By the end of 2020, two of every three respondents hope to have moved on.

These are startling statistics.

But what gives? Are millennials lazy and just inherently disloyal? Or is there something deeper going on?

According to the report1, the number one reason for why they wanted to leave was their “leadership skills are not being fully developed.”

Millennials believe that companies aren’t doing enough to help them develop their leadership skills.

A few other key highlights from the report:

  • 71% of those likely to leave in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed
  • The most loyal employees agree that there is a lot of support/training for those wanting to take on leadership roles
  • The least loyal employees feel like they’re being overlooked for leadership positions and are not being properly developed

So now that we know what the problem is, let’s look at how we can fix things.

How To Develop Employees Into Leaders

Grooming employees for future leadership roles is what separates good from great managers.

More than anything, it starts with having the right mindset of wanting to help your employees and genuinely caring about them.

You need to realize that by helping your employees grow, they’ll be more productive, which in turn will make you look better.

Here are a few things you can do to help employees develop their leadership skills.

1. Set Up A Mentorship Program

This idea has two benefits. It creates that knowledge transfer to help employees grow, and gets people to build a closer relationship.

You can set up a program where more senior employees help younger employees develop. You can even act as a mentor yourself.

Another idea is to set it up as a job shadowing program, so employees can get an idea of other roles, giving them a more complete view of how the company runs.

2. Help Employees Grow

One of the most discouraging things that can happen to an employee is to be stagnant. Everyone needs to feel as if they’re progressing in life and growing all the time.

The key is you want to help them grow as people. This could even be outside of work.

Two simple ideas are:

Lunch and learns
Paying for classes online
You could also encourage employees to look into websites like Meetup or Eventbrite to find of upcoming events that might interest them.

3. Have Continuous Feedback

Seeking feedback is the only way to give employees an opportunity to voice their concerns.

The concept of creating a feedback loop is incredibly important to maintaining engagement with employees.

You should be constantly seeking feedback from them about what could be improved and how they could be utilizing their skills more.

4. Show Them Respect

A simple but often overlooked way to help employees develop is by showing them the respect they deserve.

You can do this by offering flexible schedules, not tracking their time so diligently, allowing them to pick tasks to work on, etc.

That autonomy gives them the opportunity to learn and develop on their own.

How To Develop Your Leadership Skills

True leaders don’t wait for things to be handed to them, they get out there and make things happen.

Even though the company has a responsibility to help employees develop, employees need to be responsible for their own fate.

Here are a few things you could do to help yourself build up your leadership skills.

1. Show Initiative

You want managers to see you taking an honest interest in becoming a leader. Help others as much as possible, speak up at meetings, come up with good ideas, etc.

Over time, they’ll have to notice all the hard work you’re doing, and you’ll be less likely to be passed up for opportunities.

2. Seek Advice

There’s an expression that goes “ask and you shall receive”, which is very relevant here.

Ask those higher up what skills are required to be a leader at your organization and to help you develop those skills.

If you can find someone to spend time with and learn from that person, you’ll be in a better position.

3. Network

You gotta get out there and make yourself seen. Attend industry and company events, and participate (don’t just hang out by the bar).

Introducing yourself to some key decision makers will be important as you try to move towards a leadership position.

4. Always Be Learning

Leadership is something that needs to be constantly developed. Luckily, there are many resources to help you become a good leader.

You should be reading constantly, taking classes if you can online, and just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

Do you offer opportunities for leadership development?

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  • Thanks Debora great article!

    It's nice to see that as a small business owner many of those on the list I can achieve.

    All the best Sarah
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