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How to Best Cultivate Future Leaders Within Your Organization

Jason Diamond Arnold

August 20, 2019

With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring each day, your organization will soon be, or may already be, hiring for leadership positions. Filling these positions can seem like a daunting task if you’re not properly prepared as an organization. Hiring from your internal candidate pool can be a cost-effective and advantageous strategy when done correctly.

Self Check-in: Does your organization have a leadership development strategy for employees at all levels? 83% of organizations say it’s important to develop leaders at all levels, but only 5% have fully implemented leadership training programs that reflect this belief.

Inquire About Your Employees’ Career Aspirations and Help Them Create Goals

Have intentional conversations with your employees about their career goals. This signals that you care about their career aspirations, want to help, and consider them an asset. It’s also a great way to gauge employees’ interest in future leadership opportunities.

Encourage employees, especially those who want to be leaders, to set SMART goals for their career. Volunteer to help create and collaborate on these goals and check in on their progress regularly. Your employees will appreciate the one-on-one coaching, and its effects will be realized when they become successful leaders.

Wondering how to prepare employees for future #leadership positions? @InspireSoftware’s latest article has everything you need to know to make for a smooth transition:Tweet This!

Self Check-in: If your first thought after reading this idea is, “That sounds great, but I don’t have time to mentor my employees,” take a step back. As an executive of your organization, cultivating future leaders is one of your responsibilities. Employees need more than tenure to become successful leaders; they need invested mentors who give both recognition and feedback for their accomplishments and coaching and direction when needed. Not having time to recognize or coach employees is like being so busy with expanding your garden that you don’t have time to water it.

Be Transparent About Career Paths

Another important part of preparing employees for future leadership roles is career paths development. Engaged team members who want to stay and grow in an organization will want to know what’s expected of them to be promoted and approximately how much time that will take. Anticipate this desire by discussing the path with your management team and sharing the information early in each employee’s time with your organization.

Providing this information benefits both the employee and the organization. The employee is motivated and has guidelines for setting their own goals. The organization can easily see who is most interested in leadership roles.

Remember—before these details are shared, leadership needs to determine the skills, experience, knowledge and personality traits required for the positions. You cannot share a leadership path and expectations if they haven’t been established.

Self Check-in: Does your organization have a clear leadership path? Have you shared this path with employees at all levels?

Invest In A Training Program For All Levels

51% of employees said they would quit their job if no training was offered. Employees want to improve in their current role and prepare for future opportunities. Most successful organizations have leadership development training for executives and managers, but far less have programs that include employees at all levels. By not including employees at all levels, your organization is missing an opportunity to cultivate existing employees into outstanding leaders.

Quick question: Does your #LeadershipDevelopment program include #employees at all levels? @InspireSoftware explains why this is a must:Tweet This!

Investing in a leadership development program is a significant decision that’s often accompanied by roadblocks. Your organization will need to allocate spend and time for this new initiative. This will require research, testing, and training, but the positive effects of a high-quality, well-implemented leadership development program cannot be overstated. Prioritizing and investing in a leadership development program shows your employees you see them as a long-term commitment and care about their growth. It creates engaged and loyal employees who can easily transition to leadership roles within your organization.

Leadership development for individual contributors also creates a common leadership language throughout the organization. When individuals speak the same language as their managers and the executive leaders, it not only creates a greater sense of collaboration and understanding, it also aligns efforts across the organization and better strategic execution of critical company goals.

Self Check-in: Is my company’s leadership development program investing in employees at all levels?

Does my organization’s leadership development program genuinely meet our needs, or is it just okay? Does my organization understand the different contexts of leadership? Does my organization develop leaders at an organizational, team, managerial, and individual level?

Creating a leadership development training program from scratch is time-consuming and extremely difficult. We’d love to help make it easier. Giving your employees the resources and tools they need to become successful leaders doesn’t have to be painful. With Inspire, you can create and track goals at a glance in a central location and teach managers and employees to be better leaders all in one place. We’d love to share more.