July 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm #106736
Tom Fox – The Federal CoachParticipant
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Next Generation in Government Summit. The event highlighted what an intelligent and creative group of up-and-coming employees we currently have in the federal government. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what current leaders in government should be doing to ensure that these bright young minds stay and grow in government.
So I dedicated a column in the Washington Post to this very issue – how to keep young gov leaders in government. Below are the 5 main steps I highlighted in the column that I believe that current leaders and managers in government should be taking to groom the next generation.
Realizing that govloop is full of current and future leaders in government, I’m interested in hearing your feedback — What should agencies be doing to ensure that bright future leaders stay and grow in government?
Focus on the firsts – The first day, the first week, and the first month. These are important milestones for any employee, but particularly for a young person who will quickly determine whether this job is the right place to start – and continue – a career. Make a checklist for each of these firsts. What equipment do they need in place on the first day? What do they need to learn in the first week? What conversations should you have with them in the first month?
Keep them inspired . This generation is especially idealistic and driven to make a difference. Keep that fire lit, not only with words of encouragement, but by making sure they know exactly how their work fits in to your agency’s mission.
Tap their brains. Mark my words, if you don’t keep your younger employees challenged and on their intellectual toes, you will lose them. Asking them for new ideas, feedback and to engage in problem-solving will help everyone. They’ll be excited about their work, and you’ll benefit from their fresh perspective.
Show them the path to leadership – It used to be the norm that someone might work in the same place for decades. Not anymore. Younger people today are restless and are not afraid to take risks and seek new opportunities. Help stem the turnover tide by showing them exactly how they can advance. If you can get them excited by the challenge of making it to the next level, you’ll keep them on board and they’ll work harder.
Pair them up. There is much to be said about the value of experience and for utilizing that experience to groom the next generation. Create a fulfilling experience for everyone by pairing interested, long-term employees with newbies.
If we fail to view our youngest employees as the next generation of government leaders, we will not only lose them, but we will lose the potential for all the great contributions they could do for our country.
July 29, 2010 at 4:21 am #106740
I like 2 especially. I don’t thing gov’t does a good enough job telling its story and mission and how jobs tie into it.
July 30, 2010 at 10:52 pm #106738
I like the one about challenging new high-potentials. They need to be able to unleash their creativity to make a difference or they will leave your organization. If you aren’t ready to listen to them and engage them in performing value-added services, don’t hire them.
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