An organization’s progress is largely dependent on how creative, responsible, and accountable its workforce is. And these virtues strengthen when people are given a chance to lead from the front.
Those who manage to exhibit their leadership qualities in demanding situations become an asset for their organization and an inspiration for their peers.
The importance of leadership in an organization is summarized by the following graph in which the overall leadership effectiveness is shown to have a great impact on employee satisfaction/engagement/commitment, based on a study conducted upon 23,800 leaders.
If you want somebody to learn how to swim, there is, at the end of the day, no other way out than making them take a deep plunge into the water. They might either lose their bearings or stay afloat and swim. In the case of the former, there is always a next chance. In the latter case, you have a new member in your swimming club.
Some Employees Might Have A Natural Disinclination For Leadership Roles
Not all people in your company might be inclined to take leadership roles. In fact, most of the employees, especially those having creative profiles or those contributing to the back-end, might be happy subordinating. There are also many people who are introverts by disposition, and would prefer to stay in the sidelines, despite being substantial contributors to the organization.
There is not a speck of doubt that these individuals themselves might be well aware of how much more their skills will be enhanced if they take the reins. And still, they find it extremely difficult not to remain reclusive.
A study by Deloitte suggested that 86% of business and HR leaders express having an inadequate leadership pipeline.
So what companies can do to encourage their employees to take leadership roles, irrespective of their nature, job profile, or any other characteristic?
Inspire Them To Take Charge
Years ago, out of college, I joined my first company as a Technical Writer. On the very first day, I realized that there were many other recently joined candidates with the same profile as mine. We had our introductory meeting briefed by the Associate Vice President (AVP) of the company. Something he said had a profoundly positive impact on all of us for a long time.
These were his words, “Take charge of yourself, and of one another, as a team. Show everyone in this company that you are as professional as they can be. Show them that you are not a bunch of fresh graduates but an elite group of professional writers.”
Nearly all of us had an excellent start of our career. We made progress in the years to come. Sometimes, I believe our AVP’s words were the ignition required for us at the right time.
Identify Them and Fit Them in Leadership Roles Meant for Them
As mentioned earlier, no matter how identical two individuals in an organization may be, their skill sets, preferences, disposition, and ambition will be different. You will have to identify them and give them responsibilities that boost their strengths.
For instance, somebody with an impeccable command over the language must be given the responsibility of leading the editorial or content team, while someone good with managing people will fit into the higher tiers of the human resources department.
Empower Them To Make Them an Influencer
Another turning point in my life was when I had joined an e-learning company, where our director had told me several times, “When you write, simply assume that you are sitting on my chair and addressing our audience in my voice.”
This was an empowering responsibility which brought out the best in me. I started to write thought leadership articles. Today, I am leveraging social media along with all I learned towards the success of my organization.
Empowering your employees can be an important strategy because you never know when an employee of yours becomes an influencer who can be leveraged to achieve successful influencer marketing.
Count Upon Them to Motivate Them
If counted upon, any individual will strive hard and give their best because they will realize how much you trust them. So a sense of autonomy and authority is established in your employees, which makes them consider the business solemnly, and perform with utmost dedication and hard work.
The following statistic shows a lack of trust in organizations which definitely should not be your story.
Employees go all-out to enhance their skills because it is a pedestal on which you have put them. And everybody wants to climb higher from there. So count upon your employees and trust them. They will be encouraged to take leadership roles in no time.
Train Them to Make Them Feel Empowered
Workforce training is a trending strategy nowadays, especially in companies into the technology sector. With rapid innovation and disruption in industries brought about by Industry 4.0, training your employees is the easiest way to achieve a skilled workforce, apart from hiring expertise from outside.
The following statistic is not just a number. It shows a gap. If you read between the lines, 58% of the managers do not feel empowered and have a regret of being inadequate. Even in leadership roles, these personnel find it difficult to give one hundred per cent.
Employees are certain to feel empowered as well as important when time and resources are invested upon their growth. They start to feel themselves as an integral part of the organization and this is where you can encourage them to lead from the front.
Have performance reviews. Reward them based on their accomplishments in the training programs. Not only will their confidence boost with the knowledge of a new technology, they will start to feel themselves a groundbreaker in the organization.
Communicate With Transparency
The strategies, requirements, and plan of action keep on changing in an organization. Make sure your workforce is aware of these happenings and make them participate in free discussions about the pros and cons. Only an informed employee will be able to make right decisions to reach their goals and achieve the targets. And in this process, they will be absorbed seamlessly in their leadership role.
According to Salesforce, 86% of employees blame lack of communication and collaboration for workplace failure. In a failed workplace, encouraging leadership among the employees is a distant dream!
Encouraging your employees to become leaders, and transforming them into leaders, will be a boon for your organization.
Remember that not every employee will become a leader, no matter how much effort you put. You must count your accomplishments and the resulting leaders not in absolute terms, but overall, which is sure to show a positive impact on your business.
How Can You Encourage Employees to Take Leadership Roles?
If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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