Lately, both mid-size and large-size companies are focusing on developing leaders among their ranks. Many companies offer a training program that’s designed to help encourage leadership among the company’s brightest recruits.
This is a worthwhile investment because it helps your employees to be more engaged in the company. They take ownership of their tasks and are more responsible for their actions. A company that prioritizes leadership in each of their employees is successful and profitable for years to come.
If you’re struggling to develop that leadership in your company, here are a few ideas you can try implementing.
- Require Continuing Education Courses
Much of encouraging leadership in employees is teaching them how to be leaders. There are many ways to teach such in your company, including setting a good example. But sometimes formal education trumps that of in-office examples.
Encourage employees to learn about leadership in business through required continuing education courses. If you don’t have time for your employees to take a course during business hours, compensate them a few extra hours per week to do the coursework at home.
- Assign Mentors
Mentorships are invaluable for encouraging the kinds of behaviors you want to see from your employees. Ask your existing management team to mentor a few employees at a lower tier. They’ll offer encouragement, answer questions, and inspire this group to work harder and be their best selves. It’s a great way to encourage retention as well as leadership skills.
- Focus on Company Culture
Even those with a natural talent for leadership won’t thrive in a poor company culture. It starts with company values and mission statements and continues with a management team that truly embodies those values. Things like top-down communication and integrity of actions are great values for leaders to follow.
Put accountability measures in place as well so that your current leaders are being held responsible for their actions. It will show all of your employees that you’re serious about improving the culture and promoting the cultural elements you have in place.
Make it fun to work there, too! There’s a lot to be said about a company that values and prioritizes their employees’ experiences as much as they value profits.
- Retain Top Talent
When you find employees that have all the makings of a leader, don’t let them get away. There’s a great deal that goes into employee retention, and it’s worth researching the matter further.
Some of the key components of retention include valuing employees, offering constructive criticism, listening to what they’re saying, offering flexibility, and making it a good experience for them to work at your company.
Offering more money doesn’t hurt, but the experience is more likely to keep them in place than increasing their pay and benefits.
- Inspire Your Employees
There have been a few mentions thus far about inspiring your employees to be part of a bigger picture, but just how do you do that? This is a dynamic question that requires frequent trial and error, but some of the things that typically work include:
- Showing trust in an employee’s ability
- Offering incentives, monetary or otherwise,
- Giving employees a clear purpose for their actions
- Reiterating and exemplifying company values
- Including key players in big decisions
- Investing in the employee experience
One key component of inspiring employees that’s often not given enough attention is just being nice! It’s important to stick to your guns and show that you’re in charge, but it doesn’t hurt to say hello, make small talk, remember details about your employees, and be kind in criticism.
- Create a Custom Leadership Development Program
If you have the funds, resources, and time, consider creating a leadership development program for your company. Many huge corporations recruit top talent straight out of college and grad school, offering them incentives for completing a leadership training program that will empower them to one day hold management roles within the company.
Even if you don’t have the means to create such a large program, you can implement something on a smaller scale. For example, you might invite one employee per quarter to complete an internship of sorts, shadowing a company leader and gaining invaluable insights to help them move up in the company ranks. This not only inspires the employee chosen but also those who want to be chosen in the future.
- Measure Your Success
It’s hard to tell if your employees are truly improving your leadership skills if you’re not measuring progress. There won’t be numbers associated with better leadership in your organization, but there are other tangible benefits you can monitor.
For example, consider the productivity of your team members, their engagement in tasks, and your customer feedback. Even your profitability can be a direct result of engaging leadership skills in your employees. With the right components in play, it won’t be long before you see progress pointing towards leadership success.