leadership Archives - TAB Corporate

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open positions, but neglect grooming new hires (as well as veteran employees) for positions of greater responsibility and leadership.

A focus on employee development, with a view towards turning great employees into outstanding leaders, not only benefits a business in the long run, it can serve as a highly attractive recruitment strategy for future new hires.

Here are tips on employee development that can yield strong new leadership for your company:

  1. Offer continuous feedback. An employee destined for a leadership role can benefit enormously from ongoing feedback. Explore different “feedback loop” options, from regular one-on-one meetings to in-depth quarterly sessions to discuss performance and objectives. Frame your feedback in ways that emphasize the value this employee brings to the organization, with constructive comments on how to fix what might not be working.
  2. Serve as a mentor or choose one within the company. Nothing contributes more to employee development than a well-structured mentorship process. Of course, not every CEO or business owner has time to devote to this responsibility, but another seasoned executive or supervisor might be perfect for the role. In addition to accelerating the employee’s learning curve, mentorship offers plenty of cross-training experiences, which again help build leadership skills.
  3. Instill a sense of commitment and authority. Empowering employees to make specific decisions about their jobs can go a long way towards leadership development. This signifies trust in their maturity and decision-making abilities. It also engenders a sense of “ownership” in where the business is headed, a giant step towards keeping that employee creative and engaged.
  4. Support networking activities. A budding leader should get to know as much as possible about all aspects of the organization. Towards that end, says talent management expert Andre Lavoie, encourage “networking within the workplace during lunch hours or at after-work events.” From there, support their networking efforts with industry representatives beyond your workplace walls. This teaches employees “how to forge powerful connections, initiate conversations with strangers and act with the confidence of a leader.”
  5. Formalize growth opportunities within the company. An employee who sees a bright future with your business is bound to get discouraged if he or she feels they’ve been passed over for a higher-level position. If you’re genuinely committed to employee development, let the entire workforce know that, as new positions open, your company’s policy is to first try and hire from within. Bringing a talented, experienced person up through the ranks, when he or she possesses hard-earned knowledge about how the business works and how best to serve the customers, can be another powerful weapon in your employee retention arsenal.
  6. Offer advanced work-related training. An employee being groomed for leadership will probably have certain “deficits” that need to be addressed, from soft skills like communications to more advanced knowledge of business operations. Providing financial assistance and other support for those employees to attend workshops, seminars or other training sessions can significantly boost his or her knowledge base—leading to a more confident, well-rounded individual.

Every business depends on ensuring that a new generation of leaders is built into the system. By actively promoting opportunities for employee development, both the individual and the business benefit—a win-win for everyone involved.

For free information on how to grow and motivate your team, we invite you to download our white paper, “How to Effectively Use Incentives to Motivate Your Employees.”

 

 

Use Technology to Enhance Your Employee Communications Efforts

Technology and communication

If improving communications with your employees was on your 2018 list of resolutions, there are many ways to leverage digital technology to achieve this goal. Businesses that still rely on a “suggestion box” in the break room or some similarly out-of-date mechanism should consider adopting current technology to make employees feel more involved and part of the team.

Array of Digital Resources

The good news is, your employees are already using the types of digital resources you can employ in your efforts to improve communications. These resources include:

  • Texting
  • Chat rooms
  • Video
  • Social media

Instant messaging is so prevalently used by people (from front-line employees to senior executives) that it should be considered a “go-to” method for communicating important and timely information to your team. It’s also a useful tool for staying in touch with your remote workers.

Cloud-based mobile technology facilitates a deeper sense of engagement among employees. Using communications tools in this area usually includes the benefits of enhanced data security. Also, cloud-based technology can be easily upgraded as new digital improvements become available.

Video platforms represent a particularly appealing way of improving communications. When you, as CEO or business owner, want to relay a message for the entire company, what better way than through video, where people can see and hear you simultaneously? No other mode offers the same kind of “face-to-face” authenticity – especially beneficial if you’re comfortable in front of a camera and know how to express yourself in terms your employees will best understand.

Getting Employees on Board

To make this approach work, it’s critically important to design a comprehensive plan that introduces and familiarizes employees with the communications technology you deem best suited for your culture. According to ITProPortal, such a plan should include “training programs, leadership workshops, counseling, best practices resources, templates, and customized advice and guidance.”

This may sound burdensome at first, but when employees “get” that you want to implement a streamlined system of communications – and that you genuinely care about interacting with them – you’re likely to see a marked improvement in morale and, possibly, long-term employee retention.

Employee Solutions to Business Problems

Equally valuable are opportunities for team members to communicate with each other. For example, those involved in a new initiative – or tasked with finding solutions to a pressing business problem – will greatly benefit from being able to bounce ideas off each other in real-time.

Remember, your employees are the ones most intimately involved in the sales and distribution of your products or services. Frequently, they’re also the ones who regularly interact with customers, so they have a deeper understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of your offerings. If they’re asked to devise a solution, the chance to collaborate quickly and clearly through internal communications tools may result in just the solution your business needs to move forward.

At the same time, this communications platform should involve supervisors or managers as well. Great employee ideas can wither and die without managerial input and/or advocacy.

As Fast Company notes, “It’s important that new concepts are not just discussed among peers.” Managers should “be involved and feel connected to those suggestions from the very beginning,” because their advocacy can help ensure that those at the top will “implement the best ideas.”

Businesses armed with effective internal communications are often more successful at attracting and recruiting the quality talent your company seeks as well. That’s another reason to examine your various communications options and put the best system in place, in order to keep your employees productive and able to share key ideas with one another.

Want to learn more about the technology and communications? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!