Three Ways To Prepare Your Gen X And Millennial Talent For Executive Roles

Posted by The Garner Group on Oct 5 2017


With roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, businesses have begun to worry about the future of leadership in their companies. Retiring leadership means potentially losing the relationships they have built, the knowledge they have obtained, and the experience in their fields and positions. With business climates changing to become more technological and flexible, how can companies train future leaders for future success? Your Gen X and Millennial talent have a lot to offer, but it’s important to begin training them now. In this blog, we’ll explore three ways to prepare up-and-coming leaders for executive roles.

1. Provide Learning Opportunities and Feedback

Gen Xers and Millennials love the idea of lifelong learning, yet in a 2016 study by Deloitte, 63% of Millennials interviewed said that management was not doing enough to develop their leadership skills. While Gen Xers and Millennials place high value on soft skills such as emotional intelligence and relationship building, both of which are gaining a lot of attention as critical for moving forward in the business world, it seems that companies are not capitalizing on their young talent. Give your potential Gen X and Millennial leaders plenty of opportunities to train with and learn about upper management within the company, and they will rise to the challenge. Additionally, Gen X and Millennial employees thrive on plenty of feedback. Constructive criticism, praise, and suggestions for improvement will help them quickly understand what is expected of them, and open lines of communication that will help them - and you - build the trust necessary when the time comes to hand over the reins.

2. Set Up a Mentorship Program

It’s important to get Gen X and Millennial talent learning, but even more important to get them learning from the best. Set up a mentorship program with clearly defined goals for success. The mentor and mentee should be paired to ensure a good partnership; the best way to do this is to involve the mentee in choosing their mentor. At the start of the relationship, both parties should lay out expectations for behavior, communication, and results in order to make the most of their time. By working one-on-one with an experienced member of the company, Gen X and Millennial employees get the chance to learn what works and what doesn’t, as well as learn the industry knowledge that the more experienced mentor has accrued. Consider learning about and encouraging reverse mentorship as well - your company could benefit from a fresh perspective in upper management.

3. Include Potential Leaders in Decision-Making

Sometimes the best training is to simply jump right in. Including Gen X and Millennial talent with high potential for leadership roles in company decisions has many benefits. If they feel trusted to be a part of important decisions, young talent will feel more confident and empowered to pursue more responsibility and take initiative within the company, creating the right mindset for a future leader. Learning what decisions current leaders are making can help guide future decisions, and teach potential leaders how to steer the company. And finally, having a new perspective on current decisions can present the opportunity for innovative solutions and change, preparing the company for the business climate of tomorrow.


Gen X and Millennial workers are talented and capable, but require some training and attention to become the leaders of businesses and organizations. Notorious for their lack of company loyalty, it can be hard to find and keep quality Gen X and Millennial talent. Our expert executive recruiters at The Garner Group can help you find the young leaders you need in the consumer health and nutrition industry. As we reach a shift in the leadership demographics of business, it's critical to begin searching for and training potential leaders today.


Topics: executive recruiter, management style

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