Millennial Leaders ThumbnailHR departments face a scary reality: 18 percent of Baby Boomers are poised to retire within the next five years. As Baby Boomers retire, organizations will lose the knowledge and experience of their seasoned leaders. Explore ways to prepare Millennials to accept the leadership baton.  

Millennial Leaders Thumbnail

Passing the Baton: Preparing Millennials to Lead

HR departments face a scary reality: 18 percent of Baby Boomers are poised to retire within the next five years. [1] Additionally, for every two workers that retire only one employee is entering the workforce. This impending wave of retirements will cause many organizations to lose a notable number of seasoned leaders, along with the valuable knowledge and experience they possess.

Who will fill this leadership gap when these workers retire?

The art of passing the baton

Preparing Millennails to Lead   


According to Forbes, 68 percent of HR professionals say that the approaching Boomer departure will have a major impact on their workforce. While many Gen Xers are being trained for leadership roles, data from the Pew Research Center shows that this demographic is too small to meet the upcoming demand for leaders. Consequently, HR departments are looking among Millennials to identify the next generation of leaders. But the fact that only 10 percent of organizations are focused on developing and equipping Millennials to lead demonstrates that these inexperienced workers are not being adequately prepared for this challenge. [2]

“Without a strategic approach to succession planning, many HR departments are overlooking opportunities to groom current employees to be future leaders. Applications like Ceridian’s TeamRelate can help organizations understand the unique aspects of employees as well as understand how they relate to others. By understanding their communication styles, core convictions, and motivators, leaders can ultimately assemble better teams that are highly successful. This data gives organizations the insight they need to develop the leaders of tomorrow today,” said Lisa Sterling, vice president of Dayforce Talent Management at Ceridian.

3 steps to preparing Millennials to lead

Is your organization equipping tomorrow’s leaders for success? The steps below will help you ensure that younger employees are poised to accept the baton from retiring Baby Boomer leaders.

Millennial leadersOn your mark – Recruiting tomorrow’s leaders
Broaden your pool of potential leaders by using mobile applications, social media and video technology to recruit savvy, forward-thinking young leaders. Invest in branding yourself as an employer that exhibits Millennial values, including work-life balance, teamwork and altruism.

Get set – Creating a career path to leadership
Once you’ve recruited top performers, the next challenge is giving them a reason to stay. Help Millennials envision a future with your company by implementing a formal career coaching program that outlines internal career path options and the steps required to advance. Use coaching relationships with veteran employees to provide young employees exposure to business insight and professional wisdom that will help them lead in the future.

Go! – Facilitating hands-on learning
Help Millennials gain confidence as leaders by gradually increasing their responsibilities and the difficulty of assignments. Placing top performers on cross-functional teams and strategic projects will not only expose them to different aspects of the company but also give them opportunities to lead. While difficult lessons sometimes accompany these “stretch assignments,” they offer a safe place to make mistakes, learn and grow.


The retirement of Baby Boomers will have a significant impact on organizational demographics and the leadership pipeline. But companies that proactively prepare for this change will be well equipped to navigate these obstacles with the help of Millennials that have been groomed to be effective leaders.

For more information:

  • Read the CeridianVoice article Why Developing Your Leadership Pipeline Needs to be a Priority
  • Download our Secrets of Effective Leadership infographic
  • Learn about TeamRelate


[1] Forbes, The Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2014
[2] Bersin by Deloitte, Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World