Cultivating Future Leaders Within Your Organization

Cultivating Future Leaders Within Your Organization

Cultivating future leaders within your company is crucial for a company’s success. While you may start with well-educated young professionals, guiding them toward managerial positions can be tricky and require a lot of work. Hiring good people is the first step toward creating good leaders. Giving them opportunities to showcase their leadership skills and teaching them the ropes is the second. This article contains a few tips for doing just that.

Identify Future Leaders

Team members who go above and beyond the call of duty make all the difference in a project’s success. Unfortunately, a performance review doesn’t always communicate an employee’s hard work or dedication. Create HR files for each team member to record their accomplishments and thoughts on projects, along with their soft skills, like working well with others and approaching projects with a positive attitude. These files will help identify strong leaders and make staffing decisions down the road.

Create Career Growth Opportunities

You must create employee growth opportunities to continue developing leaders within your organization. It isn’t enough to say you promote from within; you need to follow through on those promises if you want people to stick around for the long haul and grow into leadership positions.

Promoting from within is an essential aspect of business development, and it can extend the benefits of your organization. Outsourcing or assigning new hires can cause top talent to leave their positions, taking vital leadership skills with them. Of course, you need to be aware of the company’s needs, but it also is a good idea to recognize the loyal employees who have worked hard to grow into leadership roles.

Invest in Employees

Although many people have leadership potential, not everyone is a natural-born leader. When developing your team’s leadership skills, you don’t want to wait for people to fall into leadership roles naturally. You might see that some of your employees show leadership ability but aren’t ready yet.

You can bring out the best in people and cultivate their leadership skills by offering your employees ongoing training, development, mentoring, or coaching with senior leaders. In addition, investing in employee growth and development shows them you care about their success. As a result, they will be more likely to want to work toward leadership positions rather than just collect a paycheck every other week or leave for another job.

Show Your Appreciation

Training and development are essential, as are proper compensation and benefits. However, one of the most powerful things you can do for employees is to show that you appreciate them for their work. You can accomplish this through several ways, including praise, public recognition, gifts, and rewards — even something as simple as asking an employee to write a blog post can be a powerful way of showing your appreciation. Employee recognition doesn’t have to cost much, but it has the potential to reap huge dividends in terms of morale, productivity, and employee retention.

As you work to develop leaders in your organization, it might help to consult with the experts at Maximum Accountability to be sure you’re on the right track. Reach out to us to start the process.

The Impact of Poor Leadership

The Impact of Poor Leadership

The impact of poor leadership stretches far beyond company culture. According to a Gallup survey, 70 percent of employee engagement is directly influenced by managers. Additionally, company cultures with low employee engagement produce the highest turnover. With these statistics in mind, it’s safe to say that company leadership, whether good or bad, trickles down. If a company is underperforming or not meeting expectations, the cause can nearly always be traced back to leadership. Company leaders set the tone, the pace, the culture, and the overall expectations for a company. But, it’s not enough for managers to “point the way.” They must lead by example. If company leaders fail to do this, the results are often disastrous, decreasing profits and increasing turnover.

How Poor Leadership Influences Employees

Company leaders must understand that they affect more than just their employees’ moods. Poor leadership can cause the downfall of a company in several ways.

A Wayward Staff

Indecisive, impulsive leadership can cause a severe lack of direction for the staff. If employees don’t know where the company is going, they can’t be expected to get there. Although being impulsive can sometimes be considered a positive trait (i.e., making tough decisions on the fly, momentary bursts of inspiration, etc.), it seems that when it comes to the staff as a whole, it does more harm than good. When company expectations are constantly changing or rearranging, employees don’t know where or how to extend their efforts, resulting in indifference, the last thing a good leader wants from their staff.

Unstable Environment

Companies need strong leaders to establish a solid foundation on which to grow. Unfortunately, incompetent leaders tend to paper over issues rather than address the root causes. When this happens, employees feel the impact. With random tasks, sudden deadlines, and poorly communicated expectations, employees may feel they are being set up to fail. When they do inevitably fall short, company leaders rarely take the blame, instead focusing it all on a befuddled employee. This lack of security in the workplace will cause good workers to start searching the job boards. Employees need a consistent, reliable company culture to focus their total energy on their performance.

Low Company Morale

It’s not surprising that low morale is one of the direct results of poor leadership. Unreliable leaders who aren’t mentally or emotionally tuned into the company culture set a negative tone. Without respect and validation, employees feel neglected and can grow resentful. A resentful employee will not yield the same results as an employee who feels understood and valued by company leaders.

How Poor Leadership Affects the Company

No one wants to work in a constantly changing, unstable environment where their efforts go unnoticed. When this happens, employees will look elsewhere. High turnover has astronomical costs for companies. According to Gallup, the cost of replacing one employee ranges from one-half to two times that employee’s annual salary. And that’s not including the loss of productivity and the hit to staff morale. When one employee leaves, the others will get curious and start considering it themselves.

Work With Us

If you’re ready to improve the leadership in your company, work with us at Maximum Accountability. Our expert leadership training will teach you how to increase productivity, attract better workers, and improve the overall employee experience. We’ll give you the tools you need to become a high-performance leader. Take the first step toward excellent leadership, and contact us today.

Increasing Your Leadership Capacity

Increasing Your Leadership Capacity

Outstanding leadership is a combination of many qualities. However, as businesses and markets evolve, leaders need to develop with them. Increasing productivity begins with increasing your leadership capacity.

Leaders rely on their experience. Quite often, they’ve been through a lot and seen it all. But in the race to add new skills, are leaders ignoring the most critical tool for improving their stewardship: how they think about approaching challenges.

Deep thinking is an important quality of good leadership. Here are a few ways you can develop this valuable quality and increase your leadership capacity.

Embrace tension

Problems crop up every day. Solving them is a mark of strong leadership. However, diving headfirst into solutions isn’t always the optimal play.

Instead, leaders should ask questions about the problems they face, such as:

  • How did we get here?
  • What lessons have we learned?
  • What elements are causing us tension?

Not all problems are simply something that needs to be fixed; they’re also a learning opportunity. Workplace issues do need to be addressed, but not before you mine them for valuable lessons.

Prioritize deeper understanding

Many people judge outstanding leadership by the ability to act swiftly. While this is an important characteristic, thinking and listening are other valuable traits.

Next time you are faced with a problem, measure how quickly you start to solve it. Are you listening to everyone? Are you gaining a greater understanding of the problem before you begin to implement actions?

Great leadership is about being able to listen and understand problems fully. Again, ensure you are getting feedback from your entire team that you can then build into your decision-making.

Accept different perspectives

We all know the world isn’t black and white. But when it comes to leadership, some nuance can get lost due to time constraints and pressure to be decisive, despite our best intentions.

One way to combat these inefficiencies is to seek the counsel of your team. Make decision-making a more collaborative process so you can get more perspectives.

Challenge your thinking by encouraging other perspectives and input from people with different backgrounds. While you need to trust your instincts, it’s worth supplementing them with other voices.

Build a team with diverse perspectives

A big part of leadership is building teams that can pull in the same direction. Having everyone on the same page is key to increasing productivity. However, that shouldn’t be at the cost of a diversity of thinking.

Any leadership team can benefit from diverse thinking and backgrounds. When we have a broader pool of viewpoints, we can gain better insights and understanding and even unlock new perspectives.

Use your inner dialogue to grow as a leader

One of the most powerful ways to increase our leadership capacity is through our inner dialogue. Change and growth require a lot of work that begins within the individual.

All leaders need to do a lot of reflection on how they think about the world. Additionally, we should be mindful and intentional in how we engage with others.

Reflecting on who we are is essential, especially for leaders. So listen to your thoughts and question what drives them. You might be able to learn a lot about yourself.

Reach out

Markets and businesses are in constant flux. Methods and strategies that worked in the past can quickly go out of fashion, leaving leadership teams behind the curve.

Teams interested in increasing productivity in a constantly evolving world need to do the work to develop and grow their thinking. If you need help adapting your leadership to contemporary demands, get in touch today to see how we can help.

5 Ways to Identify Leadership Gaps

5 Ways to Identify Leadership Gaps

For most organizations, developing management teams is the number one priority. While there is no such thing as the perfect team, significant improvements can always be made. But identifying gaps in leadership is not always easy, especially when things are going smoothly.

Leadership gaps are often only found when a project gets derailed or mistakes are made. No leader wants to wait until a problem occurs to find out their management team needs to sharpen up their leadership skills.

Here are five ways to identify gaps in leadership in any organization.

1. Look for Silos

If you notice your leadership has become somewhat disconnected or unable to collaborate effectively, there is a chance you have a leadership gap. Team silos often negatively affect communication and halt any progress when it comes to group projects.

Unfortunately, this seems to be an issue that is only increasing due to the shift to remote work making it more challenging to build a cohesive team.

2. Search for Focus on Employee Needs

In the last two years, we have seen massive changes regarding where work gets done, how it gets done, and how we interact with our teams. Are your managers in touch with what employees need to succeed? If you have a high turnover rate, this can be a sign of a leadership gap.

Attracting and retaining the right team is crucial when it comes to the success of organizations. This should always be a top priority.

3. Conduct Post-Mortems

It is incredibly important to take the time to do a post-project analysis. You need to take note of what went wrong, what went well, and what the team can do better in the future to complete the project in a better way. This analysis can allow the team to shed light on leadership gaps that must be addressed.

4. Listen to All Customer Feedback

Does your management team sustain and create positive relationships with all clients? Sometimes it can be very tempting to try to solve the immediate issue and move on when you receive negative feedback from your customers. However, it is crucial that you look at any trends in customer issues.

This will allow you to find out where gaps are occurring in the services you provide and whether such gaps are as a result of a leadership issue.

5. Take a Leadership Health Assessment

One of the best ways to truly identify leadership gaps within your business is to conduct a leadership health assessment. This will allow you to identify any strengths and weaknesses within your organization.

The Bottom Line

In a business environment that is rapidly growing and changing, every organization needs to take a step back and check to ensure that its leadership teams are stronger than ever. Need help with this? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Leadership and Your People Strategy

Leadership and Your People Strategy

The turmoil of the past couple of years has changed the labor market. Employees are increasingly more willing to leave unsatisfactory employers; they demand competitive compensation and benefits, an equitable work environment, and respect from their managers and employers.

Expectations from workers are high, and it’s time for companies to meet and even exceed worker expectations. Building and implementing an effective people strategy ensures your company can attract and retain talented workers.

What is a People Strategy?

A company’s people strategy refers to its plan for its workers. Your people strategy aims to build a strong bond with your workers and offer a better employee experience.

People strategy doesn’t focus on the administrative tasks associated with retaining workers and establishing a favorable culture; instead, it focuses on the tactical steps that help your company attract and retain your workers.

Strategies in your people strategy may pertain to:

  • Attracting job applicants
  • Building leaders
  • Retaining workers
  • Establishing a strong connection with workers
  • Encouraging C-suite and stakeholders to embrace a cohesive strategy for decisions about your human capital

Your people strategy functions as a road map that your company should follow when dealing with your current and future labor force.

Benefits of a Successful People Strategy

There are multiple benefits associated with a fruitful people strategy that helps your company achieve its goals for growth and profitability. These benefits include:

  • Improving employee loyalty and engagement
  • Encouraging high-performing teams
  • Boosting productivity
  • Creating an environment that supports employee success
  • Fostering connection and collaboration among your company’s different departments

The cohesive leadership provided by a stable, consistent people strategy will help your company’s goals for prioritizing initiatives that support workers.

How Do Strong Leadership Skills Improve Your People Strategy?

Strong leadership skills are essential for building a functional people strategy. Your company’s leaders are the driving force behind your company’s vision; they also ensure your people and company get the support they need to survive challenging periods.

It’s essential for your company’s leaders to agree on policies that pertain to critical problems and work to lead the rest of the company by example. A disorganized culture and work environment are dangerous to your company’s future; effective leaders promote a company culture that’s stable and cohesive.

Workers sense when something is wrong. This negatively affects their performance and productivity. They need leaders who find and address issues within the company instead of ignoring problems or placing blame.

Your leadership teams shape your company’s future. To build the future you envision for your company, you need a well-defined people strategy that your leaders embrace and nurture.

Leaders work to ensure that employees understand the roles they can take in following the company’s vision and shaping its future.

Get the Support You Need to Build Your Leadership Abilities

Stellar leadership abilities make the difference when building, implementing, and strengthening your company’s people strategy.

Ready to enhance your leadership skills? Work with us!

7 Team Building Success Tips

7 Team Building Success Tips

Team building is vital for fostering trust and loyalty and increasing productivity. It’s also a great way to establish your company culture and values. But getting it right requires careful consideration and strong leadership.

Here are seven tips for building a successful team.

1. Make Your Company Goals Clear

One of the best ways to boost team cohesion is through a collective sense of purpose. All businesses have goals and KPIs. Ensure that you communicate these goals and clarify how each team member is instrumental in achieving these objectives.

No one should feel in the dark or disconnected from their overall purpose in the team. When your staff understands their goals — and what they need to do to achieve them — they can start pulling together in the same direction.

2. Set a Pathway For Success

Setting goals is just the start of the process. Great leadership also involves establishing deadlines and milestones and offering regular progress check-ins. Try celebrating or rewarding your team as each goal is hit, even with something minor.

3. Use Team Building Activities to Make Employees Feel Connected

As many teams shift to remote or hybrid working, problems can emerge. A Gallup study found that isolation can result in a 21% drop in productivity. Of course, isolation and loneliness were issues in the workforce before the pandemic, but a lack of day-to-day interactions can exacerbate these issues.

Team building exercises — even done remotely — can be hugely beneficial. However, it’s best to consult your team before planning the specific activities. The best leadership styles encourage listening and understanding what interests and motivates your staff.

4. Encourage a Level of Risk-Taking

Building a successful team requires a leadership style that promotes a reasonable level of risking-taking. For example, employees should feel that they can advocate for contrary positions and disagree without fear of punishment.

Teams will naturally disagree about specific directions or processes. Ensuring that they feel free to express their opinion openly is a huge part of creating an environment where employees feel shared and valued.

5. Set the Tone with Honest, But Respectful Communication

Management plays a crucial role in setting the tone for how the team communicates. If leaders are open and respectful, this trickles down into how the team talks to each other and influences how they resolve conflict.

6. Team Building Starts at the Interview Stage

If you want to build a cohesive, well-integrated team, you need to start at the hiring stage. Some candidates with outstanding qualifications and skills might not be a perfect fit for your current team due to poor interpersonal skills, a lack of teamwork skills, or low empathy.

So don’t forget to test social skills by asking behavioral questions at the interview stage.

7. Organize Team Building Exercises Away From the Office

Company off-sites are a great way to build successful teams. With the office distractions a distant memory, your staff can communicate and get to know each other more personally.

Make sure to organize activities that people like. Not everyone will appreciate high-octane group events. So canvas for opinions before making any plans.

In our book, Maximum Accountability, we dedicate an entire chapter to the topic of Team Building. Order your copy today!