The age-old saying of some people being born leaders can be true to some, but for many, leading a group of people can be extremely intimidating. Being a leader is not always something that comes naturally to people. Believe it or not, many managers and supervisors struggle with their leadership skills more so than it is thought.
While it’s obviously important for those who manage teams to have an ever-improving set of leadership skills, it’s also important for employees to develop this as well. Great employers strive to constantly be grooming their employees for leadership roles. Not only does this increase retention, but it can drastically improve engagement and be extremely beneficial to the company.
Mentor-mentee relationships developed through a workplace-sanctioned mentorship program can be extremely beneficial to both parties involved. Knowledge-sharing will increase tenfold as the mentor keeps skills sharp guiding someone who is newer to the competencies. On the other hand, mentees will be gaining knowledge from respected members of the organization to support their personal and professional development.
This can be the perfect opportunity to develop leadership skills on both ends. The mentor will gain obvious skills by building agendas and guidelines as they advise the mentee through their career goals. Through this program, mentees will improve proficiencies in many skills, which will have a direct impact on team performance and organizational success.
Leadership can be the main goal the mentee works on as well. Not only will the mentee have to step out of their comfort zone consistently to achieve their goals, but they will also find themselves tapping into skills never used before and outperforming their previous selves.
Lead by Example
You may have heard your parents say, “do as I say, not as I do,” growing up. In the workplace, this can create a hostile environment if supervisors are getting away with things their subordinates are often getting in trouble for.
Those who manage teams should model the leadership skills they expect their employees to grow in order to advance into more senior leadership positions. Employees often look to their leaders for answers or examples, so the company leaders should continuously be role models to others.
These company role models don’t have to be C-Suite executives or department managers. These leaders can be anyone in the company with natural leadership abilities that peers look up to. Identifying these individuals and positioning to be mentors can rapidly increase the development of leadership skills in employees that need to work on them.
Connecting with strangers is uncomfortable for some, so learning how to network with potentially career developing individuals can be a very scary thought. However, networking is essential to not only business development but individual growth in general.
Start with something small, like encouraging employees to network with each other monthly with a volunteer-based coffee chat or rotating lunch and learn workshops. Eventually, employees can be encouraged to network outside of the company in the industry or elsewhere.
In doing this, employees will learn how to start conversations and foster a connection with sometimes complete strangers and act with complete confidence. Depending on the connection, this can benefit the business with potential partnerships on top of knowledge sharing of skills and tricks.
As employees grow their skills and end up in higher leadership positions, they will already have built connections with other industry gurus and within the company itself to run a productive, hard-working, happy and engaged team. They will even be set to help their own employees develop their leadership skills as well.
Sometimes, leaders have to be made because they’re often not born with natural abilities to confidently lead a team to success.
Most often, employees have a real potential to become great leaders and get stuck behind lack of knowledge or confidence hurdles. It is the employer’s responsibility to help these individuals learn in an effort to retain employees and grow their company to the highest potential.
Employees that can grow within the company are often more dedicated to the company and have a better chance of staying with a company long-term. With such a high demand for top talent in the workforce, keeping and growing top talent can be a huge win for the success of a business.
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