All companies need to plan for the future, and part of this involves ensuring there is no leadership vacuum if senior figures leave or retire. Knowing how to inspire your team to become leaders themselves is a key aspect of succession planning. Guiding your employees to reach their full potential will also help you build a highly skilled and productive team, who are likely to stay with the company for longer.
Why you need to know how to inspire your team
All organisations face the risk of losing key people. The potential for disruption is greater when leaders choose to move on, and you need to plan for this by grooming your own team to take on leadership roles. Whether or not you choose to have a formal program of leadership development in place, it is important to know how to inspire your team to step up to the leadership plate. This will allow a smooth transition if a leader unexpectedly leaves or if a restructure provides an opening for new leaders.
Identify staff with leadership potential
All employees have the potential to become leaders though some will show more aptitude than others. Bear in mind, while leadership demands strong technical skills, it also hinges on excellent soft skills. Team members who are good problem solvers, and who show drive and ambition, may be natural candidates for leadership. But don’t overlook staff with other skills that may be just as essential to lead. Employees who can encourage and motivate their colleagues, or who readily suggest innovative approaches, may also have what it takes to be an effective leader.
Empower your team
Being able to work autonomously is a critical skill for leaders. Knowing how to inspire your team to reach their leadership potential means encouraging your people to come up with their own solutions to problems and take responsibility for their decisions. When employees come to you for help, resist the urge to take over or provide all the answers. Instead, encourage them to find their own solutions – while making it clear that your support is available if needed. It’s a simple way to foster confidence and a sense of empowerment among your team.
Broaden your employees’ experience
Look for ways to expand your employees’ skill sets so that they are equipped to take on a leadership role. Simple steps like asking employees to give presentations helps to develop communication skills. Appoint one of your up-and-coming leaders to organise and run a meeting. Or ask a team member to oversee a project within your department. These sorts of activities don’t just develop leadership skills, they also provide a break from workplace routine, and this helps to keep your people engaged and motivated.
Understanding how to inspire your team to become leaders, doesn’t just support the company’s succession plans. You will also be strengthening the quality of your team as a whole. By developing your team’s leadership potential, they will also see that your company offers long term career opportunities, and this can encourage your employees to stay with the business for longer.