Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Organizational success begins with having the right people. And while cultivating a core workforce is essential to maintain production, developing leaders within a company to bring the business to next-level success is imperative in the ever-changing business climate. A company’s workforce could have up to five generations working side-by-side; however, by 2024 41% of the workforce will be over the age of 55, with the majority of Baby Boomers expected to be out of the workforce in the next decade, according to a BLS report. As more experienced professionals retire, the leadership gap they leave behind could be an issue for businesses in North America.

Despite the coming demand for leadership positions, a study by the Human Resources Professionals Association revealed that 63% of Millennials feel a lack of leadership development within their organizations. To ensure businesses don’t face a leadership shortage, developing the next generation of leaders is key for future success.

Offer Employee Development Opportunities

According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees say they would stay at an organization longer if offered opportunities to learn and grow. And while professional growth is important for employees, few are content with the existing opportunities offered. According to a SHRM study, while 30% of employees consider career development opportunities “very important,” only 30% of workers are happy with what they currently receive. To ensure you retain your workforce and close the leadership gap, consider offering employee development opportunities that focus on personal and professional growth. Whether by offering online courses, virtual training sessions, or discounted education rates, building a culture on growth now will pay exponential dividends in the future.

Develop a Mentorship Program

Another option for leadership development is implementing a mentorship program within an organization. By connecting young professionals with tenured leaders, employees not only learn advice and gain wisdom, but leadership also sees gains through productivity levels and company growth. According to, 67% of companies experienced an increase in employee productivity directly related to mentorship programs, and 55% reported mentorships having a direct positive impact on overall profits.

Focus on Succession Planning

Succession planning, or the act of developing the next leaders to take over key aspects of an organization in the future, is what drives employee development for businesses. However, if companies fail to focus on them, it proves to be disastrous in the long term. Brandon Hall’s Leadership Development Study found that the most impactful variable of insufficient leadership is poor succession planning and ineffective talent scouting within organizations. To focus on this crucial planning, have open communication about the future of your business, determine which employees are interested in long-term solutions, and begin cross-training interested employees. Cross-training is a great way to ensure employees have a well-rounded view of the company and allows leaders to focus on sustainability.

Recruit, Train, and Retain

When building a corporate culture of sustainability focused on development and personal growth, it is important to hire the right workers that fit the values of your company. Recruit individuals who have the skills and desire to grow within the company and offer opportunities for your workforce to grow into becoming your next leaders.

What has your company done to build a culture of development? How has a focus on succession planning helped your organization thrive? Let us know in the comments section below!

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