While many companies hire leaders from outside, the best members of your leadership team would have started in another position at your company. This sets a foundation of trust and knowledge that doesn't develop as easily as it might from someone coming in fresh off the job boards.
Additionally, this gives you the option to groom the employee's you believe have potential before they've even realized. But how exactly are leaders trained?
This guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Help Them Imagine Their Future
Just because you have an employee on your team that you think would make a good leader doesn't mean they share your vision. Maybe they haven't thought that far ahead yet or they don't have the confidence to see themselves "in charge."
Regardless of their thought process, you can help the employee plan the next step in their career at your company. By building a culture where people who go above and beyond their normal call of duty are identified and rewarded, your most gifted employees will start to understand their value.
If there's someone who especially stands out to you, invite them into your office to discuss their future within the organization. Ask them what their goals are and tell them about the position you'd like to begin grooming them for.
Even if their goal was originally something different, knowing you have higher expectations for them can help push them in the right direction.
Pile on the Work
Thinking someone would be good at a job and knowing they'd be good at it are two very different things. If you truly believe one of your employees is fit for a bigger position, you should test their limits by giving them more responsibilities.
This will cause them to think outside of the scope they are used to with their normal job functions. It will also allow you an opportunity to see how they react under pressure and how quickly they learn new skills.
Be sure not to overwhelm the employee or attempt to break their spirits. This method should be used to build them up and make them want to stay with the company.
This is also where you should begin to introduce different types of training. For instance, if there's a specific software your leadership team uses or if there is a model for negotiation training, ease the employee into them.
Establish an Open Door Policy
Setting an open door policy in place will ease tension around your workplace. Because let's be honest, sometimes boss and employee relationships can become a little awkward or even scary.
This open door policy is especially important when there is someone on your team that you'd like to see fill a larger role. While you're throwing new challenges their way and having conversations about their possible future at the company, they should always feel safe to follow up and ask you questions.
The policy will help you too. The closer you are with your employees, the more you will know about their qualifications.
Also, keep in mind that leaders aren't born overnight. Even if your future leader has already been with you for years and knows the ins and outs of the company, they will still have questions and might even mess something up from time to time.
You will need to develop a closer relationship to coach and share best practices with the employee. It should definitely be a hands-on experience.
Establishing an environment where you promote from within is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your employees and the growth of your company. People are looking for jobs where they're appreciated and have room to move up. In fact, many workers feel that a lack of career opportunities is the reason they have thought about leaving their jobs. So, the best thing employers can do is give growth opportunities to their employees to help them stretch and grow.
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.