10 Principles to Prepare your Future Leaders
For a while, companies have been focused on recruitment strategies to attract young talent. Today, the focus is shifting to the preparation of young high potentials for fast approaching leadership positions. Many organizations are asking – when do we need to start developing young HIPOs? The answer is YESTERDAY!
Why Now? Statistics show that Millennials will make up 50% of the American workforce by 2020, and 75% of the global workforce by 2030, meaning employers must understand what this new generation values in a company and strive to meet those expectations. We are in the midst of a Baby Boomer diaspora and according to Training magazine, every day more than 10,000 baby boomers reach the age of 65. How do we ensure continuous mission accomplishment, when our pool of knowledge leaves? Simple - prepare your young HIPOs to take on imminent leadership positions.
Here are 10 Principles to help you prepare young HIPOs for leadership positions.
1: The expiration date of young HIPOs can be extended. Employers believe that Millennials are going to stay only 2 to 3 years in their company, so they don’t want to invest in them. The challenge is that this practice elaborates a vicious circle; organizations won’t provide training to employees because they might leave, and employees leave because they don’t get what they need. In order to prepare HIPOs for the challenges of tomorrow, organizations need to stop this dangerous circle.
2: The Power of NOW, there’s no time like the present. Build your young HIPOs NOW, and you will ensure success for tomorrow.
No Opportunity Wasted. Career Builder reported turnover costs between $15,000 -$25,000 to replace each lost Millennial. Young HIPOs value development, and if you don’t provide developmental opportunities they are going to leave. Start development on day one.
3: Turn Bias into Belief
Managers need to understand that Young HIPOs are not kids, lazy or narcissistic, they are just different. Turn bias into belief by creating support groups for HIPOs. Remember that Potential is about future performance, not past performance. Create a safe environment where HIPOs are not only challenged, but nurtured.
4: Ready, set, LEAD! Shape the next generation of leaders by nurturing an early development and leadership culture. Create a Young HIPOs Leadership Revolution. This process should start from the onboarding; Assign a sponsor and start developing them right away. When you care about your young HIPOs future, they care back.
5: From Chaos to Calm: Teach your young HIPOs to handle Change like pros
A Millennial Senior Executive once told me: “leaders must allow young HIPOs to operate and take decisions under chaos, because that’s what you do as an executive” How they handle chaos will determine your company’s success. Detail assignments are among the favorite perks for young HIPOs.
6: Smart Mistakes + Smart Moves = Smart Managers
Create a culture in which you support smart mistakes, a safe learning environment that nurtures Catalytic learning – let them learn and apply.
7: The Mentoring mindset: Champion your HIPOs and they will build the future of your organization
Dealing with HIPOs should not be an exclusive responsibility for HR or Learning & Development Departments. When we allow Managers and supervisors to get involved in the process, mentoring has the potential to become sponsoring, which is 10 times more powerful.
8: Intrinsic Motivation, your secret weapon
When organizations provide opportunities to explore, learn and maximize the potential of HIPOs intrinsic motivation kicks in. That motivation is propelled by excitement for the job, and exists inside the high potential rather than relying in external factors.
9: Lead them to the POW moment: Power, Opportunity, Will
Set HIPOs free, while creating a mechanism to push them out of their comfort zones. Customize opportunities and then find the way to connect those opportunities with your business needs. Provide stretch roles, rotational assignments, and educational programs inside and outside of the organization.
10: Zero Tolerance for Comfort Zones: Encourage them to spread their wings and fly out of their comfortable nests
Challenge them to come up with better processes, and allow them to use creativity to address issues. Promote business life outside of the comfort zone. Give them the opportunity to try different experiences and special projects to take them out of the business routine.
In a few words, organizations need to sponsor and develop young HIPOs from day one and provide them the opportunity to make smart mistakes, smart decisions and smart risks. Young HIPOs have the power to change your organization, believe in them!
Miguel Joey is the CEO and Founder of MJA International, a consulting firm focused in transformation, change management and diversity. He recently presented on an HCI webcast, Prepare High Potentials for Fast Approaching Leadership Positions, available on demand and mobile friendly for your convenience.