Growing Young Talent into Great Leaders

You spent a lot of effort and funds to hire your younger team members, some of whom are actually phenomenal people and terrific at what they do for your company.

And, yet….you lose them. Forty-two percent of young people (who are mostly millennials today, but Generation Z is coming!) tend to stay at a job just one to three years.

It cost you several thousand dollars to hire the person and, because the worker left, you’ll now have to incur those costs again. But what if you could keep those young, talented people on your payroll? The benefits would be substantial:

  • You wouldn’t have the cost of replacing them.
  • You wouldn’t need to train their replacements.
  • You’d have the benefit of the knowledge they’ve accumulated in their time with you (compared to new hires, who wouldn’t have that accumulated knowledge).
  • And so on.

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What do young people want? What could entice them to say with you for more than three years? Raises and the chance for advancement!

It’s a no-brainer really: take your best young talent and groom them to become your company’s future leaders. Home grown CEOs, if you will.

But how do you actually do this? Read below.

Offer special training opportunities.

In fact, it may be a good idea to provide leadership/management training courses/webinars/seminars/programs for those employees who show potential (and interest). After all, what 27-year-old knows how to exude an aura of “I’m in charge” with the proper tone to address subordinates (who may be older than he/she), showcase appropriate body language and know the right way to react/punish when a team member exhibits unacceptable behavior?

Offer the chance to role play.

Make sure you your leaders-in-training have a chance to try out these new behaviors in a critical, but supportive, arena (as in critiques, not criticism).

Understand that many young people have a lot of self-confidence, but it’s the type that hasn’t been “tried by fire.” That is, your top young employees may have a strong can-do attitude, but the fact remains that they don’t have the skills needed to manage or lead.

Start providing increased responsibilities.

Allow your budding leaders the chance to exercise their new management skills in real life. Do so gradually and make sure they have someone in management (a mentor) to whom they report. Watch how they handle their additional responsibilities. Provide them greater obligations as they show the ability to handle them.

Depending on the new challenge, don’t shirk giving the person a promotion and/or an increase in salary.

Give feedback, and not just from other managers.

The trainee’s mentor/manager should review and give the person feedback, but so should others, particularly those who also have worked with you for about the same amount of time but who weren’t chosen for leadership training.  Encourage open and truthful feedback without fear of reprisal.

Looking for more great talent for your Orange County or Los Angeles-area company? Then contact Helpmates! We can help you find new grads, middle-managers and members of the C-suite for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you.

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