Almost every company we work with these days is concerned with fostering good leadership skills. When it comes to mentoring new and emerging leaders and showing them the strategic future of your business, some tips will help them along their journey.
Implementing these ideas will also ensure you continue to attract and nurture the best and brightest to your organization, and that consistent company vision and ideals are given a chance to grow.
1. Let Them Experience Everything
One of the greatest assets you can give a newly hired employee is a wide knowledge base. Expose them to as many job roles, in and out of their business unit, as possible. Allow them to job shadow various employees who are involved in jobs that will impact their daily workflow. Schedule informal meet and greets with clients and encourage opportunities for everyone on their team to share knowledge, experience and resources. Both formal and informal learning is important, and experience is great informal learning.
2. Nurture Their Creativity
In order to sustain innovation, your new hires need to embrace their imaginative skills. This means that a business culture of innovation starts with nurturing these skills and supporting a creative environment. Think about ways to give new hires opportunities to break routines, unchain them from their desk, and spark new ideas.
3. Create Stretch Goals and Projects
Your new talent needs to be challenged. Give your emerging leaders opportunities to grow, and watch them rise to the occasion. You may find that some of the highest achieving employees were given opportunities to stretch and show exactly what they’re made of. They may even surprise themselves at what they can achieve! And you might be surprised that growth inspires the desire for more growth.
4. Give Feedback Frequently and Reward Often
Feedback and rewards are the fertilizer in which budding knowledge and leadership talent grows, so give it frequently and openly. A simple way to do this is to pair your new hire up with a colleague or “buddy.” Providing constant coaching to your leaders of tomorrow, and rewarding their successes, should be a natural and common practice in your business.
5. Encourage Outside Learning
It’s obvious there should be plenty of learning opportunities within your organization, but outside workshops, classes and certifications will only build a more well-rounded leader. So emphasize and foster a passion for learning...and quickly reap the benefits of your employees' expanding knowledge.
6. Let Them Fail
Don't be afraid to put new hires in positions where they fail in an environment that is safe to fail in. Recovering from a misstep is a critical leadership skill, and the earlier they learn how to recover from failure, the better chance they will have avoiding career and company disasters. Everyone needs to learn how to fail fast and recover well, so give them chances to start making mistakes as soon as you can.
7. Expose Them to Top Management Early and Often
Grooming the next generation of leaders means exposing them to existing leadership as soon, and as often, as possible. New hires learn through immersion and, if they're not intimidated by leadership, you can rest assured they'll handle promotion and increased responsibility with ease.
8. Believe In Them
Believing in your new employees is the fastest way to encourage more high performance. Frequent feedback and a constant stream of confidence-boosting support is the fuel that will propel your future leadership into a brighter future for themselves and your organization.