Being involved in HR, you have numerous jobs to handle each month – even each day – such as finding the right employees for organizations, discovering ways to engage workers and create a healthy, positive company culture and ensuring retention rates stay high, so there’s no risk of continually losing knowledge in a workplace or of having to regularly train up new staff.
A big part of effective HR, which more staff need to focus on, is the idea of preparing top team members for future leadership positions. Developing your employees is a necessary element of succession planning and helps businesses to create more cohesive and innovative, problem-solving teams.
There are various factors which will help you to develop top workers into leaders of the future. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Invest in Education and Development
For starters, it pays to put time and money into your employees’ education and development. Top leaders are those who keep learning and growing and building up new skills and experience. Although you can leave learning up to your team if you’d like, you’ll find people develop more quickly (and are more loyal to your company) if you invest in them and show how much you value growth.
When it comes to giving staff members time off and/or financial support for education, you have a variety of options. You can, for instance, arrange for employees to attend key events such as conferences and trade shows, or you can bring in top speakers to deliver talks or workshops or set up staff exchanges with other organizations.
For the most impactful results, think about helping workers with post-graduate education. Depending on which industry your firm is in, you might arrange for them to study something like an MBA, an online Master’s in Education, a Master of Engineering or another program.
Create Mentoring Programs
Another good way to help people develop is to create mentoring programs within your organization, where junior team members are taken under the wing of senior staff for a few months, or even longer. Employees grow quite quickly and significantly when they get the chance to learn from others around them who are more experienced and knowledgeable.
Through mentoring programs, workers can learn how to complete higher-level tasks and to manage projects and teams. A big benefit is that people also get to see, firsthand, what kinds of personal traits they should cultivate to become a successful leader. For example, during their mentorship, they can hone skills such as communication, time management, organization, negotiation, problem solving, conflict resolution and more.
Let Employees Work in Different Parts of the Business
While they will grow skills in their “natural environment” by continuing to work in the same area year after year, leaders must be able to see the big picture, too. As such, it helps if people are rotated around the organization and can see how various departments, and even different offices in different physical locations, work.
Enable employees to rotate through different job titles and divisions, and they will soon understand the various functions involved in keeping the business going and the various markets at play. They will see what works well and where improvements could be made, and can help to spot opportunities for growth or potential threats or weaknesses which could be an issue in the future.
Challenge Workers in Their Roles
Keep finding ways to challenge your top staff members too, if you want them to truly develop. Leaders must be able to deal with difficult situations and people, and work out, by thinking on their feet, how to complete unfamiliar tasks and to make the best of challenging times. As such, the more quickly you start testing your employees, the sooner they will grow and get used to being in “the deep end.”
Enable people to discover where their true strengths lie and where they have gaps in their knowledge or abilities. Then, you will be able to help them push past their current limitations. Try to put people into situations where there is risk. You can still be available to assist if needed, but it’s best to sit back and let people work things out for themselves under pressure. This is the fastest way for them to learn important lessons and to see what they’re made of.