– By Dilip Barot, Founder, Creative Choice Group
You are as good as your successor. Real leadership is about empowering your team to lead as you do, or even better. Your commitment to foster employee development determines your company growth.
Develop your employees on a daily basis; do not wait for the monthly or bi-monthly staff training. I believe this is an investment that yields fruits in the short and long term because employees will perform better as you lead, and will then lead well after your exit.
When you don’t take the time to develop your employees, they become disengaged feeling unsupported. Disengaged employees waste a lot of time in the office sifting through Facebook and emails instead of being productive, and it takes a lot of effort to change this detrimental behavior. For that reason, it is best to empower employees from the onset of their employment.
The following are just a few tips on how you can develop your employees:
Create a Strong Company Culture:
A strong company culture glues your team together. To help employees focus on the company vision and mission, set clear values that care for everyone. Important to note is that every employee has a responsibility for building a strong culture. Yes, the leadership will set the direction for this, but the staff has to uphold it.
When involving all employees in the creation of the company culture, they will own it and you will begin to notice how more engaged and efficient they are with their work. The result is a feeling of shared connection to the culture which fosters productive, high employee morale and a stable company.
Employees are looking for companies that have strong conducive cultures they can easily plug into and grow with. Be that company.
Set Measurable Goals:
As a leader, it is your role to set goals for your team. The key to achieving these goals is ensuring they are measurable and relevant. Keep in mind to not set unobtainable goals or goals that do not link to the company vision. We all enjoy working with a clear direction.
Instead of only focusing on the long-term goal that is the company vision; also set some quarterly goals to keep track of your staff performance. Quarterly goals bring the vision to life, everyone will always remember them. The feedback you gather as you evaluate your employees’ progress will aid in building the company in the right direction because you will not only continue working on the relevant goals that yield results, but also eliminate the redundant goals.
Your employees will also get an opportunity to evaluate their progress. As opposed to waiting twelve months to know how they are performing, three months, quarterly, intervals keep them engaged.
Believe In Your Employees’ Potential
When you believe in your employees, you provide them opportunities for development. It is difficult to promote an individual whom you have no faith in. You are essentially setting them up to fail.
A strong company is built on trust by all members. Believing in your employees’ potential and grooming them into leadership positions will build their trust in you. Offer training programs to develop them further. Don’t limit your training to work related courses, include personal development programs as well.
When you believe in an ambitious staff, you fuel their desire to excel. You should even recommend external training programs that can advance their skills further.
Empower Your Employees
Empowering means letting others take ownership and responsibility for their decisions. For empowerment to be effective, employees need to get to a point of empowering themselves. As a leader you should encourage and support their initiatives when they make that step. At the initial stages of empowerment walk beside them, and then let them fly.
We understand most people learn best from their experiences. Therefore, making every decision for an employee will not lead to empowerment but dependency. If you are a “hands on” leader, you will need to take a step back and let your team learn. When an employee comes with a challenging task and wants your help, provide them with the resources to solve the task without taking over the project.
Provide employees power and autonomy to execute business strategies. Be patient and do not second guess their ideas, you will kill their confidence. Create an environment that encourages them to produce creative solutions for business growth.
In summary, developing your staff is a process that takes time. You can start today by creating a strong culture together, setting measurable goals, believing in your employees potential, and empowering them. You will build a strong company together when you focus on the right beliefs.
How have you been developing your employees?