Are you in the business of growing leaders? Sure, it probably isn’t your main objective as a business owner. But, growing leaders isn’t a bad way to work toward achieving your company’s mission and vision.
Growing leaders in your business is a win-win-win for your employees, your company, and you. Your employees get the experience they want and need to avoid stagnation. Your business gets an influx of passion and creativity, which can drive growth. And you? You get a dedicated employee who may be in it for the long haul (goodbye, high turnover rates).
Growing business leaders 101: A how-to
Among other traits, leaders are knowledgeable, humble, organized, passionate, and attentive. Sound like any of your employees?
To help your team members reach their full potential, you can:
1. Provide training and education opportunities
Most leaders have a love for learning new things. Why? Because they know they don’t know everything. So if you want to grow leaders (and scope out future leaders in your business), consider offering training and education opportunities.
Ongoing training opportunities can ensure your employees stay on top of new trends, processes, and technologies. That way, employees can constantly hone their skills and knowledge. You may decide to set up online or in-person training experiences for employees.
Want to help employees further hone their skill sets? There’s a popular employee benefit known as educational assistance that 56% of businesses offer. Through an educational assistance program, employees receive reimbursements for expenses like tuition, books, and supplies.
Training and education opportunities can equip employees with the know-how they need for future leadership roles.
2. Encourage autonomy
Micromanaging is never a good look for leaders. Breathing over your employees’ shoulders squashes morale, kills creativity, tramples growth, and increases turnover. Instead of micromanaging, turn over the reins and give employees the autonomy (aka freedom) they need to do their jobs.
Employee autonomy can:
- Boost engagement and productivity
- Encourage employees to take on new roles
- Help you spot which workers are leaders
- Lead to creative ideas and new processes
3. Lead by example
Do you consider yourself a strong leader? If you’re all talk and no action, you may need to reevaluate your leadership skills.
A true leader leads by example. So if you want to grow leaders in your business, you need to exemplify all the characteristics of a leader (e.g., humility, attentive, etc.).
Encourage all individuals in leadership positions to lead by example. That way, other team members can easily see what being a leader means and work toward exemplifying those same characteristics.
4. Give regular feedback—the good and the bad
Feedback is twofold in business: It boosts morale and helps employees grow. But to reap the benefits of offering feedback, you need to be able to give employees the good and the bad on a regular basis.
In fact, 82% of employees appreciate both positive and negative feedback. So, you need to recognize employees for their accomplishments and provide constructive criticism to improve areas of weakness.
Recognition: Giving credit where credit is due is oh-so-important in business. Recognizing employees boosts engagement, productivity, and performance by 14%. Not to mention, recognition encourages employees to get into positive habits.
Constructive Criticism: Do you know what’s equally as important as recognition? Being willing to give employees constructive criticism. True leaders can take constructive criticism. Leaders want to learn from their mistakes and improve, not remain blissfully unaware.
Have an open dialogue with each employee. Consider having regular 1:1 conversations with each member of your team to raise up strengths and nip weaknesses in the bud.
5. Share information
The last thing you want to do is hoard knowledge from your team. Refusing to share information with employees can:
- Limit growth
- Lead to confusion
- Make more work for employees
- Drive the rumor mill
Make sure employees have enough information to not only do their jobs but also come up with new ideas and processes. Consider giving employees access to a central knowledge base they can go for product or service, department, and other relevant information.
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