The Leadership Challenge
As an HR profession you possess the ability to influence an organization full of strong, successful leaders whose development grows alongside the prosperity of the company.
Shaping exemplary leaders begins at recruitment, and HR has the power to acquire the right talent for their business. Properly assessing and interviewing candidates, providing them with real-life scenarios and following up on references should not be neglected for the sake of time or money. If an ‘average’ candidate is hired, then ‘average’ work will be done!
Once a potential candidate has joined your team, we must immediately begin to encourage leadership development.
The first step is instilling your brand values in the ‘minds’ of your talent – share your company mission and brand image. Make your new employee understand and get enthusiastic about what your company stands for. REMEMBER your team and employees will fight for their company’s culture – if they believe it is a worthwhile endeavor!
Every business needs to source strong leaders, but also prepare for succession planning of existing employees with leadership potential in the future.
When searching to fill a role, have you exhausted all of your options already internally?
If you find yourself unable to fill vacancies with current staff, you may need to reassess your leadership development strategy.
IBM’s Global Human Capital Study showed that just under 80% of respondents said the most significant capability-building challenge facing their organization was building leadership talent.
So take a second, and think about your strongest leaders who are NOT currently in management roles.
- What makes them the best?
- What do they do that their peers do not?
If you can see leadership qualities in some of your talent, make sure you nourish these qualities – praise good work, provide extra training (both on and off the job) for promotion potential and pass on your comments to your management team.
Shaping current employees for leadership positions should be an integral part of your focus, and there are many different ways you can do so.
The best leaders are confident, are not shy when it comes to decision-making and are comfortable working on their own. In order for your employees to showcase these skills, they must be allowed to some kind of decision-making or conflict-resolving power. If they are in a customer-facing role, relax some of the rules on what they can offer customers when it comes to for example complaints.
If they are responsible for computer systems, ask them for their feedback on your organisation’s current working methods, and if they think there is any room for improvement. A good leader will have some answers, and this shows you they are work-minded while also allowing them to assert some of their own influence.
Similarly, your future leaders will have exhibited a people-focused personality.
A poor manager does not care for the development of his team, but a great manager offers help, guidance and advice as much as they offer discipline.
Encouraging the right attitude within your team can not only provide better employee engagement, but develop those important leadership qualities too.
Employees who offer to help others, should not be overlooked when it comes to predicting a future leader, as the management roles should be filled by those comfortable multi-tasking, solving problems and always remaining mindful of the company as a whole.
When devising your plan to cultivate future leaders, you should also assess what kind of strategy of decision-making your company will require in the future.
Do your executives plan to go global?
- If your organization is planning to ‘infiltrate’ emerging markets, are you creating leaders that can adapt to relocation and incorporate other cultures into their team?
- If your plan is to increase the amount of technical systems your business uses, are you encouraging your future leaders to become digital fluent?
Whichever leader you think you are going to need, prior planning, encouragement and organisation will help you foster success. Do not neglect your existing employees when looking to fill open vacancies, and stay ahead of the curve by designing your ‘perfect’ leader profile for the future.
© New To HR