While older business models stressed the importance of avoiding a situation where there were too many chiefs and not enough Indians, newer schools of thought encourage businesses to fill their ranks with leaders. Knowledgeable and ambitious employees stay much longer at companies who provide opportunities for growth and advancement than they do at those with nowhere to go, so the new strategy saves companies money on recruitment and makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it’s easier to know that you need to groom leaders than it is to know how to do so. Here are some tips for turning your employees into strong role models.
Not everyone is leadership material, so don’t waste time and resources trying to mold a leader out of someone who simply lacks the skill. Instead, look for employees and new hires who exhibit passion, clarity of vision, teamwork and excellent communication skills. Look for risk takers, as well. People with these qualities are the ones to groom for leadership roles. While there is no harm in encouraging leadership traits in every employee, focus the bulk of your energy on the ones most likely to lead.
You’ll never know what an employee is capable of until you challenge him or her. Assign employees tasks or projects that are a bit outside of their comfort zone and see how they react. Some may fail, but others will surprise you with their creativity, ingenuity and ability to rally a team to support the goal. Acknowledge the skills of those who succeed and mentor them to further develop their abilities. If an employee fails, talk about the experience with them and turn it into a learning experience rather than a black mark.
Make Success Possible
When challenging an employee with a special project or task, male sure you give them when they need to succeed. A certain level of autonomy may be crucial to making the decisions necessary to manage the project their way. It is also important to provide a budget for some projects, perhaps by acquiring some extra cash through Advance Funds Network. Don’t give an employee a project to complete without providing the funds, authority and other items necessary to make it happen.
Create Mentoring Programs
Good leaders know a lot about the company and can perform many of the specific jobs required to meet company goals. Often, this type of knowledge walks out the door along with retirees. Create a mentoring program that pairs new employees with older ones so that knowledge can be shared and skills passed on. Consider including job rotation days into the programs so employees get a chance to learn new aspects of the business and appreciate them. These programs keep knowledge alive and lets existing leaders groom tomorrow’s managers and pioneers.
Employees who are doing well will do even better when they receive praise and feel respected. Making employees feel valued and appreciated is one of the best ways to motivate them to do better and take on more of the responsibilities of a leader. It’s also important to provide constructive criticism about things that need improvement, since your employees will never reach a goal you don’t set for them. Be sure to provide your future leaders with information about both their strengths and weaknesses in order to get the best from them.
To create leaders, you need to teach and guide your employees to develop the skills they will need to have when fulfilling leadership roles. You’ll also have to provide room for advancement and upward mobility so that your budding leaders have a reason to stay with you rather than seeking more responsibility elsewhere. It’s also important that you never underestimate the importance of seeking and utilizing employee input to solve problems and improve processes. Practice these techniques and you’ll see your employees blossom into management material.