How to provide guidance to young talent as a manager

As a manager, you often have insufficient time for the intensive guidance of young talent, even though they greatly need consistent support. In this blog, we will explain how you can still provide the right guidance to young talent despite your tight schedule.

Marjolein Jansen
Marjolein Jansen

Change is confusing

Consistent guidance is crucial for the development and well-being of young talent. Frequent changes in leadership, especially changing managers, can be confusing for young professionals. They are often still finding their footing in the field and need to familiarise themselves with the company culture.

Moreover, they need a consistent point of contact with whom they can build a relationship. “Young professionals need guidance on how to handle their first real job, as a lot changes for them compared to student life. They seek a steady mentor who helps them find their place in the workplace,” says talent manager Floris.

Strong, ongoing guidance not only improves professional skills but is also essential for building trust and strengthening company loyalty. Effective guidance for young talent requires more than just substantive coaching. It involves support with practical matters and personal development.  A talent manager can assist managers in this by taking over the coaching in the area of soft skills.

Providing continuity

Young talent seeks a manager who is regularly available for feedback, concerns, and questions. This is often challenging due to a busy schedule. As a manager, you can manage your time more effectively by prioritising and delegating less critical tasks. This frees up time to be more involved in coaching your team.

Furthermore, you can encourage the development of young professionals by urging them to participate in relevant courses and training. This will significantly enhance their skills and career prospects, taking over some aspects of coaching from you. Establishing standardised onboarding programmes and implementing mentorship programmes can help ensure continuity, even with changing leadership.

Implementing effective guidance

To provide effective guidance as a manager, you can do the following:

  • Regular, personalised one-on-one meetings: Schedule monthly meetings to discuss the progress, goals, and well-being of each young professional.
  • Develop a feedback culture: Encourage open and continuous feedback within the team, both from peers and supervisors. This can be achieved by holding sessions at the end of projects where there is space to collectively discuss successes and areas for improvement.
  • Implement a mentorship programme: Pair each young professional with a more experienced mentor within the team. This offers not only an additional perspective but also valuable insights into the company culture and career opportunities.
  • Use technology: Implement digital tools like Leapsome, Lattice, or 15five to help track development plans and facilitate regular feedback.

Expectations of Young Professionals

Young professionals, often from Generation Z, have different expectations from employers compared to previous generations. They seek clear and regular communication about their performance, responsibilities, and your expectations as a manager. This transparency helps them feel valued and well-integrated into the team.

They also need active support and dedicated mentorship to grow. Young professionals look for leaders who invest in their personal and professional development and guide them in their careers. “Managers should make young professionals feel that they can approach them with any questions or concerns,” says Floris.

“By encouraging young employees to ask questions, they gain a better understanding of the organisation and the reasons behind various processes. This leads to improved performance, greater comfort in the workplace, and, importantly, a higher likelihood of them staying with the company longer.”

"By providing consistent support and clear growth paths, managers can help young talent excel."

Feedback is becoming increasingly important

Regular, constructive feedback is essential for the development of young professionals. Defining clear growth paths and development opportunities is crucial to ensuring their long-term engagement and satisfaction. “When you don’t provide feedback, you take away the young professional’s chance to improve. Generation Z sometimes has the reputation of not wanting feedback or not handling it well, but that’s not true. They are very eager for it, but it must be delivered in a respectful and constructive manner.”

Retain young talent with proper guidance

Effective guidance for young professionals is essential for both their development and retaining young talent within your organisation. By offering consistent support and clear growth paths, managers can help young talent excel, contributing to a resilient and future-proof organisation.

“The young professional can learn a lot from your knowledge and expertise, and conversely, you can benefit from the fresh perspective that the young professional brings,” says Floris. “Bringing these together creates a wonderful collaboration.”

Want to know more?

With our extensive experience in mediating between young professionals and managers, we know what works. Floris is happy to discuss how you can provide optimal guidance to your young professionals.

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