It’s no secret that Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the single largest cohort in the American Workforce. This means younger adults will be continuing to move into positions of leadership and management. Unfortunately, leadership training is generally lacking; even companies that offer this type of training are prone to some common mistakes that can hinder employee development and potential. Here, we’ll look at seven of the most common mistakes made.
1. Failing to View Employee Training as an Ongoing Responsibility
Employee training needs to be an ongoing, continuous process, not a couple of weeks of onboarding training after a new hire joins your team. The same is true with leadership training. Keep in mind that most employees—even recent college graduates—are unlikely to have received training specific to their work roles: e.g., training in communication skills, giving and receiving feedback, etc.
2. Settling for B or C Players to Fill an Open Position Quickly
Taking the time to find a solid performer will pay dividends in the long run. Think of it as an investment in the future because that’s exactly what it is. A tight labor market may make some recruiters and hiring managers eager to fill an open role but filling that role with a less-than-stellar candidate will only compound problems in the future.
3. Neglecting to Delegate Challenging Assignments
Leaders who always hold on to the toughest assignments for themselves aren’t tapping into the potential of their teams and will always end up managing the hardest assignments. What many don’t realize is that by doing this they also hinder their chances for advancement.
4. Underestimating the Importance of Centralized Project Management
When moving into management roles, individual contributors may not have the background, skills, or experience needed to serve in a facilitation or oversight role—another area where training and development is critical.
5. Not Planning for Employee Development and Compensation
Getting great employees on board is only half the battle. Once hired, they need to be retained. Employee development and compensation is key in this respect. Market assessments should be conducted regularly, particularly for key positions, and salary and benefits packages audited to ensure equity and competitiveness—internally and externally.
6. Neglecting Your Own Personal Development
Many of these mistakes have focused on the young leader’s staff, but another mistake many new managers make is not spending enough time focusing on their development. The organization can play a role here by building self-development into the employee performance review cycle for all employees.
7. Expecting Work/Life Balance to Remain Unchanged as Careers Develop
As leaders earn new responsibilities, they will need to work more, and work/life balance will need to adapt as a result. Leaders need to be flexible in their boundaries, especially when it comes to making time for their employees and, of course, their families.