Being successful today does not necessarily mean you will continue on the same path indefinitely. Maintaining profits, growing your customer base, and continually building your brand are goals that require strong, consistent leadership. When key executives retire or when management personnel shift into different positions, do you have individuals ready to step in and take over those leadership roles? Organizations that invest in leadership training are in a better position to make smooth transitions as business continues to evolve.
The most successful organizations are those that can balance the day-to-day operations with looking ahead to the future. Too many businesses become so mired in the daily grind that they ignore succession planning. If you want to build a future-proof organization, it is critical to prepare in advance. Just as you would develop a strategy and action plan for a product launch or other important event, you must invest the time and resources into grooming future leaders.
Leadership training helps you build a future-proof organization in multiple ways:
Develops a Clear Path Forward
A key element and first step of future-proofing your organization is knowing the leadership potential you have in-house. Leadership training can help you assess an individual’s skills, knowledge, and desire to step into a leadership role. It can also help you identify the gaps you need to fill and the characteristics to look for in new hires. An ongoing leadership development program allows you to continually measure the leadership potential in your company so you can take the necessary steps to build your leadership pipeline.
Some of the leadership assessment tools you can use include:
- Performance appraisals - Focus on characteristics like productivity and accountability. A good leadership candidate should be able to successfully manage their own time and make realistic commitments that they can uphold.
- 360-degree assessments - Gather feedback from the candidate and their subordinates, supervisors, and peers to get multiple perspectives on their performance, communication skills, and other areas where they are excelling or faltering.
Builds Strong Leaders at Every Level
Offering tailored programs for employees at every level in the organization ensures you are building a strong pipeline of leaders that can step into new opportunities as they arise. Some of the leadership training programs you might implement for different levels include programs for:
- Individual team members - Even individuals who do not yet act as supervisors can benefit from learning skills like increasing productivity, following through on commitments, and communicating effectively. Preparing individual contributors to lead themselves before they lead others will benefit your organization.
- Mid-level managers and supervisors- The mid-level managers who are in the trenches everyday can always benefit from learning new techniques for building effective teams, coaching their direct reports, and fostering a culture of accountability.
- Executives - The highest levels of leadership can take a deeper dive to sharpen their existing skills to improve in areas such as delegation, coaching, delivering outcomes, and change management.
Fosters Loyalty to the Business
When you invest in an individual through leadership training, it fosters loyalty to your company. They know that you are committed to building your internal resources and they will in turn feel a commitment to participate in the long-term success of the business. Even for the individuals who are not potential leaders, a leadership development program says something about your corporate culture. It sends the message that the company values the people that work there and that they are viewed as more than just disposable cogs in a machine.
Increases Confidence about Business Success
Most individuals want to work with a business that is successful. Not only do they want to feel pride in their work, but they also want the sense of job security that comes with the knowledge that a business is going to be prosperous in the long term. If it becomes evident that you are not priming your leadership pipeline, it can decrease confidence and prompt people to look for a more secure position elsewhere. On the other hand, a strong leadership training program demonstrates that the company is planning for future success and that they expect to leverage internal resources to achieve it.
Although it might seem difficult to divert resources away from the operational aspects of the business, especially for smaller companies, leadership training is critical for developing a future-proof organization. Take a moment to envision what would happen if one of your key executives were to step down tomorrow. What does your leadership pipeline look like? Now think beyond tomorrow and consider the long-term success of the company. Do you have employees ready throughout the organization to grow into the leadership positions you will need to fill? If not, it’s time to start future-proofing now.