ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - Every business struggles with attracting and keeping employees, but how many businesses focus on growing their next generation of leaders?

At the next Lunchtime Learning, from the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, Clare Richards, C-E-O of Impacks, will help business leaders connect with the emerging leaders they may already employ.

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Richards stresses the use of storytelling to help a manager explain the future role they envision for an emerging leader.

It's interesting, because I've talked to employers, where their young talent is teetering on the edge of leaving, and there's a lot of apathy. I don't know if it's because employers want to pretend as if it's not going to happen. But you have to be strategic. If you are holding information close to the chest because you feel like that employee can't be trusted with that information, that's like a whole other challenge. But I think most young leaders who are driven, and hard workers, will understand if you approach the challenge with logic.

Over the past few years, it has become very common for young employees to “job-hop”, or change careers every two or three years. Richards says the result is businesses spending 10 to 15 percent more to replace the employee.

We know, based on the data, that it makes logical and strategic sense for a young person to career hop every two to three years, in terms of their pay structure (and) in terms of their access to opportunities. So that's what employers are competing with. How do you compete with that opportunity? A lot of it comes down to the commitment that the employer has to that young person. Money is not the only consideration, but it becomes the only consideration if other opportunities don't exist. I think there are a lot of ways that an employer can enhance this flexibility in the workspace. Above all else is being able to help that young person envision for themselves a pathway forward.

Lunchtime Learning is a program of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. The event, at noon on Wednesday at the chamber offices, includes lunch, the presentation, and time for questions and networking.

Pre-registration is required. To register, call 656-3826 or email



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