Baby boomers are reaching the golden age of retirement and with that, the younger generation of workers are beginning to step into their shoes. One of the biggest differences that comes with this transition into new leadership is the experience that the retirees are taking with them when they leave.
Managers and high-level executives have gained invaluable experience with time in their positions, and it is hard to pass all of that knowledge along during offboarding. For this reason, it is imperative to the health of a company for impending retirees to start to equip potential leaders for success in their position before the transition takes place. Equipping the next generation of leaders can begin at any time.
Mentoring is a low-cost and high-reward system for any industry. However, mentoring is not as easy as shadowing or bequeathing knowledge. It is actually beneficial for senior leaders to take courses or learn preliminary information about effective mentoring.
Every stage of leadership requires specialized qualities for success. Who better to set the standard for a new leader than someone currently in the position? Senior leaders and executives should clearly outline the competencies and skills necessary for success in their position. From there, it will be much easier to sort through the candidacy list of potential successors.
Integrate the new leaders
Once the prospective leader or leaders are chosen, put them in the ring. Give them leadership tasks and duties to carry out while you oversee from a distance. It will not only solidify your choice in selecting them but gives them a chance to test-drive the position before fully taking over. It will also build respect and authority among their peers.
Develop training programs
Training programs have a similar benefit to mentoring, but with a more structured plan that can be used repetitively and on a larger scale. Boomers would be wise to be a part of the development of training programs to ensure that their skills and expectations are being taught to the younger generation of workers.
Foster team collaboration
Diversity is what businesses thrive on. While there is a level of competency and proficiency that is uniform across the industry, a diverse group of employees will come up with different ways to get to the end goal. Fostering a collaborative work environment not only promotes teamwork that leads to greater efficiency, but it is a great way to share knowledge between leaders and subordinates.
A seamless transition of new leadership is very possible but is best started in advance of the need to change. This will save the company from financial burdens, overspending resources, and losing good employees along the way as new leaders step into old roles.