When you think about your company’s or department’s core initiatives, does leadership development come top of mind? If you are like most organizations, the answer is probably no—a mistake that can cost you.
According to our research, 54% of professionals feel their leadership skills are not being developed—a stat that can have a number of long-term effects on the health of your organization. Not only will many employees leave to develop these skills elsewhere, but the ones who do stay will feel ill-prepared to step into leadership roles once their time comes. This lack of leadership development will leave you without the talent you need to adequately replace a leader who resigns or retires.
In a job market where high-level talent can be difficult to source, the stakes are even higher. While there are situations where it makes sense to hire leaders externally, it’s just as important to ensure you are cultivating a leadership pipeline within your own organization. To help you support developing leaders, here are three leadership development initiatives you should consider implementing today:
Be a mentor
As a manager, it’s up to you to empower your high potential team members to become leaders. Developing a mentor-mentee relationship with these employees is a great way to get to know what motivates them, what their career goals are, and where their interests lie. You should use this information as a starting point for each individual employee’s leadership development plan. As these employees advance in their careers, you should also make yourself available for regular check-ins where you can give feedback and your employees can come to you with questions and for advice.
An essential part of leadership development is giving your staff autonomy in the workplace. This is especially true for team members who naturally seem to step up and take on more responsibilities. For them to take their leadership skills to the next level, they should feel entrusted by you to make certain decisions and take on additional projects. Having a sense of ownership over their own work will not only help them see their impact on the company, but also develop the confidence they need to eventually make key business decisions on their own.
Help team members develop the right leadership skills
You know there is more to effective leadership than being good at your job. Being a strong communicator, strategic thinker, mediator, and delegator, are just a few qualities that separate the good leaders from the bad. To set your employees up for successful leadership career, you need to give them access to projects that will enable them to develop these skills. Not only will this give them broader exposure to the business, but it will help them gain the experience (and confidence) they need to step into a leadership role.
For more strategies on furthering engaging with and developing your star employees, read our latest eBook: The Employee Experience: Strategies For Each Stage Of The Employee Lifecycle