Empowering leadership: Develop your talent for the future
June 7, 2021
Written by María Eugenia Raffaele
Can we know what the future holds? No, but you can own the future if you plan for it, right? Empowering leadership in your employees can become your most successful strategy to plant the seeds for the next generation of successful leaders who will keep your organization productive, agile and competitive.
Here’s what we know about the future: your business will look and operate differently over the next decade and beyond. Therefore, as the world of work continues to change and evolve at a mind-numbing speed, you have to make sure you are empowering leadership in your talents today so that they gradually acquire and master the proper skills and mindset they need to become the leaders who will keep your business and culture growing.
The way to do this? Ongoing professional development. Empowering leadership means offering your talents the tools they need to become successful leaders. Apart from outperforming your competition in the race for the best talents, you’ll be taking people’s experience to the next level by keeping your community strong and engaged as you move forward into the future.
According to a report released by Deloitte on Global trends for 2021, one of the top emerging priorities in the world of business is preparing work and employees for the future. In this sense, recognizing and proactively developing your talent to manage the leadership and cultural implications that come from embracing new ways of working is crucial to stay competitive and thrive today and in the years to come.
There seems to be a problem here, though: In the turmoil of the bumpy demanding present, many organizations focus on immediate, short-term needs and put off future planning for later. Actually, in Deloitte’s report, although 90% of the surveyed companies recognize the importance of building a strong leadership pipeline, only 20% are actively developing leadership skills in their talents today. Consequence of this? When companies don’t identify and develop potential future leaders early enough in their career, they are missing the opportunity to rise stars within the company and outperform their competitors.
So, dear top managers, if you still haven’t considered this, it’s high time you start making professional development a central pillar of your organizational culture and give your talents all possible resources to mentor, train, and prepare your future generation of executives.
Let’s summarize the 4 main reasons why you should start empowering leadership today:
- You give your people more autonomy and responsibility: By making them assume an active and participative role in your company, you increase their motivation, engagement and commitment.
- You enhance your people’s performance and productivity: Developing leadership skills will make your employees feel valued and eager to give their best for the overall success of your organization.
- It improves employee retention: Research shows that 63% of employees nowadays feel that their leadership skills are not being fully developed by their employers, which leads them to look for job opportunities that would encourage them to grow professionally.
- You ensure the growth and essence of your culture. Through their daily experience and progressive development as future leaders, your culture already becomes part of people’s DNA. This means that they’re likely to transmit it and reinforce it more naturally and smoothly in their teams as future leaders.
Ok, but… Who are the leaders of the future?
Turning employees into leaders requires visionary and innovative top managers who can identify and anticipate the skills that future leaders will need in order to provide their employees with the necessary tools to acquire them. Check out the must-have skills you should start developing in your talents today…
Having a clear understanding of the skills and capabilities your talents need to develop is essential to not just cope, but thrive in the future. So, bearing in mind that technology-driven change will demand more resilience, emotional, and social skills from your leaders to navigate constant adaptation, we suggest you plan strategic professional plans to develop leaders who:
- Embrace technology and AI to fuel internal processes, get to know people deeply, and make more agile data-bases decisions,
- Care about people’s emotions and create a habit around behaviors by celebrating and recognizing daily actions,
- Can be empowering leaders who make their teams more autonomous, responsible and committed by making the invisible visible,
- Consider ongoing casual feedback, pulse surveys, and public recognition central for an effective management,
- Pursue sustainability in every action, and
- Are problem-solvers who put people first and deepen human connections.
It’s crystal clear that organizations become stronger when empowering leadership is a main pillar of their corporate culture. But, this raises a new challenge: how do we make it happen?
Companies like Globant, Microsoft, and IBM, among others, are empirical examples of empowering leadership behaviour in their employees because they provide ongoing training and mentoring programs to develop every individual’s capacity to become a leader – starting with self-leadership and self-responsibility. No wonder, they are successful organizations that continue growing no matter the global challenges.
So, if you are a manager or an executive who is concerned about the future of his/her organization and is willing to start turning employees into leaders, we suggest you take into account this one and only top strategy to make the most of professional development:
Empowering leadership: The top How-Tos you need to know
Here are some useful tips for you to start making leadership development a cultural process everyone benefits from!
- Make sure your organizational culture builds a strong sense of belonging and community. Other than “executing their leaders’ assigned tasks”, your employees should feel they are strongly connected and working together towards a common goal.
- Develop horizontal leadership skills. Your company is a great team going the same direction. So, expectations and objectives should be set collectively, aligned to people’s professional and personal goals. Hear all voices! You won’t believe the amazing innovative ideas your people have to share if they get the chance to do so!
- Leadership is also about recognition and ongoing casual feedback. Enhance them across the company – among leaders and colleagues. This is a great way to inspire leadership in people by actively making co-workers feel valued, giving them the chance to reach their full potential.
- Make professional development digital. According to Deloitte’s report on trends for 2021, especially nowadays, introducing digital collaboration platforms is one of the most significant trends to make employees more visible, and communicate opportunities for professional development, mentorship, networking, project participation, and promotion.
StarMeUp is a digital solution that gives organizations the possibility to empower leadership in their employees by building a culturewhere professional development is enhanced by boosting people’s growth through visibility, recognition, feedback and inspiring leaders. People analytics is also a plus for top managers, as they are able to visualize people’s behaviors and detect potential leaders. This way, it’s easier to choose the right tools and development program for each person, according to their skills, strengths, and career goals.
- Promote continuous learning to foster professional growth across the company. Yes, your employees’ skills, experiences, and processes are becoming out-of-date as you read! To thrive in your business, you have to make sure your talent can adapt and develop leadership skills along with the changing environment. Stay ahead by offering ongoing (not once in a while) professional development opportunities such as online-based learning, mentoring programs, and by encouraging them to seek out opportunities aligned with their interests and goals so that they can upgrade their skills.
So, what ‘s next?
I’m sure all top managers aim at enhancing professional development in their employees and certainly plan with an eye into the future. I also believe the present scenario is challenging and difficult, and companies sometimes fail at seeing this as an opportunity to reinvent themselves, transform their culture and align their people to it.
So let me conclude by saying this: The future is promising and you still have time to develop top leaders that will make your business grow and prosper. You just need to be willing to reflect, acknowledge, innovate and make a paradigm shift to make your company more human and ready to navigate the way forward. Remember, our specialists are here to help you clear your doubts and make the right moves for the future of your company. We can map your future together and build a culture that empowers leadership across your organization!
Enhance your employees’ commitment to your organization through culture with StarMeUp, creating workspaces that motivate them to give their best every day. Make technology your best ally as you strive to keep your organization united and ready for the challenges to come. Discover how!