Within the staffing and recruitment industry, we know that organizations are only as strong as their leaders. That’s why we emphasize the importance of a leadership development strategy. While having management buy-in is key, developing leaders doesn’t have to be rocket science. Read on for three ways to develop more leaders on your team.
Provide Leadership Opportunities at Every Level
Leaders aren’t made overnight; it often takes years of experience to cultivate the qualities needed to lead a team, department, or organization. Get a head start by creating leadership opportunities at every level in your organization. Leadership is a soft skill that’s sure to improve performance in just about any position and should not be reserved just for those in upper management.
Does your organization value teamwork and collaboration? Encourage managers to task different employees to lead projects and start sharpening those leadership skills. Are peer reviews apart of your annual performance evaluations? Let a lower-level employee try their hand at running reviews for their department. Get creative with how you let employees at every level put real leadership skills to the test, and offer support and feedback along the way.
Develop the Right People
In addition to developing leadership skills, providing leadership opportunities is also a great way to find the up-and-coming leaders in your organization. Keeping an eye on the internal rising stars will help your HR and management teams develop the right people. It’s important to note that high performers and employees with high leadership potential aren’t always one and the same. High performers excel in their current roles and are important to retain and develop, but that doesn’t necessarily qualify them for leadership. Instead, high-potential employees are marked by their ability to motivate others to reach their full potential.
Once those high-potential employees are discovered, it’s time to ramp up the leadership development. According to a Wharton study, internal employees tend to perform better in management positions than external hires — and often at a slightly lower pay. Finding and developing the high-potential team members could greatly benefit your organization down the road.
Communicate the Organizational Culture Early
It’s one thing to motivate others in their job performance; it’s another to connect that motivation to organizational values. Leaders in your organization should bleed the corporate culture and be able to take the organizational objectives from top-level management, communicate them to direct reports, and inspire other employees to implement them in their day-to-day jobs.
But just like leadership skills, being able to clearly articulate and implement organizational culture doesn’t happen quickly. If your organization hasn’t already, it’s time to assess if your policies, procedures, communications, systems, and benefits reflect your culture, and then communicate them to employees during onboarding and throughout their tenure.
Sure, culture is often caught, but the rising leaders in your organization should also be taught. Regular training on organizational culture will empower all of your employees — not just the leaders — in reaching objectives.