Choosing and Developing Your Next Leaders

Posted on December 30, 2014 by VITAL WorkLife

5 business employees_african american male lead_small-1Now that the economy is moving forward again, organizations are also looking ahead to developing their next generation of leaders. Another important consideration related to the recovery is that many surveys have shown that employees are much more open to changing jobs. As the unemployment rate drops, employees are feeling more confident about looking outside their current organizations for new opportunities.

Thus, it's critical that HR managers work with their leadership to not only identify promising candidates internally, as well as any gaps that might exist between needed and existing skill sets and competencies, but also ensure that high-potential employees remain within the organization—and are both committed and engaged.

In a recent article, Josh Bersin of Deloitte talks about what matters most:

  • Compensation matters, but not as much as you might think. Under-compensation can definitely lead to turnover, but over-compensation will not trump other factors such as work environment.
  • Job fit is critical—he talks about the "job value proposition" and the importance of honesty in detailing job pros and cons.
  • Career opportunities are also key—Bersin writes, "Younger folks are motivated by growth, career opportunity, and meaning."
  • As noted above, work environment is a major driver. Bersin posits that employees are asking, "Is this work taking advantage of my skills? Do people appreciate me? Is the environment inclusive and diverse so that I feel that I fit? Does this company do work I feel proud of?

It's More Than a Job Description

From our perspective, we get questions frequently from employees who want to grow their skills and advance in their careers, but often don't know how to go about doing so. It's why we made this the topic of this month's VITAL WorkLife Manager/Supervisor newsletter, for those who have our full-service plans. In it, we focus on two areas:

  • What can employees do to make themselves better managers and leaders?
  • What can managers do to develop their own employees?

These are big questions that can't be answered in the space of two short articles, but the point is to get employees thinking beyond the position description to the skills and qualities they need to develop and possess—and ways in which we can help them.

We're also here to help on a broader organizational level, whether it's through consulting on leadership training and development, or offering focused training on developmental areas that will be in high demand as new generations move into leadership roles. Managing conflict, better communication and adapting to change are all critical skill sets. Two of our newest topics (see our fall speaking engagements below) speak specifically to helping managers work closely with high-potential employees to develop their skills.

We encourage you to explore ways we can help you and your managers with your retention and employee development initiatives, from planning and needs identification through training and coaching your high-potential employees. Your VITAL WorkLife account manager will be happy to consult with you on what makes the most sense for your organization.

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