Mike Burnett, learning and development manager at Empire Southwest, outlines steps for preparing employees for leadership roles. When Mike Burnett, learning and development manager at Empire Southwest, was first hired at the company 9 years ago, he encountered the attitude that many dealerships have toward leadership development. “When I first got hired on, the philosophy was if they’re a great technician or mechanic, they must be a great leader,” Burnett says. “Too often we just threw them the keys to the shop. We set them up to fail.” Empire Southwest, an AGCO and Caterpillar dealership in Arizona and southeastern California with 27 locations (8 of them ag stores), has since undergone a culture shift in how it approaches its next generation of leaders. Burnett, with his 20 years of experience in training and developing managers, implemented a leadership program that’s helped the company identify, train and retain its best employees.
Understanding the Millennial Mindset
Priming the youngest generations to take on leadership roles within a dealership starts with understanding what keeps those employees motivated and engaged with their employer. There are currently 5 generations in the workplace: Traditionalists, born before 1946; baby boomers, born from 1946 to roughly 1964; Gen X, born from 1965 to about 1980; millennials, born between 1981 to roughly 1996; and Gen Z, born after 1996. READ FULL ARTICLE>>