Specsavers has kicked off the 2017 Graduate Program with a series of Primary Mentor workshops for store partners. The workshops were held in key state capitals around Australia, as well as in Wellington, New Zealand, from 23 January to 6 February.

Research shows the mentoring and support graduates receive during the Graduate Program is key to ensuring high levels of engagement. As such, the Primary Mentor workshop’s purpose is twofold: to provide store partners with the information and resources needed to confidently mentor and coach a graduate optometrist; and to ensure the best experience and most effective learning for the graduate as they navigate the early stages of their career.

In 2017, the workshop format received a refresh to include more peer-to-peer interaction and more opportunities for the store partners to share ideas.  The forum allowed new primary mentors to learn from and ask questions of more experienced mentors who had already seen success with the program.

The workshop content was also updated. The Graduate Program Team walked the store partners through graduate expectations and frequently asked questions, discussed common myths and concerns, provided clarification on graduate contracts, and shared practical tips on communication, including how to handle a wide range of conversations in a constructive manner.

A presentation on ‘What Millennials Want’ helped attendees gain a better understanding of the generational drivers influencing their graduates.

The mentors also had a chance to speak face-to-face with members of the Graduate Program Team, including Head of Professional Recruitment Raj Sundarjee, Graduate Optometry Development Manager Sophie Stephan, and Professional Development Managers Tina Adel and Madonna Hampson.

The workshops were a great success, setting strong foundations to support the next generation of high-quality, Specsavers eye-care professionals.