When your employees are given an opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder, they will work hard to prove their mettle. They will also tend to make a special effort to take appropriate steps to deal with deficiencies in their performance and gain new skills. This will improve their productivity and eventually help you reach your targets.
What does it take?
Inculcating leadership qualities among your employees calls for a concerted effort on your part. Leadership is not about merely communicating your expectations and guidelines to your employees and expecting them to achieve them. It is about enabling them to work as a team, complement one another, and find innovative solutions to organizational problems.
Secondly, you need to be impartial. Never ever discriminate your employees by gender, religion, or caste. Provide equal opportunities to employees to develop leadership skills and have growth in their career.
Analyze and Make a Leadership Plan: Unless you get the commitment of your employees, you cannot effectively develop leadership qualities in them. Leadership is not about a managerial process. It is about human emotions. Therefore, first you need to listen to your employees and get them to understand what leadership is. Once you give them an overview of leadership, you can provide them an opportunity to analyze where they stand and what skills they need to reach their goal.
Provide Requisite Training: Once you analyze your employees’ leadership skills, you can decide on the kind of training they need. Provide them with online resources if possible. Conduct seminars or workshops to bring in industry experts to share their views on leadership and leadership practices. This creates awareness among your employees about what leadership is and how leaders behave.
Establish a Leadership Development Committee: Put in place a committee to set up an objective mechanism to evaluate employees’ performance in leadership. They should reward employees who have shown outstanding leadership skills. These rewards could include giving a bonus, presenting citations, or providing a free vacation. Ensure that these rewards are available to all outstanding performers. It is important that employees are selected by means of fair and impartial measures. Otherwise, it can be de-motivating to other employees who might feel sidelined.
Encourage Your Managers to Mentor: Train your managers on new leadership styles, approaches, and methodologies with a view to mentoring the employees in their team. To develop leadership qualities, you need to treat your employees like leaders. Discourage your managers from treating their direct reports as just dependents. They should give their direct reports measured freedom in decision making, before evaluating their performance on leadership.
Once you cultivate leadership qualities in your employees, you can witness innovation in processes and better performances.