11 Ways To Encourage And Support Business Leadership Development

March, 2020
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Job applicants, especially those applying for high level managerial roles, should be increasingly aware of the importance being placed on leadership skills in the workplace. Being a role model for colleagues, encouraging excellent communication and regular feedback, and giving staff opportunities to lead themselves, will all benefit companies as a whole.

In the article below, Members of Forbes Magazine Human Resources Council share their views on how the development of leadership skills  can be encouraged and supported within any business.

1. Share Resources And Be A Role Model 

Offering incentives for leadership development and setting an example as a leader yourself are both great ways to get employees excited about continually developing their leadership skills. Managers can also regularly share articles and courses available in leadership development, and encourage team members to share their experiences and struggles as leaders to prompt valuable group discussion.- Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.

2. Enable Continuous Feedback And Inclusivity 

I think that continuous feedback and learning where their weak areas are is important. Make sure your leaders know that you want them to continue to grow with the company and that their growth is important to you. Give them the opportunity to introduce ideas or take courses they feel will help them be better leaders, and also include them in discussions to show their opinions are valued. – Tracey Ellisson, Hilton Software

3. Provide A Path and Timeline

Many job seekers prioritize leadership development in their career, and employers that show a clear path to advancement will score higher in talent attraction and employee retention. Once dedicated and skilled employees are identified, employers should be able to show what steps are necessary to advance and reach their professional goals, and approximately how long is required to do so. – John Feldmann, Inspirity.

4. Hire Great Leaders 

Supporting leadership development requires having great leaders in place at all levels of the organization. It needs to be part of the culture and happen organically. Leaders should be evaluated on how they develop their teams, support continuous growth and recognize others for contributions. Provide access to external coaches to personalize leadership development and reinforce its importance. – Shelli Nelson, Madison Industries

5. Create A Coaching Culture

Many organizations build formal leadership development programs largely aimed at future-proofing their organization. More than formal programs, people need inspiring and knowledgeable coaches at every level. Giving opportunities to everyone to either be the coach or be coached creates a culture where knowledge is intended to be shared and feedback has a real impact on performance. – Kerri Higgins Bigelow, LivingHR Inc

6.Give Opportunities To Lead 

One of the best ways to encourage leadership at every level is to give everyone permission to lead. Once you’ve communicated your desire that all employees should feel comfortable leading, managers can start creating opportunities within teams to place individuals in a position of leadership. That can come in many forms such as leading a meeting, a presentation, a project or a team. – Charles Ashworth, Zendrive

7. Demystify Leadership 

Leadership is not a title, but a responsibility we all have. Hierarchy is needed, but it should be clear that we’re all leaders at any level. Leadership development can be mapped out in leading self, leading others and leading the business. When leadership is a foundation versus the mountain top, we can create a culture where employees are given leadership development at every phase of their careers. – Candice McGlen, The Rinker Group    

8. Value Continuous Personal Learning  

Continuous personal learning is imperative for success of employees at all levels, who now balance role-specific expertise and industry and global economic knowledge to compete in today’s market. Set development goals, increase focus on personalized coaching and feedback, consider projects and stretch-assignments that improve resilience and the ability to lead through uncertainty. -  MJ Vigil, PEMCO Insurance

9. Give People Room To Fail 

Leadership requires an ability to inspire people and lead people toward a direction. Leadership is also a “learn by doing” activity, and as a leader developing other leaders, give them room to fail by providing them opportunities where they have to step up to the home plate. They may swing and miss. But you cannot hit a home run unless you have the opportunity to swing. – Srikant Chellappa, Engagedly

10. Define What ‘Good’ Looks Like 

Knowing how a company defines how a leader acts, thinks and values, within the context of the company’s culture, sets a foundation for productive leadership development at every level. A leader on the shop floor is different than a leader in the C-suite, but all leaders at a company should be aligned to what behaviors, mindsets and priorities will drive executing results for the organization. – Jessica Delorenzo, Kimball Electronics Inc      

11. Focus On Proactive Commitment 

Utilize a variety of tools to engage employees at various levels: online resources, internships, mentorships, coaching, leadership development programs, informal support networks, books, conferences, professional associations, etc. Scout talent at every level and from all backgrounds. If personal betterment is part of your culture, leaders at every level should model and support this growth- Courtney Pace, FedEx Employees Credit Assoc.

Access the original article here: Forbes Expert Panel – 11 Ways To Encourage And Support Business Leadership Development