Every Batman Needs a Good Robin
It’s lonely being the business owner. Everyone looks to you for all the answers. You need to be some kind of superhero to keep everyone happy.
But even superheros had help. Maybe the help you need is a young Robin?
If you create a sense of aura around the workplace, you’ll attract young & enthusiastic people who want to work for you.
Out of this pool of talent will emerge your Robin.
Give them opportunities to prove and develop themselves. Out of this pool of talent will emerge your Robin.
You may choose to attract in just one young person, which is fine if there is a vibrant feel to the office. But if the young person feels like the lone flower in an arid desert full of long servers – a situation I’ve seen with apprentices in engineering companies – then the spark will be extinguished over time.
Help to shape
What young people have in drive & spirit they lack in experience, structure and approach. Letting them loose in an unstructured environment is a recipe for disaster. Instead create a framework to work within giving them space to make mistakes which won’t harm the business.
consider additional support from a part time director
You could always consider additional support from a part time director to share the load in mentoring and developing structure.
Provide the environment where mistakes are part of business, but they should learn from them and not repeatedly make the mistake. The tasks they carry out will have meaning if they are part of a wider set of personal, team and company objectives.
Set these then leave them to get on with them but review progress every week or month. See how well they handle completing several objectives all with an equal urgency for completion.
Share the rewards
You don’t need to pay them over the odds to stay, your investment in their development should secure a deep sense of loyalty. However they will start to recognise the added value their contribution brings to the business. Sharing a part of that success fairly rewards them and invests in the value they are bringing.
Step back and hand over
Ultimately Robin becomes the natural next Batman
Investing in a Robin is part of a longer term plan to allow you step back from the business allowing your Robin to take on more responsibility, thinking along the same lines as you and being your eyes and ears. Ultimately Robin becomes the natural next Batman and your exit plan on retirement.