Leaders are pivotal to the success of any business. They’re responsible for overseeing major decisions, guiding their respective teams, and ensuring that the workflow is always efficient and sustainable. On the flip side, ineffective leaders can be detrimental. Without proper leadership, seventy percent of employees will consider quitting or looking for a new job due to a lack of support or recognition. That said, constant upskilling is necessary if you want your leaders to continue evolving. After all, those who want a successful career in business will always be looking to move up the corporate ladder to higher leadership positions, and they will need your guidance to do so. You can help these future leaders through these five areas of improvement.
In our guide to good governance, we highlight how a leader is meant to focus on outcomes rather than the amount of work being done. This entails strategic thinking and the effective allotment of their time and effort. To help them know which areas to prioritize, strategic plans should be created in outcomes language, as this can also be used for monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, leaders should make analysis a habit — the SWOT, or strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, for instance, is one of the most effective strategic planning tools in the business. Mentorship is also one of the most effective ways to teach leaders how to strategize and think critically.
Flexible individuals can modify their approach in leadership depending on the circumstances. Business administration graduates often learn this skill quickly, as they are presented with lots of situations involving marketing, management, economics, finance, and other topics of importance during their training. Flexibility can also be developed by giving leaders exercises and guided responsibilities within the company. In a rapidly changing world, flexibility has become one of the most valued traits for leaders.
The lifestyle changes from the pandemic resulted in record-high levels of stress among employees across the globe. Upskilling leaders in emotional intelligence and empathy has also become crucial during these trying times. As a leader starts developing empathy, they can better understand and support the needs of their subordinates. Companies that push for open exchange often provide empathy training and courses for their leaders and encourage them to connect with their teams on a personal level. Leaders can also think of their own ways in which they can provide support to their team members; for instance, setting regular check-ins, or providing mental health resources.
Accountability can greatly impact leaders' relationships with their team members. An accountable leader knows to take responsibility for the results of any campaign they administered, regardless of its results. Accountability ensures that credit is given where it’s due and reduces blame-shifting within the organization as well. To encourage accountability, allow leaders to set team-wide goals, and teach them to create contingency plans for their teams in case something goes awry. Make it a rule for both leaders and employees to own the results of their actions.
Now that hybrid work setups are predicted to be the future of most organizations, it’s important to train your leaders to become technologically adept. Provide workshops that focus on making the most out of your online management system and communication channels, and encourage them to take the necessary courses to understand the ins and outs of leading a remote team. Lastly, invest in the right technology that will help your leaders better navigate the digital spaces they work in.
In today’s highly competitive and ever-changing business landscape, great leaders can very much set your organization apart from your competitors. Upskilling leaders in various areas will definitely pay off in the future with better results, a lower employee turnover, and an overall better company culture.