In three brief years, 25 percent of the workforce will be over the age of 55. Scores of seniors will continue working, but not necessarily in the same roles they held before. Many will move into less demanding “pre-retirement careers” that keep them busy and allow them to earn some income.
In 2007, the Baby Boomers entered the retirement phase. This shift in the working pattern presents many challenges for businesses needing to fill the management void. The generation after the baby boomers, referred to as Gen X, is not large enough to fill the void on its own. Therefore, organizations need to identify and develop younger workers at a more accelerated pace than ever in history.
Organizations need to be strategizing how to fill this void. One strategy is to cultivate top talent ensuring a successful transition into the workforce dynamics. It is common however for organizations to become over consumed with the daily grind of the workplace. Therefore, there is many times a lack of dedicated resources toward developing a leadership pipeline that will sustain their organizations in the future. It is essential for companies to take steps now to effectively prepare for the transition with chaos on the horizon for those that don’t.
Healthy organizations are developing a structure around the process that will shape the success of leadership development initiatives. The following tips will help accelerate your top talent to new levels.
- Essentials —what are the leadership characteristics your organization values to meet long-term objectives?
- Objectives —what are the outcomes that will define success? It’s also important to define the tools that will be used to measure success.
- Rungs —what process will be used to develop the leadership pipeline? The process should include both macro steps (Identification, Development, and Placement) and micro steps, which are the stages or details of execution within each of the macro stages.
- Identify Top Talent – Determining bench strength within your current employee ranks is an obvious place to start. The organizations that will win the competition for talent will be the ones that apply a holistic approach to building their pipelines. This approach includes interviewing candidates and screening them for potential by simply adding in a few elements that focus on leadership skills.
- Balance and Endurance – one of the greatest challenges facing organizations and leaders is finding an effective balance between the demands of your current work load and dedicating time and resources for future development. Begin by integrating specific tasks intended to give employees experience or exposure to new challenges. Training classes, workshops, and other developmental tools allows you to identify top talent. Spread out these opportunities to allow employees to incorporate their learning into work practices. Participation in the leadership pipeline is a process not a sprint, but rather an endurance race. Participants engaged in development at a purposeful pace will result in success over time.
The demands for acquiring and developing top talent has become a fundamental part of healthy organizations. The future success of any organization is dependent on developing a solid process around feeding its leadership development pipeline. It’s a process that begins with selection of great talent and excellent onboarding with specific objectives. If your organization hasn’t begun preparations for meeting the talent challenges of the near future, it is not too late. It won’t be long before the drain of talent in the workforce will leave some organizations in an endangered position. Being proactive today will alleviate the need to be reactive tomorrow.
Have some thoughts on how to keep your Top Talent? Share with me your success by either commenting below or emailing me directly at email@example.com.
Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He serves on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 220 offices.