There is an old joke that goes “you better be nice to your kids; they will be picking out your nursing homes.” This same principle applies in business – “support the young people in your organization – they will be administering your retirement benefits.”
Like a lot of jokes, there is an essential message in this one. Many businesses do not make it past one or two generations for a variety of reasons. One common reason is through a lack of “succession planning.” Who is going to be running things after the current management team rides off into the sunset?
To ensure yourself the highest chance for success beyond the current management team, encourage, train, and mentor the young people in your organization.
Here are two specific ideas that might help groom young staff members for the future:
- Get to Know Them – Working with experienced co-workers can be intimidating for young people, especially ones that are new to the workforce. Taking the time to get to know them, to find out about their aspirations, and to find out what they like to do outside of work can go a long way toward making them more comfortable in the workplace and thus more productive.
- Listen to and Consider Their Ideas – Sometimes, we make the assumption that since someone is young and inexperienced, it is not worthwhile to hear their ideas on a business issue. However, just listening to their ideas, even if they are not ultimately adopted, will empower them to be part of the discussion and will pay dividends in the future.
There are a bunch of really smart young people out there who have a lot of great ideas that are worth considering. Take care with them, they are the ones who will be taking care of you!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at 405.608.1903 or firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything I can do for you.
President and CEO