You worked hard to get to the top — sitting through trainings, advancing your education and putting in the necessary hours. Now you’re a leader, but that doesn’t simply involve delegating and presiding over meetings. You’re now responsible for developing those potentially strong leaders under you. It’s up to you to help them grow.
How to Encourage Growth in Your Employees
While each employee has to WANT to succeed, there is a great deal strong leaders can do to encourage growth. Constructive criticism is part of the package, but there’s so much more:
- Recognize potential. The first step in growing leaders is recognizing their potential. Watch the work of your employees closely, and deliver praise and encouragement for work done well. As a leader, your opinion carries much weight, and encouragement can be exactly what an employee needs to realize his/her own potential. Motivate them to grow.
- Build strong teams. Employees do better when they can work together and learn from each other. Make sure to create strong teams where everyone’s strengths can shine and weaknesses can be improved. When paired in solid, supportive teams, your employees will be able to learn, grow and produce their best work.
- Maintain an open-door policy. Employees have questions and ideas daily. Don’t make them store them up for a weekly or monthly meeting. Keep your door open and encourage regular conversation. When they feel comfortable with leaders, employees may be more willing to think outside of the box and step up with their new ideas. Your open door will encourage feedback and advice seeking, which will give you the opportunity to praise and steer their work. Be accessible.
- Push them out of their comfort zone. Don’t let your employees become too complacent. Shake things up now and then, and give them challenging new tasks. People don’t become great when working at status quo each day. Challenge them to help them grow.
- Use failure as a learning opportunity. Instead of focusing on only the negatives of failures, use them as a learning opportunity. Go over where things went wrong. Talk about what could have been handled differently, and brainstorm for the future.
- Offer on-the-job training. One way to ensure your employees continue to learn and grow is to offer on-the-job training. Training can include simple lunch and learns offered by you, one-on-one learning sessions, sending them to conferences or hiring companies to give trainings at your office. And be sure to make learning a trickle-down effect. If employees learn something new and useful, set up a time for them to share their knowledge with you and their coworkers. You’ll be grooming a leader in more ways than one!
- Encourage individuality. Don’t expect everyone to fit your idea of the mold. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes and have unique ways of being successful. Let your employees be who they are and learn to lead with their own style.
With these points, we can do better when it comes to assisting employees to achieve their potentials.