Developing Leaders of the Future (Originally published February 2008)

As Baby Boomers (born 1944-1962) move closer to retirement, many organizations are struggling to fill their shoes. The small cohort of Generation Xers (born 1963-1981) following them may not be enough to carry the burden. Companies need to look to both Gen Xers and their younger colleagues, the Millennials (born 1982-2000), to develop as future leaders. With their free agent mindsets, upcoming generations need to know that they are being groomed for opportunities. Here are some key strategies to accelerate their development and ensure retention:
  • Provide accessible internal and external training opportunities, with tuition reimbursement whenever possible
  • Ensure trainers use experiential learning techniques and technology based support that reflect the values and learning styles of the younger generations
  • Avoid poor quality photocopies and outdated PowerPoint presentations that turn off Gen Xers and Millennials to conventional training
  • Create online communities of practice and wikis that all employees can participate in anytime, anywhere
  • Restructure traditional mentoring and coaching programs to meet the changing needs and expectations of younger workers
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