Leadership development isn't just important—it's essential. Whether you're talking about existing managers or employees whose talents you'd like to discover and develop, creating quality leaders benefits everyone. That said, it's not always easy to fill managerial-level roles. One-third of companies worldwide have problems finding senior leaders, and a low 12 percent of non-managerial employees have leadership aspirations, according to Workplace Trends's Global Workforce Leadership survey. How can you help your business to develop future leaders? Even though the full answer to this question is extremely intricate, starting with a few basics puts your company on the right track to build a solid leadership base.
Look for Leaders
How can you spot future leaders? It depends. Different companies have different needs, and each may value somewhat differing leadership skills. Before identifying leaders, identify what your company needs in a manager. After creating a who and why list, start looking for those qualities in employees and existing leaders. Keep in mind that you may not find every skill/need in each employee. That's okay. Look for those who best fit the criteria. Consider forming a committee to look for these potentials. This allows several different manager-level employees to look for (and agree upon) those future leaders. Your co-worker may spot a skill in an employee that you never noticed.
Start with Existing Skills
Your employees have existing skills that they already bring to the job. Instead of prolonging leadership development activities just to fill the already-awesome employee with a completely new skill set, start where their attributes begin. For example, if you have a potential leader who has top-notch communication skills, focus on ways to help them interact with other employees. Tap the employee for a special project that involves plenty of face-to-face meetings with clients or ask for their advice on a new inter-office communication system.
Leadership development isn't just a weekend workshop or a once-a-month training. It should be an ongoing process. After finding potential leaders and identifying their skills, continue to help them build their abilities. Provide mentors and schedule regular check-ins. If you see an opportunity for the employee to act in a leadership role, help the employee to step up. Encouragement and praise works wonders when it comes to building the confidence that the employee needs to take over and take on the new role.
Helping employees to take on new roles is a major part of leadership development. Identifying and assisting would-be leaders is a major way to build your business and help it to keep growing. You're not just promoting people—you're growing your company's future. To learn more about leadership development, contact a company like Executive Human Resource Solutions, LLC.