While finding management talent often involves going outside the walls of your office, there is nothing better than finding internal solutions and personnel to supplement your leadership team. Homegrown management talent is more loyal, have a baked-in understanding of your product or service, and understand the unique dynamics of your organization. With all that said, there is a lot more to a promotion than a handshake and a pay raise. This talent needs to be identified and groomed for success first. So, how do you go about doing this?
Read on to see five things you can do to help turn your best workers into confident leaders.
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1. Empower Employees By Creating A Sense Of Ownership
While any good employee will always feel ownership over their individual work, great leaders need to be able to feel and shoulder the weight of their entire team’s success or failure. It is important to teach your mentee that success will feel different as a manager, as it goes beyond simply doing your part. Another thing to consider is creating a sense that your company is doing work that benefits society in some way. In fact, according to a Dale Carnegie study, 54% of employees will be truly engaged with their work if they feel that this is the case.
2. Tailor Their Workplace Experiences & Tasks
Now, this is a given. If you want to train someone to be a leader you need to give them safe opportunities to try out the role. For managers and leaders this means looking at your responsibilities and evaluating which can be creatively delegated to your aspiring team members. It could be something as simple as allowing your leader-in-training to run team meetings. If all goes well, you can up the stakes, graduating to more difficult tasks. This process not only gives workers an opportunity to prove themselves, but can also make them feel more valued within the workplace.
3. Encourage Problem Solving and Creativity
Now, this may come across as harsh, but the process of leadership grooming should be a no training wheels zone. It is critical that you encourage independence and accountability. Why is this? Because good leaders need to be able to take the wheel without asking for directions. As a manager you will need to accept a certain degree of failure with this test, so choose situations that are low stakes, yet provide a good opportunity for the leader-in-training. Want another reason to emphasize the development of problem solving abilities? According to this study, 60% of CEOs say that creativity is the most important leadership quality one can have.
4. Foster The Mentor To Mentee Relationship
It is critical that your relationship with your mentee is a two-way street. Don’t talk at them, communicate with them. It is important to make sure your relationship is personal enough that you maintain a creative, yet professional energy that allows for both celebration of successes and honest dissections of shortcomings.
5. Encourage Your Understudies To Network
While many employees develop friendships at work, it is important that if one wants to become a great leader they’ll need to be able to comfortably communicate with everyone both within and outside the organization. While not everyone is socially capable of owning a room, teaching employees to confidently reach out and connect with other professionals is a key skill that can be taught with proper guidance and opportunity.