Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Bringing the Latest in News Straight to Your Screen

15 Things Senior Leaders Can Do To Better Support Junior Team Members

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at October 18, 2021

When a young professional starts an entry-level position at a company, there are some common things that can make them feel undervalued. The longer these issues persist, the more disengaged from their work they become, and the more likely to leave. Through no fault of their own, a promising young team member can end up missing out on opportunities that could boost their career. Moreover, senior leadership can lose someone who might have become an A-player on the team. 

Senior leaders have a responsibility to support entry-level employees, ensure that they feel valued for their contributions and cultivate a sense of belonging in them. Here, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council each share the most effective thing they believe a senior leader can do to support their junior team members. 

1. Understand Their Core Values And Vision 

Leaders should make it a priority to understand the core values and vision of each individual on the team so that they can tie the vision of the company with the vision of their team members and help them get to where they want to go. – Chris Yonker, CJY Enterprises, llc

2. Help Them Feel Their Voices Are Heard

All generations, but especially younger generations, want to feel that their voices are heard and appreciated. When they speak up, encourage it. Engage with their ideas instead of explaining away why they’re wrong or don’t work. Use questions to help them hone their ideas instead of telling them what to think. Most importantly, see them as valuable contributors to the team. – Lisa Christen, Christen Coaching & Consulting LLC

3. Check In With Them Regularly

Start from the beginning and check in! Senior leaders can and should work to establish with their junior team members what skills they are looking to expand, what kinds of projects they are excited to focus on and more. The manager should also set expectations from the start. Then, there should be periodic (biweekly or monthly) meetings to assess and provide honest feedback. Adjust as needed! – Emily Kapit, ReFresh Your Step, LLC

4. Treat Them With Respect

Just because they’re young and/or new to your organization, it doesn’t mean they lack knowledge, talent or skills. They deserve to be respected for these things and for the fact they’re choosing you instead of other employers. In fact, regardless of who the employee is or how junior they are, respect is strongly correlated to engagement. – Gregg Ward, The Gregg Ward Group

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

5. Let Them Make Mistakes Without Fear

Give them the opportunity to make mistakes without fear of reprimand. Acknowledge their ideas and value their opinions. Make them feel heard and seen and provide opportunities for them to stretch themselves to develop and strengthen their skills. – Shelley Willingham, Shelley Willingham

6. Give Them Meaningful Work

Give them opportunities and make them part of the team. That means giving them meaningful work. Encourage them to have an opinion, and teach them to express it in a collaborative and constructive way. Do not judge them for being fresh out of university with no experience. Their fresh ideas can challenge the established ways of working in a good way and become the start of something very valuable. – Ruchi Motial-Suri, Success Culture

7. Create Mentorship Programs

Create mentorships within your organization; assign a seasoned professional to mentor a younger one so that they have a go-to person within the organization they can ask questions of or discuss challenges with. The mentors should also be proactive by doing regular check-ins and asking questions such as, “How are things going?” “What is challenging for you right now?” and “Where do you feel you could use some help?” – Cha Tekeli, Chalamode, Inc.

8. Don’t Take Credit For Their Work

Too many leaders take credit for the good work of their subordinates. Few things disengage young workers more than seeing someone else claim their ideas or work product as their own. Good leaders recognize the work of others and raise them up. Those who are only managing take others’ credit. People of all ages prefer to be led rather than managed. – Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, LLC

9. Ask For Input And Respond With Care

Ask for input wisely. When a young professional engages, expect them to attach a lot of emotional capital to how you respond to their input. Respond with care, making sure to acknowledge the effort as much as you do the output. – Erica McCurdy, McCurdy Solutions Group LLC

10. Trust Them And Expect Them To Succeed

Give them guidance and support to accomplish something important—something that has an impact. That will give them the confidence to do the next big thing, which is so critical for those early in their career. Most people are capable of doing and becoming what you tell them they can. Never underestimate your power to inspire others. – Rebecca Lea Ray, The Conference Board

11. Understand What Type Of Recognition They Want

Employee recognition is a common tool utilized to increase or maintain engagement. The key here is to understand what type of recognition the employee wants and will respond to. Some employees are motivated by money, others by prestige, others by work and others by being seen and highly visible. Figure out how employees want to be recognized. – Kate Peters, Bright Voyage Leadership

12. Point Out Their Strengths Or Abilities

Many young, entry-level leaders are unsure of themselves and what they have to offer. One thing that helps is to point out strengths and abilities that you see in them. Paint a picture of who they can become that is bigger and stronger than they might be able to see or believe just yet. Along with this, acknowledge how their contributions make a difference. – Christian Muntean, Vantage Consulting

13. Establish Pathways For Holistic Growth

Younger employees have been ingrained with certain expectations from a society that has given them great privileges and a sense of responsibility for creating healthy, positive change in our world. Establish pathways for their holistic growth and development, in work and outside of the office, and empower them to find deep personal meaning and fulfillment in their work roles. – Dave Ursillo, Lead Without Followers, LLC.

14. Have Regular Career Conversations

Have regular career conversations with them so that you learn what their interests are and they learn about opportunities in the organization. Then, help them figure out how to close the skills gaps they need to qualify for more responsibility. This is both an engagement as well as a retention strategy—a double whammy! – Kathy Bernhard, KFB Leadership Solutions

15. Offer The Opportunity To Reverse-Mentor

Offer young professionals in the organization the opportunity to reverse-mentor senior leaders. Not only does it boost confidence and the feeling of being heard on the part of the junior team members, but it can also be a great development and innovation tool to help leaders reflect and take appropriate action. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.