Top talent is hard to find, especially for the lumber and building materials industry—as baby boomers begin to age out of the workforce, the LBM industry is left to scramble for filling the leadership positions they’ve left.
How do we fix this problem? How do we educate and prime our young leaders to take the reins? Most importantly, how do we do this and ensure success with the future of our companies? Although succession planning and talent management might seem daunting, it’s something we need to get on top of if our industry will survive the future.
Why You Should Invest in Your Employees
Why is succession planning important? How do we trust younger leaders who lack experience in the industry and just general life experience?
Here are a few reasons why investing in your young people is essential to your business.
1. Succession Planning
Investing in young people might sound risky, but it also might be your biggest reward. Show them your business model and strategy and give them the tools, knowledge, and training they need to carry your business forward.
2. Fill Skills Gaps
With baby boomers retiring and Gen Z’s entering the workforce, the building materials industry now has a wide age range with many skill gaps to fill. While your more experienced employees and techniques will be useful to new employees, young people also can offer their own experiences and expertise to the way you do business. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two!
3. Fresh Ideas
New employees, especially those just starting their career, bring a level of passion and enthusiasm that others just can’t match. These are the people at your company who will go above and beyond and bring fresh ideas to the table.
4. Employee Motivation & Retention
We often have a bad habit of looking down at those with less experience than us—ditch that mindset and show your employees that you believe and them and are dedicating your time and resources to invest in them and train them. If an employee sees this, you will increase your employee motivation and retention.
How to Achieve Long-Term Success with Succession Planning
When trying to figure out how to attract and retain future leaders for your organization, put a strategy in place. Just like any other part of your business, you need a game plan for what you’re going to achieve and how to achieve it.
Here are a few ideas and steps you can take to develop your future leaders:
- Ditch the one-size fits all approach. What works for one person might not work for all of them. Take some time to get to know your employees and what they need to be successful.
- Provide leadership development training. Whether it’s consistent leadership training or a mentorship program, give your employees the space to learn and ask questions.
- Provide constructive feedback. Feedback can sometimes be hard to deliver but priming an employee for management depends on it. Make sure you deliver constructive feedback with advice on how to approach the issue differently.
- Give young leaders a purpose. Studies show that Millennials and Gen Z’s don’t just want a paycheck—they want passion and purpose. Give them something to be excited about and fuel their passion.
Investing in your leadership and building a succession plan around them is one of the smartest moves you can make for your business’ future—take the time necessary to build them up and let them grow.
Invest in Your Company’s Future with Kodiak Building Partners
For some, letting go of the reins and handing off responsibility to others can be intimidating and nerve-racking. At Kodiak, we understand that feeling: you built your organization from the ground up, and you want it in good hands when you leave.
But who’s to say that younger people can’t do the job? If you invest in them and dedicate yourself to helping them succeed, you’ll be setting up your business for success for many years into the future.