Building The Leaders of the Future

  • DeakinCo.
  • 21 January 2019

Do you want to get the best out of your workforce and ensure organisational success? If so, then you need to foster leadership in your organisation. By letting go of the reins and turning your employees into leaders, not only will this increase their engagement and productivity, it’ll also make your life a little easier.

Here, we’ll look at how you can nurture your employees to become great leaders.

6 ways to empower and guide your employees into leadership roles

1. Let them manage projects

Give your employees the opportunity to manage their own project, where they can set the vision and strategy for the team, as well as supervise and guide other team members, which includes making sure that they stay on task, meet objectives, and work collaboratively.

Depending on the project, you can have your employees help you build the identity of your brand and communicate the value to consumers, find new customers for your products and services, and engage and delight existing customers. You can also have them analyse data to find insights that inform business decisions and give them the authority to make decisions on their own.

This project management role will allow your employees to solve problems in areas like the running of the business, customer experience, and tech and data. What’s more, it’ll equip them with the skills they need to become leaders of the future.

2. Make them subject-matter experts

Develop your employees to have deep knowledge and skills in specific areas, so that you have a team who are experts in different things. You can do this by building an employee development program. Allow your employees to develop their knowledge and skills in areas they’re interested in to increase their engagement in the development process. Moreover, find events or courses that’ll allow them to get hands-on experience and put what they’ve learned into practice to improve their expertise.

If you have subject-matter experts, they can teach and mentor others, and as a result, your team can gain new knowledge and forge closer bonds by working together. Additionally, employees who are experts at a particular subject are more likely to implement innovative or experimental approaches to the benefit of your business.

3. Encourage them to network

Get your employees to start networking with other people in the company during lunch breaks or at company events after work. Then have them network with professionals outside of the company at community or industry events.

Through networking, they’ll learn how to forge connections, start conversations with strangers, properly conduct themselves to positively represent your organisation, ask for what they need or want, and be confident as is expected of a leader. Skills in networking can also allow your employees to refer your business to others, create business partnerships and share ideas and knowledge.

Most importantly, networking can raise your employees’ reputation within the industry, as well as provide them with valuable contacts and people skills, helping to turn them into great leaders.

4. Allow for feedback and contribution of ideas

Meet with your employees on a regular basis, whether it’s one-on-one or as a group, to discuss areas where they can improve. By giving positive and constructive feedback, your employees will learn how to perform better and they’ll also learn from you how a leader should communicate with the people working under them. On the other hand, by discussing an employee’s goals and performance you can identify opportunities for development and tailor development plans around them.

You should also let your employees voice their thoughts and concerns about the company. Ask them where additional leadership would be most valuable. By asking for feedback and encouraging your employees to contribute ideas and solutions to problems facing your organisation, you can help bring your team closer together and new leaders will develop.

5. Create a mentorship program

You can take on the role of a mentor and teach leadership skills to your employees. You can host a book club and have them read a book about leadership, then have a meeting to discuss it and how they could test out those leadership skills. Or you can simply hold regular meetings to talk about their goals, ideas they want to implement, and any issues they’re facing as they take on leadership roles. Your advice can offer insight and encouragement.

If you can’t be a mentor, you could assign more seasoned employees to act as mentors to other employees. Try implementing a mentorship program between team members or departments for cross-training. This leadership tool can improve organisational success and boost team performance and motivation by improving your employees’ proficiency levels in other roles. Most importantly, it prepares your employees for leadership and expanded roles within your company.

6. Set a good example

As a leader, you should model the key leadership skills that your employees need to adopt in order to become successful leaders. These are professionalism, transparency, confidence, commitment, and respect.  Successful leaders are also able to listen to others and understand their point of view, work collaboratively, show empathy towards their colleagues, and be adaptable across complicated or volatile situations. Your employees will look to you for guidance, so you need to continuously model what it is to be a great leader in the workplace.

How are soft skills important for leadership?

Soft skills, such as communication, listening and public speaking, are important for leadership. Leaders who focus on interpersonal interactions are able to reach their colleagues where they are and connect with them. What’s more, employees who develop soft skills or ‘people skills’ will be able to take control of their own success and progress into management positions.

Develop your employees into leaders with DeakinCo.

By developing your employees into leaders, they’ll be able to make informed decisions, guide and listen to their colleagues, be prepared for anything that comes their way in the future, and much more. These leadership skills will benefit you, your employees, and your organisation.

DeakinCo. offers learning and development solutions that enhance the performance of individuals and the organisations they work in. To find out more about how our micro-credentials and other services can enhance your organisation’s competitive advantage, contact us for a discussion today.