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How To Attract And Retain Your Next Generation Of Leaders: Leadership Development 101

Millennial Business Woman


Why Developing Your Next Generation Of Leaders Is Important

It has been estimated that there are nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers who are reaching retirement age every day. Given that reality, many of our current leaders will be thinking of retiring and not be in their roles for much longer.  It is therefore essential for companies to build healthy pipelines of leaders who are able to succeed in their current roles and then advance to the next level. Leadership Development has become a best practice for attracting and retaining next-generation leaders. This article examines some opportunities and challenges with regard to attracting and retaining a  workforce that can help your company to adapt to changing workforce demographics and grow to the next level.

People Want to Learn And Grow In Their Jobs

According to a 2017 article in Forbes, people leave a company when they don’t see opportunities for growth. They conclude this about employee retention: “Of all the job attributes young people value, ‘opportunities to learn and grow’ comes in at number one. 87% of millennials say development is important to them, and of that group, two-thirds say it’s extremely important.” And the same source found that 69% of non-millennials also say that development at work is important to them in deciding to stay or leave their company.

Millennials Want LeadersHIP DEVELOPMENT

According to a 2015 Millennial Leadership Study, “Ninety-one percent of millennials aspire to be leaders.” And almost half of them define leadership as “empowering others to succeed.” They want to use their teamwork and empathy skills to provide their reports with a sense of purpose and to bring up those around them. The survey also found that “more than 60 percent of those surveyed want to be transformational leaders.”

Many Workers Do Not Possess NECESSARY Leadership Skills

Even though many workers are eagerly awaiting their chances to step up, they do not possess the self-knowledge, knowledge of others, nor the leadership skills and tools they need to succeed in these higher-level leadership positions. They may not even know the difference between being a boss or manager, and a leader.  Leadership development and succession planning have been considered by many as the most critical aspect for successful growth and continuous improvement for companies. Companies are now doing Job Benchmarking services before they create managerial positions or promote staff. Job benchmarking services enable companies to understand the work behaviors, motivation, and unique behaviors needed for success in each job.  You can then check the match of any applicants to your ideal Job benchmark.  Read more about Job Benchmarking here.

Why You Should Not Promote People Before They Are Ready

Promoting someone who does not have the skills to lead, or is not ready to lead can wreak havoc on your teams.  Bad leaders can make ruin the morale, motivation, and ultimately the performance of a team, driving the best workers away. The research supports this, as the main reason that people leave companies is due to having a bad manager. According to Gallup polls, a full 50% of employees who quit their job cited their manager as the reason they left. The poll also found that people might join a company for compensation, growth opportunities, or mission, but they frequently leave because they don’t have a good relationship with their manager.

Companies Need To Create Stronger Leadership Development Programs

The Millennial Leadership Survey reported that 55% of millennials surveyed said they aren’t satisfied with the leadership development opportunities offered by their company. Also, 39% of the survey respondents reported that their company suffers from poor leadership. They said that the biggest problems with their company’s leaders are their ability to develop others (39%) and 50% said communication was an issue.

Create A Growth Oriented Corporate Culture: It’s A Win-Win

Companies can retain and attract great talent and avoid putting their organization at great risk if they invest the time, energy and resources in developing their next generation of leaders. By ensuring that they receive coaching and mentoring,  you ensure that they develop the capabilities required to perform in higher-level roles.  If your goal is to establish and maintain a work culture where employees are loyal, motivated, performing, and communicating well with each other, then they need to learn the skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary for that to happen.

Companies need to establish a culture that fosters their employees growth so that they can continuously improve and excel in today’s multi-generational and multi-cultural work environment. Establishing an ongoing Coaching program demonstrates to employees that you are willing to invest in their growth and development, This, ultimately, will serve to make most of them loyal and motivated employees and will go a long way to attract others to your company who value your commitment to their growth and development.


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