According to Entrepreneur Magazine, companies that have high-quality leaders at the top are 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key metrics like financial performance, quality of products and services, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. So if you have eager employees who are itching for that next promotion, it would behoove your organization to do all it could to make sure it’s supporting their ambition. Here are a few ways you can help to build loyal leaders that will carry your company into the future.
Invest in additional training and development.
In order to be a leader, your employees must have the skills and educational qualifications that will enable them to take on a more weighty role. One way you can help them is by contributing financially — partially or entirely — to special certifications and certificates that give them the leg up they need. But additional education doesn’t have to be formal — you can easily pull together a repository of white papers, industry events and local professional groups that would help develop a bench of future leaders at your company.
Give them the right experience.
Leaders are made, not born. And if you want to make future leaders at your company, you have to give them the opportunity to stretch a bit. Essentially, managers should be working to give their subordinates bite-sized previews of the next level in their professional journey — with close supervision, of course. For example, managers could allow their employees to take on presentations, run projects or lead meetings that they normally would, so that when the time comes for them to move up, they’ll be ready.
Teach them how to network.
Knowing how to talk to key stakeholders — both internally and externally — is an essential skill for any leader to have. To help your employees foster their networking skills, start small within your own company. When there are small-stakes events like potlucks or company-sponsored parties, encourage your future leaders to not only go, but to step outside of their comfort zone and strike up conversations with colleagues they don’t yet know. Then, as they get more comfortable with networking, you can support them at community or industry events as they represent the company.
Let them struggle a little.
Your future leaders will never be ready to stand on their own if you always come to their rescue. So if one comes to you with a problem they think they can’t solve, encourage them to find a solution on their own. This doesn’t mean hang them out to dry — you should definitely uphold your end of the bargain as a manager and offer support. But let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring things out. Soon, they’ll be able to fully address issues without your help.
Lead by example.
Your team is always watching you. Make sure that you’re always setting a perfect example of what leadership looks like. Be professional, decisive, and treat your team well. And they’ll carry your legacy forward.
Have our team of experts help you screen future leaders at your organization today!