Pairing a high-potential employee with a person already in a senior role through a mentorship will ensure the protégé receives first-hand advice and guidance from someone who has walked the same path in the past.
As training progresses, make sure protégés are given plenty of feedback. They should have measurable goals, such as leading a key IT project or completing a course in public speaking by a particular deadline. You may want to consider offering small financial rewards, if appropriate, or other incentives to keep their motivation high.
Dave Willmer is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. The company has more than 100 locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its web site.