skills subjects to
enhance the knowledge and capabilities of our young graduate
engineers, and developed their self-confidence, working relationships
and understanding of our business.
The programme has also enhanced our ability to retain these young
employees in the business.
We are delighted with the transformation that the programme
has brought about in the young employees who have
already attended it.
We will be booking more onto future programmes.”
Caroline, HR Business Partner, Lucy Electric
2 Akonia LtdGradStart®
Stand out from the crowd.
With only half of large employers and just 1 in 9
SMEs currently providing a graduate programme,
you have a great opportunity to differentiate your
organisation by offering a graduate-style development
programme, and attract top calibre graduates.
Bridge the gap between your young employees’
academic studies and the reality of the world of work.
Rapidly integrate your young employees smoothly into
their team and department, and benefit from their
Accelerate performance from new recruits, and
make them more productive.
Retain employees thereby avoiding massive
costs in terms of both time and money:
advertising for a replacement;
sifting through mountains of CVs;
interviewing, inducting and training.
Akonia Ltd 3GradStart®
“With discussions based on real workplace
problems, the GradStart®
a safe environment to explore and address these
It was these discussions that helped me to develop
as an individual through increased self-awareness and
a greater appreciation of my colleagues.”
Jacqui, Engineering Project Leader
programme has proved to be a great forum
for proposing and discussing workplace problems, and creating
an environment to address and explore them.”
Adrian, Account Executive
“My aim is eventually to move to management so I think what has
been most useful for me is understanding how the emotional side
works and how to interact with people on a more professional
“I was uncertain as to why the course was necessary
and having now experienced it, I completely
understand why many young graduates can
benefit from exactly this form of training.”
Nathan, Law Graduate
What our students’ say:
Many experienced business people do not
understand the basics of business finance and
terminology, and struggle to understand what a
financial report is conveying.
How much more so for young employees?
It is essential that your young employees are taught
the fundamentals of business finance and key
indicators of business performance and
health, at an early stage in their
Your young employees will learn about your
industry sector and competitors; look at where and
how your organisation fits in, and what drives it.
Your young employees will be challenged with the
question “where is your industry going?” and taught
how to acquire and analyse industry insight.
Helping your young employees to learn
how to behave personally and professionally
with others is essential in building relationships.
Knowing how to represent themselves through the way
they dress, their attitude to work and their interaction
with others, will make them good ambassadors
for your organisation and leave a good
impression with your clients.
Developing confidence and learning to trust
their problem-solving abilities will help your young
employees to make good decisions, and protect
the reputation of your organisation.
Being able to analyse a situation, formulate and
consider options, then assess the merits and
risks of each option, are critical skills your
young employees will have to apply
throughout their life and career.
4 Akonia LtdGradStart®
Your young employees must be able to manage
Employers, like you, require that their young employees
demonstrate good time-keeping, motivation and a
‘can-do’ attitude. Without this your young
employees won’t build effective
relationships and become the
future leaders that you want.
The effective use of language—written,
verbal and physical—will help shape your young
employees destiny and identity, and showcase their
Presenting to a large audience, developing one to one
relationships, writing reports or simply using e-mail
effectively are all skills that highly effective
Understanding how leadership differs
from management by identifying and examining
the qualities and attributes of role models in leadership
will provide powerful insights for your young employees
as they develop their own leadership style and behaviours.
Leadership is responsible for change in an organisation
to help it survive and grow, and your young
employees will learn about embracing
and supporting change.
Your young employees need to develop
good management skills as they are promoted
into increasingly more responsible positions within
Teaching them how to set objectives and goals; to plan,
estimate and monitor projects and tasks; and to
manage others will provide useful insights as
they develop their own management
style and behaviours.
Knowing how the sales cycle works, and
how sales-people build relationships with clients
will help your young employees learn the difference
between gaining sales and losing them.
Learning about contractual commitments and how
to negotiate, will ensure they understand the
boundaries within which your organisation
Every day your young employees interact
with other people.
Knowing how to engage and work with others
effectively and efficiently to deliver projects to
schedule will make a crucial difference to the
long term health of your organisation.
Akonia Ltd 5GradStart®
Make engagement a priority.
How an employee feels about their job, and
how engaged they become, will depend upon a
combination of factors. This includes the value they
feel they contribute to the team, department and the
overall organisation, as well as the recognition they
receive from their peers, manager and senior executives.
It is critical that you engage your young employees in
their first year on the job.
See their self-confidence grow so they take more
initiative in the workplace.
Develop the ability to ask better, more critical
questions of the people they meet.
Develop essential skills that will form a solid
foundation on which to build their career.
Gain an understanding of leadership and how
Increase career and promotion prospects,
and experience greater responsibility
and higher income.
6 Akonia LtdGradStart®
“The opportunity to examine different
scenarios and attitudes, offer perfect examples
of good and bad management, which have provided
the building blocks and guidelines to managerial
Adrian, Account Executive
“Made me understand the bigger picture for my company,
and has made me see how the top positions operate and what
stresses they can be put under.”
“The course has certainly grown my confidence and assertiveness
in the work place.”
Bradley, Production Management Assistant
“Expanded my knowledge and awareness of the industry
sector, more than I have considered previously.”
Jacqui, Engineering Project Leader
What our students’ say:
Designed for young employees
GradStart® is designed for employees who
are new to the world of work. They don’t have
the benefit of your business experience, and therefore
the programme has taken this into account, and starts
from first principles.
Time and again on the GradStart® programme we have
found that young employees don’t know a PESTLE
analysis from a DISC profile, or Critical Path
Analysis from a Balance sheet, so the
programme has been carefully
designed with this in mind.
Save effort, time and money.
No need to have the HR/L&D people who can
research and prepare a training plan made up of multiple
business skills courses. Neither do you need the expertise
to develop and deliver an internal programme.
The GradStart® programme is a comprehensive solution.
It covers everything your young employees need to
know about business skills. It does so in
less time and at lower cost than
other business skills courses.
Delivered from experience
Our GradStart® instructors have decades
of business experience and challenges, and an
abundance of scenarios and solutions which they
share in the classroom.
They were all once young employees themselves, and
later on managers of young employees.
Our instructors cite their personal business
‘war’ stories as examples to illustrate their
point, and get their message across.
Low impact high intensity
Graduates of the GradStart® programme
agree that conducting each day-long module
approximately one month apart provides them the
optimal time for pre-session preparation and post-
session consolidation, without impacting their
today-to-today business duties.
Each session is intensive to be able to delve sufficiently
into the module topics and give your young
employees a good understanding of
essential business tools
Broadening their horizons
Clients tell us that one of the best things
about the GradStart® programme is the opportunity
for their young employees to learn with a cohort who
are going through similar experiences.
By sharing their experiences, your young employees
grow in confidence in the knowledge that they are
not alone. Your young employees will learn
techniques for handling those
experiences better in future.
Akonia Ltd 7GradStart®