Preparing Your Current Employees to Become Future Leaders
In this article, we talk about how leaders can prepare their employees for future leadership roles, imparting leadership ideals and being a good business leader.
Being a leader is not an easy task, whether it be of an organisation, a small business or even a country. Leaders operate in a constant state of triage to make sure that things are running smoothly within and outside the organisation. Leadership positions, however, are the driving force behind career progression and most employees are not ready when they step into a leadership role. As a current leader, your duty extends beyond achieving organisation goals, to also preparing your employees for their futures as leaders.
From Costco to Google, to Amazon, all these companies have great leaders. As a leader, you have the power to build confidence in your employees so that they see mistakes as opportunities for learning and failures as guidance to do better. You cultivate the culture to empower your employees. Also as a leader, you must know when to stop leading and hand over the reins to someone else. For that, your employees must be prepared for such transitions.
Team Luxeveda has pulled together a few strategies to get you started on preparing your employees for a leadership role:
To thrive in any industry, a leader must have the ability to make meaningful connections, be it to strangers, customers or suppliers. As a leader then, you should encourage your employees to forge connections with strangers, initiate conversations and communicate about services in a mutually beneficial manner. That way they can build lasting connections and associates. Effective networking is a crucial skill at all levels; it also serves as business opportunities to share knowledge, ideas or trigger referrals and partnerships. As your employees get more comfortable over time they become valuable spokespersons for the company.
Be a Mentor
Every individual aspiring to be a leader needs to learn how to lead, either by example or practice. For an employee, the employer is the obvious example of a leader. Mentoring and guiding your employee when required can be hugely beneficial in relationship-building and is also a cost-effective, long-term strategy. Giving insights on work encourages employees to overcome challenges they may face in becoming a leader ahead. What they learn, they implement. For example, Intel has a cross-functional mentorship program that aims at increasing knowledge transfer and disseminates skills that are in demand across the company. Such mentorship programs are an affordable way to boost both team and employee performance. It also prepares employees for expanded opportunities within the organisation.
Responsibility and Independent Thinking
A leader must refrain from monitoring the employees work with a fine-tooth comb. This is important for the employee not just to develop confidence but avoid the tendency to fall back on a colleague or manager constantly. If an employee is creative, innovative and can make smart decisions, but still have to run each idea by you, it will not empower them. It hinders confidence and also kills morale. Providing responsibility and the opportunity to think independently is crucial skill development for a leader. By doing so, employees get adept at finding new answers and avoid habitually asking for help. It also means that you acknowledge their ideas, making your employees feel like an integral part of the company.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
If your employees are stagnant in position, chances are they will look for opportunities to move away from your company. Provide them with opportunities that encourage them to pursue better roles within the company. These opportunities could also include the option of learning a new skill, taking up a course and bringing in industry experts for workshops or professional development events. Supporting such endeavours gives them the sense of growth and providing such chances will undoubtedly help them develop as leaders.
Transforming employees into leaders is not an instantaneous shift. It is a long process wherein you, as a leader, play a key role. Investing in strong leaders will not only benefit your business, but will make the employers’ lives a little easier. You can ensure that your current employees become the most productive and successful leaders which will assure a seamless transition into leadership roles which will work to expand your business.
August 12 2020