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Build Stronger Business with Leadership Development

As forward-thinking managers, you have your eye on the future and where the business is going. Are you also taking note of who will be working alongside you on that path into the future? People are the engine of the organization, so it’s worthwhile to take some time to consider leadership development among your management tasks.

Leadership Development: Turning Team Members into Team Leaders

Supporting employee success in is an important investment for any business. Losing productive employees can impact operations and customer satisfaction. Therefore, dedicating time to leadership development is a strategy for staying competitive.
The leadership development path progresses from supervisory and team lead, to managing, then advanced leadership, and finally executive development.
Click to enlarge image.
leadership development path 4 steps
Who is responsible for developing these future leaders? That seems like an easy question, but in reality it is a little more complex.
Part of the responsibility of management is to prepare developing professionals for the future. Although budget constraints often limit the ability to send junior staff members to a sufficient number of developmental training seminars, and courses, the events themselves are often more focused on content and knowledge transfer than on specific skill building. This is particularly true when it comes to helping staff develop their emotional intelligence, which is a critical tool for success in enrollment and all of higher education.
Executive teams and senior leaders should always be looking out for emerging leaders. In many cases, you can identify those people already on your teams. In other situations, they must be identified and brought in for further development.
The first key is knowing how to spot them. To select the best candidates for leadership, you must be engaged, have a clear competency plan in place, and be willing to invest time and sometimes external resources to develop hidden talent.
Related: How to Build a Great Company Culture like Google

5 Steps to Unlocking Potential in Your Employees

Companies should consider the following in their leadership development program.

1. Strong Executive Involvement

Preparing for the 2020 workforce is critical to business strategy, growth, and performance. Many companies lack the structure, strategy, culture or solutions and resources to manage employees effectively.
To succeed, management must commit to developing policy and programs that address:

  • Role and relevance of people strategy
  • Changing demographics and evolving definitions of work
  • Leadership ability and cultivation
  • Employee wants and needs
  • Talent development

2. Tailor Your Definition of Leadership Skills

Practically every major company has ideas about what it takes to be an outstanding leader. Many of these organizations have developed formal competency models(descriptions of knowledge, skills, personal characteristics and behaviors of effective leaders) as explicit statements of these ideas.
Example competencies:

  • Collaborate & Strive for Transparency
  • Embrace Change
  • Innovate
  • Do the Right Thing

Competency models are typically used for a number of purposes, including assessment of current senior managers, identification of high-potential executive talent, performance appraisal, and leadership development. Every company’s competencies may vary by industry, and size. There are many resources that can assist you in your planning. I found this white paper to be helpful.

3. Align with Business Strategies

Whatever key business purpose your company emphasizes, whether it’s customer intimacy, technology optimization, cost optimization, or disruptive innovation, your workplace practices must reflect that strategy. It must also actively drive behaviors to deliver on that purpose and strategy and your corresponding market positioning.

4. Target Multiple Levels of Leadership

It’s not realistic or feasible to coach everyone to achieve the same level of leadership. Before you start, create a leadership structure. It is not efficient to train new leaders in your company if you don’t have a clearly defined leadership team. Depending on your company, consider these five tiers of leadership: Lead Self, Lead Others, Lead Leaders, Lead Organizations, and Lead Strategy.
pyramid 5 steps of leadership

5 Identify and Train Leadership Candidates

At this point, you have your defined your leadership competencies, aligned them with your company business strategy, and you are ready to grow. Hopefully, during this process you and your leadership team will have identified internal candidates for your new leader roles.
But what now? Train Train Train…. Build a training program that will assist your new leadership team members to gain the proper skills and knowledge to become a leader in the near future. Without training you will be sure to fail building skilled leaders that understand your business, have the emotional IQ for management of teams. Don’t overload your new leaders with too much at once. Leadership training and development is always changing, and it’s important to your culture.

Leadership Training Tools

Consider building your leadership training using a few different training platforms. Here are a few considerations:

  • Classroom Courses: (taught by HR department or third party trainer) These could be Labor laws, building a team, or other HR related courses that are better understood and engaging when you have multiple team members together.
  • Self Guided Courses: Any self guided courses can be done individually by watching videos and, Quizzes, When you mix up the type of training modules you have less chance of them checking out and not really understand every that was portrayed in videos.
  • Team Shadowing: In order to build trust among teams, as well as enhance your internal customer experience knowledge for new hires.

Geotab is passionate about employee success and believes in continuous learning and growth.

Author: Dale Miller, Human Resource Manager – Geotab Inc.

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