How to make leadership integral to a workplace culture

Employees truly are a company's most important asset, so it's necessary to invest in their leadership training. The best HR Consultants are those that are constantly thinking about grooming employees for leadership roles, either through training or offering them the real-life opportunities to try out at a leadership role. 

1. Train employees to be leaders 

The most obvious place to begin leadership development is in training new hires. It motivates employees to aspire to obtain leadership positions from the get-go and makes it so they are immediately aware that there are opportunities to advance in the company.

Encourage people to be autonomous no matter their level of responsibility. 

McKinsey and Company explained how they engage new hires in leadership development when training. They teach that leadership is expected at all levels of the company – not just from managers and bosses. In fact, this is one of their guiding philosophies. They want to encourage people to be autonomous and have the ability to organise others no matter their level of responsibility. 

Training new leaders shouldn't stop with new hires, either, according to CEO Andre Lavoie and contributor to Entrepreneur. Leadership development should continue as a cross-training tool for current employees. Having one-on-one mentorships are useful because they provide the employee with a go-to person for advice when they are eventually promoted.

2. Provide real-life leadership opportunities

While training is well and good, it's important to help potential leaders move out of the theoretical realm and into real-life situations that require leadership.   

Give employees opportunities to try out leadership tasks such as giving presentations. Give employees opportunities to try out leadership tasks such as giving presentations.

As scary as it may seem for the employees, it's essential to immerse them in day-to-day leadership tasks such as public speaking and delegating. This is because neuroscience repeatedly shows how we learn by doing and that lived experience is the best teacher. 

Having practical leadership experience is heavily emphasised in a Harvard Business Review article by Deborah Rowland, who has had prominent management and human resources roles at major companies such as Shell and BBC Worldwide. Rowland cogently writes that "If leadership development begins in the head, leaders will stay in their heads."  

Leaders who are too much in their heads are often ineffective communicators. Therefore, assigning tasks to replicate the exact conditions that trainees would be in as leaders is impactful.

Contact Flexi Personnel today to learn more about leadership development. We'll put you in touch with our HR Consultants who will guide your leadership development program to ensure your company has effectual future leaders.