As the employer, it is not only your job but also your responsibility to help your employees develop important skills and inculcate values that will help your company grow further. A good employer always makes it his priority to groom his/her employees for leadership roles so that they can assume higher positions in the workplace in the future.
Improving the leadership skills in your workplace and preparing your employees to take on challenging roles can boost the levels of productivity in your organization and also helps you to make transitions to leadership positions at work seamless and hassle-free.
Importance of Leadership Skills in the Workplace
Leadership skills in the workplace are typically associated with 3 very important aspects of productivity at work: initiative, innovation and pro-activeness.
As an employer, your ability to cultivate leadership skills in your workplace not only reflects your interpersonal skills at work but also shows how capable you are of co-ordinating, shaping and motivating your employees.
- Initiative- A good sense of initiative implies forward-thinking and taking charge. As a result, you and your team will be more prepared to deliver solutions to any problems that may arise in your workplace.
- Innovation- Leadership skills can improve your employees’ and your ability to come up with new methods to execute things in your organization which can boost levels of productivity.
- Pro-Activeness- Leadership skills ensure that you and your employees are more pro-active in your duties in the workplace. It shows that your team can take on and control tricky situations at work rather than just responding to them.
Ways to Develop Leadership Skills in the Workplace
There are five strategies that will help you in developing leadership skills in the workplace that will not only help your employees but also you:
- Encouraging Networking- Networking is not only a learning process, but this form of socializing in the workplace can also help you and your employees grow individually and also help with business development.
- Mentorship Programs- Mentorship programs not only serve as a great training tool for employees, but they are also beneficial for helping new hires assimilate to the new environment.
- Providing Opportunities for Growth- To ensure employee retention and that your employees don’t remain stagnant in their positions in the workplace, providing them with opportunities to grow prepares them better for leadership positions in the organization.
- Providing Feedback- A successful feedback loop measures and reviews the performance of your employees to help you gauge which of your employees are suitable to rise to leadership positions.
- Leading by Example- Your employees tend to look to you for answers; you and those at leadership positions in your workplace should be a positive role model to your employees.
Networking is not only a necessity for the individual growth of the employee, but also for the growth of your organization. Encouraging your employees to network within and outside of the company can teach them how to start a conversation with strangers and build powerful connections with associates, which are important qualities in a leader.
Networking can present business opportunities such as referrals or partnerships and a platform for your employees to share their ideas and knowledge. Encouraging them to network both inside and outside of work can not only help prepare your employees to rise to leadership positions in the company but also help them build a reputation for themselves in your industry.
Encourage your employees to mingle outside of their departments during breaks and let them accompany you to industry events so that they can learn how to conduct themselves. These are the employees who will represent your organization and take upon leadership roles in the future.
A mentor-mentee relationship is inevitably developed when you help new employees grow and advance their skills. In fact, employees often tend to look up to their employer when it comes to learning and developing leadership skills in the workplace. By maintaining a cordial relationship with your employees and encouraging them to improve, you also cultivate leadership skills in employees who will be at positions of power in the organization.
Granted, it is not always possible as the employer to focus on all employees equally. To tackle this, you can implement mentorship programs in your workplace so that newer employees can learn from the more seasoned employees. Mentorship programs not only help new hires to assimilate but also serve as a great cross-training tool for your current employees.
While mentorship programs help newer employees learn more about their job responsibilities, cross-training can help your employees learn from other departments in the organization. Not only does this prepare your employees for expanded responsibility within the organization, but it also prepares them for leadership positions.
Providing Opportunities for Growth
Employees are an organization’s most important asset, as well as the employer’s. So investing in their growth also impacts your company’s growth. To ensure the constant development of your employees and retention rates, it is important to provide them with opportunities that will season them for leadership positions within the organization in the future.
A few ways to provide your employees with opportunities for growth are:
- By regularly asking your employees for their suggestions,
- Encouraging creative problem-solving,
- Encouraging your employees to attend more work and industry events,
- Hosting employee training workshops and programs both within and outside of the organization,
- Encouraging your employees to meet industry professionals.
Continuous communication is very crucial for productivity in the workplace. According to a 2018 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, out of the 29% of HR professionals, whose organizations use ongoing feedback, most say that it has a positive impact on the growth of the organization.
Effective and perfect communication is an important quality in a leader and is also crucial for providing feedback. Your ability to communicate the goals and intention for your organization to your team also shapes the potential leaders in your team who will take the company forward.
A few ways to provide feedback and maintain a feedback loop include:
- Identifying employees who are suited for leadership,
- Providing employees with individual feedback,
- Discussing areas that can be improved,
- Allowing employees to voice their opinions, ideas and suggestions.
Leading by Example
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams.
An employee often follows in the footsteps of their employer. As the employer, you should ensure that you serve as a role model to set the bar for your employees who are suitable for leadership roles in the organization. To develop leadership skills in your employees, it is important that you set an example by exhibiting and practising qualities a strong leader must possess.
A few qualities that you should exhibit as the role model are:
While technical skills can take you so far, it is the soft skills that make a great leader. As the leader, it falls to you to recognize potential leaders in your organization and season them for more responsible roles that they can take on in the future. When you focus on improving leadership skills in your workplace, you also shape the company into a more positive and productive environment where your employees are given direction and purpose to achieve the collective growth of your organization.
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