If you’re like 64% of C-level executives surveyed worldwide, you know that one of the biggest challenges is finding the next generation of leaders to develop.
And seeing as you need to start developing those leaders today in order to prime them to be the leaders of your organisation tomorrow, this challenge is urgent—and you need to tackle it head-on. But how, exactly, do you go about that?
The Challenge: A Look at the Numbers
Development Dimensions International (DDI) surveyed more than 1,000 C-level executives worldwide for their Global Leadership Forecast 2018 report. When DDI asked the C-suite to identify the most pressing issues facing them today, they overwhelmingly responded:
- Developing “next gen” leaders (64%)
- Failure to attract/retain top talent (60%)
“Leaders clearly indicated that top talent and effective leaders will be needed to address the myriad current challenges and to position their organization for future success…Senior leaders are acutely aware of the importance of focusing on strengthening human—and, specifically, leadership—capital.”
When you add to this the fact that employee retention is also one of the biggest challenges faced by those in HR, especially because 44% of your millennial workforce has one foot out the door, succession planning can be extremely difficult.
The Solution: Mentoring
Having a mentoring program in place at your organisation is one of the few solutions to this problem.
Why? Because mentoring offers a bottom-up approach of your people driving your people—a strategy that’s far more effective than a more traditional, top-down strategy of pushing learning objectives and company values upon them.
And today, the range of mentoring opportunities is as fresh and innovative as the technology that makes it possible.
Gone are the days of the old guard of mentoring—it’s no longer solely dedicated to the “high-potentials” or the more senior mentoring the junior. This means that there are a lot more ways to both look at and implement mentoring programs throughout your organisation.
For example, you can try out Just In Time Mentoring, Personal Advisory Board mentoring, Reverse Mentoring, and/or Peer mentoring (read more in-depth about these methods here).
The Perks of Mentoring
Companies have a responsibility to develop their people into careers, not just within their current roles.
Gallup found that 87% of millennials—the largest generation in the labor force—rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a role, more important than financial rewards or other compensation benefits.
What’s more, career development is a top factor in retaining millennials, but unfortunately, most companies aren’t providing them with opportunities to learn on the job, with less than one in two strongly agreeing they’d had opportunities to learn and grow in the past year at their organisation.
Luckily, mentoring can come to the rescue! Having a mentoring program in place:
- Provides a source for constant development
- Creates a way in which colleagues can connect with one another
- Expands internal networks
- Keeps people engaged and satisfied
- Fosters great in-house relationships
- Develops a way in which continuous feedback and acknowledgement can be given in a supportive, insightful manner
7 out of every 10 of your millennial employees deem mentoring critical to their success, and employees that are intending to stay with their organisation for more than five years are more than twice as likely to have a mentor.
What’s Not to Love?
Implementing a mentoring program at your organisation can help improve employee engagement, thereby increasing employee retention, and ultimately increasing your pool of future leaders.
Who said finding the next generation of leaders to develop was the biggest challenge? When you invest in your people—letting them know they’re there to do more than simply receive a paycheck—they’ll invest back, providing your organisation with a strong team to lead it for years to come.