Succession planning remains to be a difficult problem for corporations, as does the task of transforming employees from being mere followers into leaders.

The trick in getting this job done is to create a training environment where millennials can be coached.

Coaching, however, takes time and adds to the burden of managers. But coaching remains to be the preferred route for training new millennial managers, and will continue to be so since millennials constitute one in three American workers today. The millennial workforce (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015) numbers 53.5 million.

The art of management can be taught. Leadership, however, comes with experience — and coaching.

Hence, the responsibility of developing millennial leaders, rests on the able shoulders of experienced managers.

Transforming millennial employees into millennial leaders should be easier than expected.

Why? Because “91% of millennials aspire to be a leader,” said “The Millennial Leadership Survey” by WorkplaceTrends.com, a research and advisory membership portal for human resources professionals.

The desire among millennials to lead is further confirmed by The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, which reveals the top concern among millennials is to become a leader.

There is a dark side to this desire to lead, however. In general, millennials have little loyalty to their employers. Many plan to leave if they feel they’re not being developed as leaders. As many as 63% of millennials feel they’re not receiving the proper training.

Business firms can get a leg up on maintaining the millennials on their workforce — and transforming them into leaders — by keeping in mind these four strategies:

1. Encourage them to network

Millennials know how to network.

A company, however, has got to teach millennials the art of professional networking. This means establishing a network among their fellow employees using social media tools and the personal touch, and later spreading their networking roots to other industry professionals.

Networking will teach millennials how to act with a leader’s confidence; forge powerful relationships and uncover business opportunities. It also helps them increase their profile within the industry.

2. Assign them a mentor

Millennials love to be coached. The bond between a mentor and his student transcends the normal employer-employee relationship.

And there’s no better person to teach a millennial manager-trainee the ropes than experienced managers who’ve been there and done that. Creating a mentorship program is also a great idea.

3. Lead by example

Management textbooks can’t get enough of citing leadership by example as an excellent means of training new managers and leaders. Millennials want to model themselves after successful leaders.

Millennials see their managers as their main source of development. What they want most from their managers isn’t more managerial direction, but more help with their own personal development.

4. Provide opportunities for growth

Most millennials will jump ship if they feel the company they work for isn’t developing them into leaders. Providing these people with opportunities for growth is a hedge against this eventuality.

Got a question or comment about this topic? Send me an email at greg@inscapeconsulting.com . I’d be happy to answer your queries.

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