From Employees to Leaders: Best Strategies for Growth
Your business is only as good as your team. You need to invest in leadership development to create a strong, united, and effective workforce. In a 2022 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in assisting them in growing. That means your business has a significant opportunity to improve by merely focusing on employee growth.
So, how can you nurture leaders within your workplace? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some tried-and-true strategies that can help. Here are a few methods to get you started:
Define What Leadership Means to Your Business
What makes a good leader? It is a question that has been a common debate for centuries, but it’s still relevant today. And it’s crucial to answer if you want to create leaders within your organization.
There are countless leadership styles and theories out there. So, before you start developing leaders, you need to decide what type of leader you want them to be. Do you want them to have a democratic or autocratic approach? Are you looking for someone who is transformational or task-oriented?
Think about your company’s culture and what would work best within that environment. Would your team benefit from having a more compassionate leader? Or would they prefer someone more assertive? Answer these questions, and you’ll be on your way to creating a more specific plan for leadership development.
Identify High-Potential Employees
You can’t create leaders without knowing who has the potential to fill those roles. Luckily, some pretty clear indicators can help you identify high-potential employees.
Look for proactive individuals who take the initiative in their work. These employees aren’t afraid to think outside the box and develop new ideas. They’re also usually the first to volunteer for new projects or assignments. You can also evaluate how well they handle change and adapt to new situations. Leaders know how to handle changing courses quickly and efficiently without getting bogged down by the details.
It would also help to consider their people skills. Leaders need to build relationships and work well with others. They should also be able to communicate their ideas effectively. If you can find employees who excel in these areas, they’ll likely make great leaders.
Provide Opportunities for Development
Once you’ve identified your high-potential employees, it’s time to start giving them opportunities to grow. One way to do this is by providing advanced strategic thinking skills training. This training can help employees learn to think more critically and solve problems more effectively.
You can also give them opportunities to lead projects or teams. Doing so will allow them to put their leadership skills into practice and hone them even further. As they gain experience, you can provide more responsibility and authority. It is an excellent way to help employees develop new skills and grow into their leadership potential. It also allows you to see how they perform under pressure and if they can handle more responsibility.
When you provide development opportunities, don’t forget to give employees the resources they need to be successful. That might include books, articles, or other forms of training material. It could also involve mentorship from more experienced leaders within your organization. Whatever you do, ensure you give them the tools they need to grow into their new role.
Give Feedback—and Encourage Them to Do the Same
Feedback is essential for development, and it should go both ways. Leaders must give feedback to their team members and encourage them to provide feedback.
You can give and receive feedback in many ways, but one of the most effective is to have regular check-ins. These can be weekly or monthly, depending on your preference. During these conversations, you can give them specific feedback about their performance. Afterward, you can ask employees how they feel about their work and development.
Giving and receiving feedback can be tricky, but it’s crucial to growth. Leaders who can take feedback without getting defensive are more likely to improve their skills. They’re also more likely to foster a culture of feedback within their team, which can lead to better performance overall.
Encourage Them to Set Goals
Setting goals is another important part of leader development. Leaders need to have a clear vision for what they want to achieve. They should also be able to break that vision down into smaller, achievable goals.
You can encourage employees to set goals by giving them specific assignments. For example, you might task them with leading a project or developing a new strategy. Once they’ve accomplished that goal, you can give them another one. They’ll gain more confidence in their abilities as they complete each objective. They’ll also be able to see their progress, which can motivate them to keep going. It’s an excellent way to help employees develop their leadership skills.
Developing leaders within your organization is essential for long-term success. It can help you build a strong team that can adapt to change and achieve goals. The above strategies can help you identify and develop leaders within your workplace. By implementing them, you’ll be well on creating a leadership pipeline that will benefit your business for years.