How Human Resources Development Can Prepare Tomorrow’s Leaders

Six years ago, the oldest members of the Baby Boomer generation began reaching the traditional retirement age of 65. Due to many factors, people have been choosing to defer their retirement, but now, in 2017, an estimated 10,000 Boomers are retiring every day. Millennials have largely made their way through college and are taking up an ever-growing percentage of the workforce, but are businesses doing enough to prepare tomorrow’s leaders? In a rapidly changing work environment, it’s HR that has the ability to develop young professionals into managers and executives.

HR has become about much more than hiring and payroll. In today’s world, it’s the goal of human resources to be strategic, to integrate HR ideas into business practices and vice versa. One of the ways that this strategic approach manifests is in human resources development. By getting involved in training, developing, and seeking relevant opportunities for high-potential employees, HR can help young professionals realize their potential as future decision-makers in their companies. Here are a few examples how:

1. Set up mentorship programs

More experienced employees within every industry have a lot to share, but some may not think about doing so until it’s too late. Boomers on the cusp of retirement have built a wealth of industry expertise, customer and supplier relationships, and insider knowledge that could be lost when they retire, potentially setting the company back as new leaders attempt to build that same knowledge from the ground up. HR professionals spend time with everyone in a company, and are uniquely qualified to set up and facilitate mentorship programs. By working with young high-potentials to choose a mentor who will help them grow in their position, human resources can ensure a productive, enjoyable partnership for both parties.

2. Seek out learning opportunities

Millennials value lifelong learning, and when technology is constantly changing the way we do our jobs, the economy has begun to demand it. Learning opportunities such as local and online courses, business and industry conferences, and in-house training are all valuable to young professionals, who like getting ahead of the trends and demands of their jobs.

3. Commit to diversity

Businesses are feeling the need for diversity, and for good reason. Not only are more brands seeking to gain traction in international markets and with domestic multicultural consumers, but diversity in a workplace means different perspectives, exciting contributions, and innovative ideas. Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey found that 66% of Millennials surveyed were prepared to leave their jobs. And while this decreased company loyalty as compared to past generations may seem like “their problem,” part of it is that they need to see themselves reflected in every aspect of the workplace. No one knows the intricacies of workplace diversity better than HR, so who better to lead the charge?

It’s time to start giving Millennials the support they need to grow so that everything retiring professionals have built can continue to thrive. Young professionals are excited to become leaders, and devoting efforts to preparing them through human resources development can ensure a company’s place in tomorrow’s markets.

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