Roughly 3 million 16-24 year olds make up the current workforce in the UK. A large portion of these young people are apprentices who are entering the workforce with little work experience. With more young people and apprentices set to come into business, it’s vital you help them develop the skills to lead and communicate effectively in your organisation.
Finding talented young people for your business is one half of the battle, the other half is developing them into well-rounded, productive employees.
Here are some ways you can develop young leaders in your organisation.
Give them responsibility from day one
The quickest way to nurture and engage young people in the workplace is to give them key responsibilities that impact your organisation. Whilst this is daunting for many managers, it’s important to view the apprentice as exactly what they are, a member of the team. Their early days will need support and guidance, but given enough responsibility, they quickly gain confidence and knowledge in their role.
Be flexible in your leadership style
One leadership style may work well with one individual, but it may not work so well with another. Adopting rigid leadership styles won’t create engaged employees, nor encourage them to feel that they are getting what they want out of their apprenticeship.
Understanding that each apprentice has different motivations and responds well to different approaches will help grow and nurture their natural leadership traits.
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Give constructive feedback
Feedback is essential for building the resilience and mindset of future leaders. A good leader is open to feedback, so it’s important that as an employer, you can give and receive feedback.
A good structure for giving two-way feedback follows four simple steps :
- Ask the leader what they did well.
- Add what you felt they did well.
- Ask how they could do something different next time.
- Add what you would suggest they could do differently and what benefit it might bring?
Constructive feedback is one of the most effective ways to hone the skills and attitude of an apprentice in your organisation. Feedback can be given anonymously but it’s always better given face to face.
Develop the young leaders in your organisation by taking on a leadership and management apprentice, or consider upskilling your current staff with an apprenticeship.