Being a good leader means making the right decisions, managing your employees effectively and solving complex problems. However, if you want to be a GREAT leader, you need to add one more thing to your repertoire – Great leaders create more great leaders. They equip their employees with the management skills necessary for making informed decisions and facing challenging situations. Leadership doesn’t only apply to higher-ups and managers. Leadership should be a staple of your everyday business so that all employees at all levels can be better decision makers and enjoy more empowerment.
Here are a few tips to turn your employees into leaders, and as a result improve your company’s morale and productivity:
1. Encourage networking
Tell your employees to go to networking events and build connections. Teach them how to forge connections and initiate conversations with strangers. This will boost their communication skills, in addition to being a great opportunity for creating mutually beneficial opportunities. And when your employees do progress into leadership roles, they’ll already have a list of valuable contacts and the necessary people skills to succeed.
2. Delegate the right kind of work
When you’re assigning work and projects, make sure you take into account what sort of work can be beneficial in terms of growing your employees’ leadership potential. Consider skills that your employees may not be familiar with and then build those skills by giving your employees experience in those areas. For example, if someone needs to improve their public speaking skills, assign them a section of the project that involves public speaking. The same idea can be applied to other skills, such as running meetings or overseeing projects.
3. Let them struggle
A key skill required to be a successful leader is to be able to struggle and face challenges. Allow your employees to do the same. If an employee is stuck or needs help, it is natural that they will come to their manager to ask for advice or assistance. Sometimes this means taking over the task the employee is struggling with. But, if you’re teaching your employees how to be a leader, it’s a good idea to push your employees to figure out the solution on their own. This by no way means you should just sit back while your employees face problems, but rather, empower your employees to take responsibility and learn how to get what they need without your input.
4. Be a mentor (or assign one)
A mentor-mentee relationship is likely to develop between you and your employee as you help them gain leadership skills. Being a mentor is a very useful tool to continue growing and honing their leadership skills. Such relationships also allow employees to have someone to talk about their goals, challenges, and expectations when it comes to developing their leadership skills. While natural mentor-mentee relationships are bound to develop in some cases, having an official mentorship program can also be a great tool for organizational success and improving team performance.