Your company benefits when you promote employees into leadership positions. After all, they already understand your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and inner workings and have an interest in helping the business succeed. Before you can implement this growth strategy, however, you need to identify and train your employees for leadership positions.
Why You Should Prepare Employees to Lead
Invest in your employees and encourage them to lead the company because it benefits your business, employees, and customers in several ways.
First, prepping employees to lead prevents a leadership vacuum. When key employees receive a promotion, find a different job or retire, your company will experience serious disruptions. Prep employees to take over available leadership positions so your company can maintain momentum with little interruption.
Also, prepping and promoting employees improves staff morale. Your team appreciates when you invest in their careers and help departments function properly at all times.
Remember that you owe it to your customers and clients to prepare employees to lead, too. They rely on your company to deliver the event invitations, presentation graphics or welded sculptures you provide in a timely manner, and production is less likely to suffer if you have leaders in place at all times.
Additionally, invest in leadership preparation because it allows employees to succeed in their careers. With leadership skills, they’re able to partner with their supervisors and team, guide peers and fulfill their professional potential.
How to Identify Employees with Leadership Potential
While your company probably employs several men and women who arrive on time, follow directions and do their job right the first time, your future leaders also possess additional qualities. They think creatively, perform above and beyond their job description, and can truly thrive in positions of authority. To identify potential leaders, look for these traits.
Prioritize quality – Leaders prioritize quality over quantity and put in the necessary time and effort to ensure client and customer satisfaction.
Remain engaged – Leaders know what’s happening in the company and do their part to ensure all systems operate properly. If they see a problem or can take steps to improve operations, they do so with confidence.
Decide fearlessly – Leaders take action and make decisions without fear. They also learn from mistakes and move forward instead of allowing poor decisions to hold them back.
Embrace self-direction – Leaders demonstrate initiative. They don’t wait for someone else to take charge of the video editing, furniture repair or data analysis projects or tell them what to do.
Desire input – Leaders accept feedback and put input into action as they seek to improve their performance and the company’s financial success.
Take responsibility – Leaders admit when they make mistakes and remain accountable for their actions.
Remain calm – Leaders analyze and solve problems without getting frazzled, impatient or frustrated, even when faced with a looming deadline or challenging situation.
Develop skills – Leaders pursue opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new skills. They want to grow for the benefit of the company rather than solely for their own advancement.
Build networks – Leaders build a strong network of contacts with co-workers and others, and they reach out to ask for and give help.
How to Train Employees to Lead
After you identify potential leaders among your employees, train them to fill in for existing managers and eventually take over key positions.
Provide experiences – Equip employees with experiences that hone their leadership skills. In small increments that grow over time, they can learn to lead meetings, oversee projects and handle disputes as they prepare for management positions.
Encourage decision making – Empower employees to make decisions at various levels of the company as you help them practice this skill.
Allow struggles – Give employees space to figure out challenges and solutions. Taking on this responsibility builds their confidence and encourages them to take charge.
Offer mentorship – Invite employees to ask questions, observe your leadership style and learn as much as possible about the company and leadership.
Teach networking – Show employees how to connect with strangers and initiate conversations. You can start with company events and progress to larger gatherings until the leader employees can confidently represent their department and your company.
Your company’s success depends in part on a strong leadership team. Begin now to identify and train employees to lead with confidence and skill.