How to Turn Your Employees into Leaders

by Bethany Seton

August 01

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Sector.

You can have a lot of good employees, but they can’t turn into great leaders on their own. If there’s a talent it needs to be nurtured, which requires a deliberate effort from those at the top. Of course, your employees need to show willingness and ambition, but they can’t reach leadership without guidance and direction. Employee development is the responsibility of the employer as much as it is of the employees, so we’re about to show you how to groom yours for future leadership roles.

 

Urge Responsibility

When your employees need help with their tasks they’ll come to you and then two things can happen – you can immediately take control over the projects or you can provide them with resources which will help them accomplish the tasks. Sometimes taking the first approach is perfectly fine, but if you want to turn your employees to leaders you should push them to figure out the solution on their own and embrace the responsibility that goes with it. It’s normal for business owners to be control freaks, but you need to overcome this. Your employees need to draw from their experiences, so it’s crucial to give them opportunities to shine. Once they learn to do things their way with minimum supervision they’ll be able to take charge of certain situations. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help them at all – let them take on more responsibility step by step.

Invest in Training and Courses

For modern companies, it’s normal to attract the attention of students worldwide and in that way gain access to a much larger pool of employees. This increases the chances to get your hands on the leadership material, but you need to be prepared to invest in some additional training and courses.  In other words, only after your employees acquire satisfactory credentials will you have a clearer idea on how to use and integrate their abilities into your workforce, and it will also show you how to develop their skills through further education. Leadership skills are not tied to a certain working position, so don’t restrict this development to their current role. There are courses through which they can learn to work within a case management framework, such as a course for counseling which will enable them to communicate effectively with co-workers and clients. Furthermore, this type of course goes beyond the theoretical and allows for a practical application of the curriculum material through work placement. An invaluable component, which will ultimately lead to your employee being better equipped to deal with workplace diversity, which in turn increases their experience as potential leaders in a team.

Let Them Know How Far They’ve Come

In order to train your employees properly, you’ll have to figure out the kind of training needed, first. This will enable you to exactly pinpoint their weaknesses and strengths, but it’s also a great way to let them know how far they’ve come by providing them with regular feedback. Combining careful analysis with honest feedback will not only make them learn better, but it will also make them aware of that learning process. This way you’ll provide proof that leadership skills are something which can be learned and subsequently put to practice, creating an excellent motivational tool and example for others. If you want to make sure that the talents of your employees are leading them in the leadership direction, it’s crucial to cultivate this mentality. 

Encourage them to Speak up

One of the most important things when it comes to turning your employees to leaders is to give every one of them the opportunity to rise to the occasion. This doesn’t only stand for their tasks, they also need to have an opportunity to defend their values, beliefs, and ideas. The true results will come only if they’re able to reinforce their standing as important and valued members of the company hierarchy. Meetings are the best place where they can do this on a regular basis, so you need to encourage them to speak up. You can start with individual and informal one-on-one meetings where you’ll improve the overall communication in the workplace. That way you’ll be able to discuss individual performance and goals, helping them to identify the opportunities for development and in the end tailor development plans around the individual. These meetings are also a great starting point for employees to voice their thoughts and concerns in a comfortable way.

Foster Transparency

All the things mentioned above will come to nothing if there’s no transparency. Many companies keep employee standing as a secret because that way they don’t have to worry about disappointing the employee. But it’s hard to hit the target if you’re kept in the dark. If there are some areas an employee is struggling in, this needs to be brought to their attention if you wish to encourage their growth. Without honestly addressing each issue, you’ll only reduce the chances of potential leaders.

 

The first step is to allow them to take responsibility. Then provide them with training and courses, measure their progress, and keep them posted. Encourage them to take the initiative and speak up, and remember that this isn’t possible if they’re kept in the dark. Some people may be born with a predisposition to become leaders, but they need to be made into one. 

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