The fundamentals of leadership
In our HR Workshops, several organisations reported that they have been conducting management and specifically leadership training for the purposes of succession planning. Fostering these key skills from the outset ensures that people are equipped to handle the management side of the business. This particularly applies if employees are specialists in the business, such as lawyers or engineers, who want to progress into management positions.
Often companies will promote based on merit. However, overlooking the career trajectory and the wider skillset required for more senior roles as employees progress undermines the journey to success in leadership. Career mapping is essential to identify and target learning and development programmes.
Talent needs to be looked at with a wider lens, to ensure that the whole skillset of an individual is taken into consideration. This ensures that the specialist skills of individuals are developed in tandem with ‘softer’ skills such as communication, crisis management and people development that are vital skills for successful line management and beyond.
Lifelong learning and development
The reported ‘leadership crisis’ requires a practical approach to training and development. Leaders need to be equipped with the tools to effectively coach their teams and uphold the standards they want for their teams from the outset.
With the pace of change being accelerated by technology, formal learning is necessarily replaced by a mixture of experience, continuous learning and mentoring. This highlights the importance of a robust learning and development strategy that is available to everyone – from graduates to senior managers – to ensure employees can access effective management strategies and have the chance to put them into practice at the earliest opportunity.
Identifying future leaders can avoid the scenario where they are having to primarily learn on the job and by trial and error. By equipping them with a framework to make a positive impact through proven techniques, leadership qualities can be developed from the outset of individuals’ careers. A well designed and implemented, evidence-based programme can support every individual and drive engagement with employees in delivering projects and outcomes more effectively.
A recruitment and retention tool
The spring 2023 UK Reward Management Survey saw 61 per cent anticipating retention challenges and 66 per cent anticipating difficulty in recruiting people in the next six months. With recruitment and retention challenges persisting for organisations, examining the motivations for joining and staying with an organisation are important.
With 94 per cent reporting a lack of suitable candidates exacerbating recruitment and retention difficulties, building a strong pipeline of home-grown talent is a valuable way of future-proofing your business. Targeted management programmes designed for first time managers and more senior managers can tailor resources, time and attention to make upskilling an efficient process.
Gallup report that millennials are most likely to switch jobs, as people are seeking careers that feel worthwhile. Pivoting careers or having multiple careers is becoming increasingly popular. Whether that is purpose-driven, engagement can be driven by shared values and by employers offering development opportunities. Employee opinion surveys are an excellent tool to identify what employees want out of their work and the total reward strategy available to them.