A company is only as successful as its employees and in order for medium sized and large corporations to thrive they need to establish a team of young leaders who have the passion and enthusiasm to help the corporation grow. These days, more than a quarter of leaders in the workplace are aged between 20 and 34 years old and with the huge number of startup companies being established every year, this figure is sure to increase significantly over the next decade. Read on to find out more about the importance of youth leadership development and how to develop young leaders in the workplace.
Giving Young Leaders Confidence
One of the main challenges posed by young leaders is the fact that they are often significantly younger than the people they are in charge of. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that young leaders have the air of authority that is required to manage the workers in their team. This can be done through positive reinforcement, by demonstrating that the young leaders of the future have the skills and knowledge to lead the other employees. Special award ceremonies will help to prove to the young leaders themselves as well as the people that they are due to be leading that they have what it takes to manage a team of people effectively and have the authority to do so.
Providing Special Training
Running special youth engagement programs will help to provide young leaders with extra skills. Leading a team is not necessarily something that comes naturally and people who are interested in youth development and leadership often need special pointers. One of the great things about training programs is that young leaders will have the chance to meet and work alongside their peers so that they can make connections and support each other as they rise through the company and take on extra work and responsibilities. Among the skills that young leaders will learn in the training program are the correct tone to address employees, body language and how to appropriately punish inappropriate behaviour.
Role Playing in the Workplace
Providing role playing sessions is a good way for young leaders to practice their new management skills. Members of training classes can role play through scenarios that are likely to occur at work and establish the best ways to deal with various situations. The other members of the training program will be able to give feedback on how effective the young leaders are in terms or their way they tackle various situations, paying close attention to body language and tone to make sure that the young leaders appear strong and confident in their decisions without alienating the other employees and causing feelings of resentment and discontentment.
Installing Extra Responsibilities
Providing young leaders with extra responsibilities in the workplace is one of the key factors in the question of how to empower youth. These extra responsibilities that be assigning gradually and how the young leaders handle their extra responsibilities should be carefully monitored to determine how they handle their responsibilities and determine whether or not they are ready to take on more challenges.
Feedback is Key
When raising the status of young employees to future leaders, it is important to recognise that certain employees may be reluctant to accept their responsibility, especially if they have been working in the company for many years without advancing significantly. Therefore, it is important to provide the other employees with the opportunity to openly and honestly provide feedback on the capability and suitability of the young leaders. This feedback can be provided anonymously if necessary to help encourage honesty with no repercussions and the feedback can prove to be an important tool in helping the young leaders to hone and improve their leadership skills.
Providing a Mentor
Mentors are generally senior employees who have already completed young leadership programs and have experience in managing a team. Pairing a young leader with a mentor who is experienced in leading a team is a great way to help the young leader to learn what is required first hand. The young leader will be able to watch their mentor in action and ask questions when necessary. The mentor will also be able to provide important tips and advice and help to guide the young leader when they feel they are handling situations in the wrong way while also showing more effective ways to handle situations. Pairing a young leader with a mentor who is already respected in the company will also help the young leader to earn extra respect in the eyes of the other employees.
Recognising the Potential and Qualities of Young Leaders
When selecting the people who will lead a team and help lead a company to new heights, it is important to be able to recognise the required skills and make sure that employees have those skills. It is important to realise that confidence and capability are often confused in young leaders and while many people appear to be confident enough to lead a team, they lack to skills to fall back on. Conversely, many experienced and potentially very successful leaders are overlooked because they are unable to let their skills shine through. Therefore, people who are charged with developing young leaders in the workplace need to be able to read people well and understand how to nurture them to help them reach their full potential.