Whether they intend to promote them internally or simply want what's best for their careers, many business leaders make it a priority to develop their employees into leaders themselves. Doing so not only helps ensure the company has high-quality talent to run it, but it also ensures employee happiness as they see their leader caring for their personal and professional development.
If you’re a leader looking to undertake this journey, consider the following advice from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Here, they each recommend one specific, actionable step employers can take now to help develop their employees into future business leaders and well-rounded employees.
Young Entrepreneur Council members discuss how to help employees become future leaders.
1. Build Career Ladders
I think the most helpful thing business leaders can do to develop leadership is build an objective ladder to leadership roles. The pathway to leadership should include several measurable milestones that successful employees will achieve before attaining leadership roles. This will encourage excellence and performance and, more importantly, remove the notion that leaders at the company are rewarded through nepotism or favoritism. - Kyle Michaud, Carolina Dozer
2. Nudge Them Out Of Their Comfort Zones
To turn your team into the business leaders of tomorrow, you have to empower them to foster a growth mentality. For this, they need to come out of their comfort zones. The majority of people are content with what they do. They lack vision and ambition. Becoming a leader demands a person to be comfortable with uncomfortable scenarios. That's how you grow and achieve more than usual. Skills and talent make a good workforce, but it's the vision that makes good leaders. - Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
3. Give Them Responsibility And Autonomy
Giving employees the freedom to make decisions, take on major responsibilities and handle them courageously is one of the best things employers can do to develop them into future business leaders. This not only shows that you believe in their capabilities, but it also allows them to gain invaluable experience and confidence in themselves. This will help them better understand the inner workings of your business and how to lead it effectively in the future. So if you want to develop strong future leaders within your company, start by giving them the space to grow and thrive. - Pratik Chaskar, Spectra
4. Develop Training And Mentoring Programs
Training and mentoring are critical to helping employees learn to be better leaders. Develop a training plan so the employee can gain valuable knowledge about leadership, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, having difficult conversations and so on. Additionally, set up a mentoring program so employees have an opportunity to shadow effective leaders, ask questions and learn from them. By combining education with hands-on experience, you’ll allow them to gain the knowledge and skills they need to take on leadership roles in the future. - Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
5. Allow Them To Solve Problems
Many managers want to micromanage and make all the decisions on the team. This leaves your company at risk. If you lose that one manager, you have an entire team that was never trained to think for themselves. I challenge everyone to problem solve. We will have a conversation about the solution, and I may offer up a different way of thinking about it to get the results I want. However, I take great pride in watching my staff work together to find and enact a solution, which strengthens my team and my company. My company is full of problem-solvers, which is much more valuable than micromanagers. They get a feel for how you think, manage and grow, and become incredibly valuable team members whom you can promote from within. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo
6. Make Time For One-On-One Meetings
One specific thing business leaders can do is have one-on-one conversations with employees. This can be hard to do if you're managing a large team, but it's important to have these conversations on a regular basis. During these conversations, you can provide feedback, give advice and answer any questions employees may have. These conversations will help develop employees into future business leaders by giving them the opportunity to learn from you. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. Supply Them With Educational Resources
One way we help develop our employees into entrepreneurs is by buying helpful and insightful books from Audible and giving everyone on our team access to the library. I've found that this encourages people who are passionate about growing personally and professionally because they get valuable resources that they can apply to their careers. We are very careful about which books we choose to add to the library. We typically do not buy a book for our company catalog unless at least one of our founders reads it first and thinks it can help our team. - Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
8. Share Your Knowledge
A very powerful way of developing your employees into future business leaders is to share your knowledge with them. Have small knowledge-sharing sessions in which you empower interested employees with a wealth of knowledge. Share your stories and tell them about your experiences of success and failure. It will not only inspire them, but it will also teach them what to do and what not to do to be a business leader. - Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
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