By Cotney Consulting Group.
In an economy where cost-cutting seems like the easiest way to save money, it is understandable how the advice to invest seems counter-intuitive. However, by showing that you value your emerging leader’s professional and personal growth, you will not only retain your best employees but attract additional top talent. It is this kind of leadership development that will yield big returns for your company.
Leadership development is a pressing issue right now, especially in light of a lack of skilled professionals, and it is getting more crucial as time passes. Take this opportunity to expand training and mentoring opportunities for your up-and-coming stars, people to whom you can pass the baton, employees in whom you will feel proud as you watch them develop.
This does not necessarily require sending them back to school. Much of this leadership training comes from in-house, face-to-face, hands-on experience. One of the barriers to this is that one in five companies lacks a leadership development program. And companies are not identifying potential leaders early enough in their careers.
Committing to developing your leaders allows you to gain a competitive advantage that can help you attract and retain talent, improve your bottom line and increase your chances for success when change occurs. You are also likely to maintain a higher profit margin post-recession than companies who do not nurture new leadership.
Watching your future stars walk out for new opportunities leads to a considerable expense for your company, employee morale, recruitment and relocation costs, not to mention training; do not be the company that allows that to happen.
Inspiring leaders invest in future leaders in numerous ways:
Allow them to shadow you at meetings
Share lessons and wisdom you learned from your mentors to help new leaders avoid the mistakes you made, enabling them to succeed faster
Allow new leaders to use their natural gifts
Connect future stars with people inside and outside the organization who may shed light on different perspectives and expertise
Delegate new tasks to help team members grow their skills and experiences
Because a majority of future leaders were not in roofing or construction during the Great Recession, they had only experienced the business in times of tremendous growth, save for the chaos of 2020. As we appear to be heading out of the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its restraints, now is the time to offer emerging leaders the opportunity to acquire new skills to help them lead during future chaotic times.
When done correctly, leadership development delivers impact. That includes, in the areas of communications across the company, cross-team collaboration, and influencing and implementing change. The result can consist of leaders more open to diverse perspectives with better organizational management skills.
Create a leadership development plan that can assist you in growing future leaders for your construction business.
Consider a learning journey based on the principle that behavior change takes time. Achieve this through various experiences and tools, from formal learning to one-on-one coaching, online tools and hands-on learning.
Put up-and-coming leaders at the center of your approach to building high-impact development. Connect it to the context of your organization and integrate a personalized perspective of skills and application. Highlight the value of individual leaders and give your stars experience with challenges.
Set your program up as a human-centered design so that future leaders understand your specific needs and desires. Put both yourself and the learner in the center of the experience.
Leadership development is not one-size-fits-all. The old education model no longer works. Today, leaders are aware of their needs and can tailor leadership development solutions to those specific needs; no musty textbook is required.
Forecast which skills and knowledge are needed moving forward as a leader within your company and incorporate them in this plan. For example, if strategic thinking is an important skill, do not overlook training in that area as you mentor your stars.
If new technology is on the rise – and in most cases – be sure to include training in using specific tools pertinent to your business.
Find out what your future leaders are most interested in and help them develop their skills and knowledge in those areas. Allow them to go beyond their curiosity, using deliberate focus and practice to drive improvement.
Prepare future leaders to deal with critical leadership moments they may face every day. Give them the core skills needed to maximize their impact. This goes beyond technical training and should include empathy training, how to relate to and communicate with the team. People skills are just as essential as technical skills.
Too often, companies overlook the need to teach critical leadership moments.
Determine your two-year business priorities and the new leaders you need to execute them. This helps build a steady flow of new leadership through the years.
In one survey, just one in three leaders said they were prepared for a new leadership role's challenges. Only 40% of executives believe they received high-quality training or preparation and 60% say they received no training.
This leaves new leaders feeling frustrated and anxious, uncertain about their role, which leads to failure. Prepare new leaders for expectations and uncertainty. Focus on supporting leaders with "by your side" leadership development.
Prepare future leaders to work with remote teams. The ability to connect and influence virtually is more critical today than ever. This is not something that will come naturally to everyone. This is a deliverable side-by-side moment that could help a budding leader better prepare for this role.
Remember, mentoring new leaders now translates to a more robust business ready for the future in times of growth and chaos. Develop a human-centered plan that focuses on specific goals for your company, so up-and-coming leaders will be prepared to take on new tasks, learn new skills and lead with authority and empathy.