Determining the Strength of Your Leadership Development Efforts

It’s no secret that good leadership is integral to the success of any organization. While some employees are born to lead, others need more guidance. As a manager, it’s your job to re-examine your staff management skills periodically to ensure they include leadership development.

Here are four questions to ask yourself to determine the strength of your leadership development efforts.

1. Do your employees feel empowered?

It’s great, not to mention flattering, when employees come to you for advice on a tough problem. But if you solve every problem for them, they won’t hone their own analytical skills. This doesn’t mean you should never help employees, but try to focus on demonstrating your faith in your staffers’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to find their own solutions and come to you with recommendations. Soon you’ll see employees who are confident in their abilities to take the initiative and resolve complex problems.

2. Have you rounded out their career paths?

The best leaders have an understanding of how every facet of the organization works — not necessarily all the details, but a working overview of operations. Shake things up a bit for promising employees by tasking them with projects that don’t come across their desks on a daily basis. This requires them to work outside their comfort zones and think along unfamiliar lines.

The result is well-rounded employees who recognize the bigger picture of your organization. In addition, working on projects outside of their wheelhouse affords them the opportunity to collaborate with peers across different departments, which aids in their abilities to lead — and relate to — a broader range of team members.

3. Do they have a voice?

When you encourage employees to speak up, you encourage them to lead. Regular open-forum meetings can go a long way in making employees feel like they have a voice.

When individuals feel like part of a team — rather than cogs in an engine — they’re apt to be more invested in organizational success. This further inspires leadership development by giving staff a sense of project ownership, making them more prone to rally colleagues and help them see the value of their efforts in achieving a desired outcome.

4. Are you doing everything you can to keep them?

The last thing you want is to put your time and energy into grooming a successor only to have him or her leave for a more attractive prospect elsewhere. Offer promising employees ample opportunities to excel and advance, as well as the compensation to match their developing skills. Consider regular face-to-face meetings with future leaders to ensure they’re pleased with their career paths.

Investing in leadership development today is beneficial for your employees and organization. It will help retain promising talent and bolster your succession planning.

What leadership development methods have you tried? Share your staff management successes in the comments section.

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