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5 Tips For Turning Your Employees Into Leaders

It is common knowledge that managers should look for and teach their successors. After all, this is how companies prepare for periods of transition. However, if intentional leadership training is instituted across the organization, the benefits are even more powerful. This does not meaning grooming everyone to become a future CEO. According to Dr. Tim Elmore, the founder of Growing Leaders, “Leadership is a 360-degree proposition. We influence all around us… It’s about becoming the person we were meant to be.” (Psychology Today, 2014).

So how can a boss or manager help their employees take initiative, ignite change, drive innovation, increase contributions and become more engaged in their work?

Start at the Top

When creating leaders, culture matters. Even individuals with tremendous talent will be stymied unless they work in an environment with a growth mindset where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities. This attitude must begin with bosses and managers who model good leadership while supporting, trusting and protecting their workers.

Foster Independence

In her book, Smart Tribes, Christine Comaford comments, “Leaders have an itchy trigger finger. A team member asks us how to do something, and we rattle off the answer; we advocate. What is the result of this? We develop order takers. We train people to ask instead of figuring it out on their own.” Comaford suggests that a better tactic is to respond, “How would you do this?” She cautions that it may take three to four encounters before an employee will start expecting questions rather than answers.

Learn to Delegate

Micromanaging drives workers crazy and destroys leadership skills. Managers need to acknowledge their employees were hired because they are competent and capable of doing the job. They should give workers tasks they can handle, as well as stretch assignments with light supervision if necessary. Delegating not only increases autonomy, motivation and creativity, it also frees up time for bosses to complete their own work.

Provide Opportunities for Growth

Employees will not spontaneously develop leadership qualities without coaching, and only a few may actively pursue skills on their own. Ongoing training, either in-house or paid, is a possibility. Or, for a less expensive option, bosses may set up regular “Developing Leaders” lunches or meetings to discuss suggested books, articles or YouTube videos. Mentorship programs and on-the-job experiences are also wonderful ways to guide future influencers.

Teach Networking Skills

Most people hate networking, even though they realize its importance. Managers should seek to push workers out of their comfort zones by asking them to attend company, community and industry events. Employees should be encouraged to practice initiating conversations, to forge new relationships, and to ask for or offer help. It is crucial for leaders at every level to know how to connect with other people.

Are you looking to add strong leaders and like-minded employees to your team? With locations in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, Aventure Staffing can assist you with recruiting, hiring and organizational development. Contact us today and let our solutions drive your success!

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