How to Help Employees Become Leaders
Although you might own your own company today and manage a team of people, it’s very likely that you weren’t always that way. There was most likely a time in your life when you were just starting out, before you had developed management and leadership skills.
How you were before you became a business owner and leader is a bit like how your current employees are today. Few people are born natural leaders. The majority of people who go on to become managers and team leaders do so after years of developing certain skills and competencies.
Since it’s more likely than not that you’ll hire your next manager or leader from your current team of employees, it’s a good idea to think of ways to cultivate leadership skills in your team today. Here are a few ways you can help your team members become leaders.
Often, one of the best ways for people to learn is by seeing what others do. Your employees can pick up leadership skills by seeing those same skills modeled by you or by another member of your company’s management team.
One way to help employees see leadership skills in action is to start a mentorship program. Pair up newer or less experienced team members with managers or people who have already demonstrated certain leadership skills. The mentors can show the mentees the ropes and can be there to answer any questions the mentees might have.
Give Them Opportunities to Network
Networking can be a difficult skill to develop, but it’s a skill that’s necessary to have. To help your team develop leadership skills, you can provide them with ample opportunities to network and make connections with others in your field or industry. You can help make networking go a bit more smoothly for your employees by introducing them to others at networking events. Another option is to hold networking events at your company and encourage your team to introduce themselves to at least one or two people they didn’t know before.
Offer Opportunities for Growth
An employee who’s expected to do the same tasks over and over again from day one on the job is an employee who’s going to become bored with their position and an employee who’s not going to grow. Giving your team chances to grow will not only help them develop management and leadership skills. It will also help them stay engaged and involved when they are at work.
Growth opportunities can range from offering more challenging tasks and assignments to employees after a certain amount of time or after they’ve demonstrated a certain proficiency on the job to providing additional training or education to your team. You can organize lunch-and-learn events, sign your employees up for a training seminar or encourage them to enroll in courses and classes offered by area schools.
Start a Book Club
Along with offering mentorship programs and growth opportunities, you can help your team develop certain skills by organizing an optional book club. During the book club, you can read and discuss classic and more modern leadership books.
Ideally, the book club will be informal and the only requirement should be that people who want to participate in it read the book before attending.
Offer Feedback and Evaluation
Checking in with your employees from time to time, such as during performance reviews or even during more informal one-on-one chats can give you a chance to discuss what an employee wants from the job, where they think their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they can do to improve.
Regular evaluation and feedback also gives you a sense of how fulfilled employees are on the job and whether they have a future leadership position in their sights. During a review or evaluation, you can work together with your employee to set goals for the future and to lay out a plan to help them move to the next phase in their career.
Helping your employees grow in their professional lives is one way you can help your business grow. The team at New Direction Capital is here to help you grow your business, from inspiring and training your employees to setting goals and laying out plans for the next steps. Contact us today to learn more.