Have you ever considered how important it is to grow employees into strong, loyal leaders?
Recruiting more management or leadership roles from outside of your organization can become an expensive, time-consuming and risky process. This is why the ability to develop talent within your business can create a long-term competitive advantage for the company.
Unfortunately, employee promotions are too often led by job and task skills rather than an individual’s readiness to lead. Your company’s top graphic designer, for example, could potentially make a terrible creative manager. Here are 6 ways to identify and develop leaders within your business:
- Learn to identify potential
Identify future leaders within your organization who could potentially fill management or leadership roles that become available in the business. Difficult and unfamiliar situations are a great way of testing whether or not an individual is leadership material, so it’s important to push employees and get them outside of their comfort zones. Look beyond the individual’s job-related skills and capabilities, and instead focus on their behavior and attitudes towards certain tasks, teams and situations. Try to gain insight into their interests, career and personal goals and values.
- Make leaders accountable for developing other leaders
It can be useful to align with your management team, to ensure that your current managers know what it is you’re looking for in future organizational leaders so that they can be on the lookout for ideal candidates within their teams.
- Strategize and share
Develop and communicate a holistic strategic direction for the business that expresses the overarching vision for the future of the organization. It’s important to discuss this strategy with employees and cover what roles they may play in assisting the company achieve this vision.
A holistic, well-communicated strategy gives employees a shared sense of mission and direction, and encourages potential leaders to see a bright future for themselves within the organization. Employees often show increased levels of engagement when they feel that they can directly benefit from the business and its growth – thus articulating the potential opportunities available to employees, drives them to actively work towards goals.
- Provide opportunities and support for leadership development
Make sure to include leadership development as an action item in your business strategy. A good leadership plan covers all levels of leadership identification, development and promotion, and outlines when an employee should be ready to move to a higher position. Employee training can help, but isn’t an adequate substitute for real experience and practical learning. Assigning challenging tasks or implementing job rotation can help to develop new skills, deepen the employees’ understanding of the organization and improve their confidence when performing tasks.
- Monitor and reward
People need to be held accountable for their professional performance, both positive and negative. Rewards and incentive systems that fairly evaluate performance and rewards excellence can be an effective means of measuring and appraising employee achievement.
Coaching is a form of employee development that includes one-on-one discussions between the employee and their manager, providing guidance and advice for identified challenges. Coaching discussions can be used to help your emerging leaders address their fears and weaknesses, as well as a means of discussing their strengths and individual hopes for the future.
In addition to having great management skills, true leaders are determined, courageous and able to inspire others, making any good leader a valuable asset to invest into for the future of your organization. This makes identifying and nurturing potential leaders a vital part in any company’s growth and transformation strategy.
For more advice on employee growth, identifying high performers and recruitment trends, visit our blog page or contact one of our recruitment experts today!