Today’s workforce is undergoing a rapid generational transition. Not so long ago, baby boomers dominated the workforce. Today, the majority of working professionals across all industries are millennials – and the trend towards greater numbers of young professionals is only expected to accelerate. In other words, the old guard is making way for the new. As a consequence, valuable institutional knowledge and leadership skills are at risk of being irretrievably lost.
The tech industry is no exception to this phenomenon. In order to preserve the wisdom of previous generations and adequately prepare a new generation for the challenges of tomorrow, tech industry leaders need to take action today. That said, it isn’t immediately apparent where managers should begin when setting out to build the next generation of tech leaders. What can be done in the present to ensure that our best and brightest will have the skills, training, and expertise that will be needed to lead our businesses through an uncertain future?
Here are three developmental principles technology managers can employ in the here and now to empower their younger employees:
- Encourage mentorship. First and foremost, managers must encourage (and incentivize) their older, more experienced employees to foster mentor/mentee relationships with their younger counterparts. Taking those first steps to build a culture of mentorship in your workplace can be tricky. As managers, we must develop policies and offer training seminars that are aimed at promoting a free-flowing exchange of information and wisdom between the older and younger segments of our workforce.
- Make time for facetime. There’s a growing body of evidence which has shown that younger employees – and millennials in particular – perform at their best when they receive regular feedback. As managers, we can empower our potential future leaders by paying close attention to their performance and subsequently making an effort to engage with them. When we do, it’s important to discuss (constructively and encouragingly) what their strengths are, as well as what skills they may want to focus on improving.
- Provide young leaders with opportunities for building their skillset. Most importantly, the potential leaders of tomorrow must be given a chance today to sharpen their leadership skills. All too often, managers will put off allowing talented younger employees to take on a leadership role. In these cases, underprepared young employees will inevitably de facto take over executive positions, which could lead to disastrous consequences for everyone. Much better to identify promising young leaders and come up with creative opportunities in the present for them to sharpen their abilities.
Work Towards Empowering Your Team for the Future
Team leaders must take action today to equip their teams with the skills and resources that will be needed to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Luckily, Transcend Solutions has the professionals and resources that you’ll need to get started. To learn more about how you can start strengthening your team for the challenges of the future, contact us here.