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As an employer, leadership development is crucial for your organisation and is a key aspect of management that all employers must engage in. Without effective leadership development practices in place, productivity and staff morale can decrease, as key skills are lost and invaluable experience is not shared or passed on.
Below are our tips on how to develop leadership qualities once you have identified the future leaders of your business.
When identifying the future leaders of your business, you need to be sure that they share the same core values, and are passionate about what the business is trying to achieve.
It is also essential to keep track of employee performance. Employee performance defines ability and expertise. While this must be kept in mind when choosing your future leaders, you also have to look beyond.
For instance, pay attention to aptitude, desire to grow and overall potential. Some individuals will not be suited to being a leader, even if their performance is at the higher end of the scale.
Therefore you should have regular discussions and reviews with employees in order to determine their motivations and aspirations as well as what motivates them.
Employers have a responsibility to support all employees, and it is essential that employers identify and help future leaders. Organisations should therefore put processes in place to ensure all employees have the support needed to succeed. One way of ensuring this is through regular one-to-one meetings with staff to assess their needs on a regular basis.
Future leaders should always be involved in real business situations that will provide them with invaluable experience in solving and overcoming issues. Giving future leaders challenging projects will reveal their capabilities, as well as develop their critical thinking and creativity skills when faced with unfamiliar and difficult tasks. Doing this will also improve their confidence and will play a crucial role in enhancing their commitment long-term.
Without regular constructive feedback leadership development programmes can fail before they begin. It is essential that organisations let future leaders know how they are performing. They will be eager to find out if they are doing a good job and if there are any areas for improvement or further development.
Feedback will also allow you to identify early on if there are any issues or if you need to make any changes to the pace or structure of their development.
Employers must ensure that future leaders are able to fully appreciate all aspects of the business and gain a breadth of knowledge of how the business runs. This should include its processes and the future directions for both the industry and organisation.
This is essential learning for any future business leader who may one day, make the decisions that shape the organisation.
All aspiring leaders need to feel that there is someone they can turn to for advice, guidance and support on a professional level, and mentorships are an excellent way to offer this. Mentors can be senior employees within your organisation, retired executives or relevant professionals in other companies.
Employers should seek out relevant mentors and have them on hand to assist, developing a structured mentoring programme in order to determine the specifics of the relationship and what each employee needs. Often overlooked is the creation of programmes that focus on coaching and mentoring others, which will prove a useful skill as a leader.
Finally employers must ensure future leaders’ achievements are recognised throughout the leadership development programme. This may be in the form of performance goals, the challenge of further responsibility, a new job title or financial incentives and compensation.
Ensure you know what motivates them and tailor your reward system to suit. However you reward them, future leaders will appreciate the gestures and feel more motivated and committed to sharing the vision of your organisation long-term.