4 tips to support young talent
Experienced colleagues who are willing and interested in young talent are the key to organisational success. When you combine such talented colleagues’ experience and knowledge with a career starter’s eagerness to learn, playfulness and humility, their potential is sure to reveal itself quickly. How can you ensure that your organisation provides newcomers with the support they need, though? We have 4 tips to support young talent that will give you a good start.
Leading young talents is like kitesurfing
Leadership is like kite surfing in a way. A good kite surfer keeps a firm grip on the lines, then pulls back and provides just enough tension to allow the kite to lift. As a manager, you need to know when to restrain young talents and when to give them more freedom.
There are various ways for you to ensure that new hires will make optimal use of their talents. The four approaches described below can help them grow effectively.
Clear framing and direction
To enable young talents to complete a project or task successfully, start by acquainting them with the context of their assignment. After that, explain exactly what performance is expected of them. Connect your talents with experts who can provide the required input and guidance, then make it clear you’ll have their back if anything goes wrong. This assures them of a safe environment in which to experiment and reveal their potential.
Uncertain how to achieve this? Begin by establishing one or two fixed check-in meetings each week, led by your young talents. This allows them a chance to relate what they’re working on, anything that’s causing them trouble and what they’ve learned.
Responsibility and ownership
As a leader, it’s important to give young talents enough freedom in tackling a project. By granting them responsibility and ownership, you are giving them the opportunity to grow both rapidly and successfully. Managers have an important role to play here. Take care to give career starters room to make mistakes. Ultimately, that teaches them the most.
Look for challenging assignments. Balance the need to take people out of their comfort zone against possible risks. If you do this for both your new talents and those around them, their duties are guaranteed to give them energy. People deliver their best work when they are energised by the chance to learn something new. Of course, this also requires accurate insight into individual employees’ qualities and capabilities. Engage your young talent, make use of their strengths and reap the rewards of their motivation and commitment.
Tightrope walking with a safety net
When you make your talents work outside their comfort zone, they are walking a tightrope. They will lose their balance and fall off occasionally. A strong leader places talents on that rope, provides regular feedback and ensures a safe landing when they fall. What makes for the best safety net? Experienced colleagues. Matching new hires with more seasoned workers is a very important managerial duty. However, remember you are also responsible for keeping them on track, offering proper guidance and establishing a good feedback culture.
Let talents explore
Give young talents room to discover their own potential, while also offering support as needed. Adopt a suitable leadership style and your young talents will prove valuable additions to your organisation in no time.
Want to learn more about different leadership styles? Download leadership expert Liz Wiseman’s insights here: