4 Effective Ways to Spur Leadership Growth at the Office

Developing an employee into a leader can make your company stronger. Effective processes in place to spur leadership growth creates a talent pipeline in your workforce. And, let’s be honest, one of upper management’s main goals should be building that pipeline. Then once it is built, to put plans in place to keep it full. While cultivating employee skill sets and abilities can be tricky during busy times, thought leading companies never stop the process or even slow it down for very long.

Here are four strategies you can use to enhance leadership growth:

  1. Look for leadership potential right off the bat during the interview process

Have a well-written job description to reflect the position requirements. Potential employees need to know what you’re looking for, and so should you, right off the bat. Reflect your organization’s overall business approach in your descriptions. Lastly, spend some serious thought-time to determine the competencies and skills needed to get the job done.

Structure the interview process to identify whether the candidate not only has the essential skills to get the job done, but assess their leadership potential. Don’t just leave it at the old, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question. Dig deeper. Assessments and pre-employment testing can help determine a candidate’s skill, they also can let you peek inside their desire to grow in the job. Behavior-focused interviewing can determine how candidates learn and how you can help them advance in the company.

Ideally, recruiters will consider future potential during the recruitment process. There are some legal compliance issues associated with pre-employment screenings and assessments, so make sure they’re legal before you implement them.

  1. Challenge workers to push themselves  

The Wall Street Journal suggested leaders rotate responsibilities among staff members to give them new experiences and opportunities to showcase their abilities. When employees need to stretch themselves to learn a new skill or become knowledgeable about numerous aspects of the company, managers may be able to see their leadership potential a bit better.

  1. Always discuss the “Why” of a project to train employees to broaden their insights into the business  

TLNT, a human resource site, recommended supervisors discuss why a project is being done a certain way. Leaders need to know the reason behind company functions or processes. Honestly, if you cannot figure it out yourself, perhaps your organization shouldn’t be starting the project yet. Educating high-potential employees about what goes on behind the scenes can help them to problem-solve. Furthermore, they’ll better understand how they contribute to the organization.

  1. Create an effective mentorship program, but don’t set it on “Auto-Pilot” 

Currently, there is debate about the efficacy of mentoring programs. Personally, having gone through a good one myself early in my career, I believe that a well-run mentoring program with open communication is a boon to any company. Issues against a mentoring program have less to do with the idea of mentoring than it does the reality of bad mentoring. If either party is not fully invested in the relationship, it is likely doomed to failure.

Connecting workers with a mentor creates a support system for the employees in the office. Workers learn from the other person’s experience and understand how they can continue to improve. The mentor often becomes the employee’s champion. Later, if a promotion comes up, mentors can speak to the worker’s strengths and weaknesses, and leadership potential.

Follow these steps and your company will be on its way to building a talent pipeline to upper management. This should keep your organization fit and healthy for years, if not decades. Leadership growth is essential and takes effort to cultivate it.

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