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Retaining and development of young managers

In a dynamic and competitive candidate market, where there are fewer candidates for more jobs, it is important to be able to retain and develop the young managers. An attentive management, flexibility and a clear career path are among the key words in young people's demands to their managers. Although all young managers are different, there are some trends that distinguish them from previous generations.

Through reports and research for a new book, Lecturer Karen Christina Elholm Spuur from Copenhagen Business Academy has analysed the needs of young people, and there are clear requests for feedback, recognition, an attentive (top) management, and that the tasks you perform in the job have a value to the company.

For many young managers, it is an important parameter that top management is visible – also in their dialogue with them. Management must teach the young managers and pass on its experience in a mutual dialogue. Today, several top managers use “reverse mentoring”, which allows their senior managers to learn from the young managers, and this is clearly a strong opportunity to involve the young managers in a closer dialogue.

Furthermore, there are some other factors that are relevant to retain young managers in their job:

The Employee Development Interview (MUS) is not crucial. It must be replaced by a frequent dialogue

Lack of recognition and attention are critical factors in retaining young managers. In a culture where frequent feedback is the norm the company must be aware of creating a dynamic feedback culture.

Work life and leisure time merges, and therefore it is important to have a framework and boundaries. Attention should be paid to where the young manager is in his/her development and whether more space or a clearer framework is needed. 

Making a difference
Young managers want to make a difference, and they strive to feel 'aligned' with the company's values, culture and mission. It does not mean that it helps to retain them, but it helps to attract, and it creates a platform for the company to build on. Therefore, it is important to have a learning organisation where the young managers can see that they are able to develop – and at the same time, that they are able to identify themselves with the company.

Knowledge is retention
Young managers want to continuously develop and seek new knowledge. If they are not able to develop themselves within the company, a need to seek new opportunities quickly arises. Therefore, learning and exchange of experience are important tools for retention of young managers.

As there is an increasing competition in the candidate market, retention, development and recruitment are key elements to consider as a company.