Part of being a leader is helping employees to grow and realize their potential. When you actively communicate with each member of your team about their individual career paths, it increases their commitment to you and the organization. Building relationships with your team also helps you to become a stronger leader and professional. Armed with tools and resources, and necessary to succeed, they can become an even more valuable asset to the company. Employees want to know that they matter and that you are invested in their future.
As you strive to cultivate a positive work environment and motivate employees to excel, take advantage of ways that you can help the process along. Always be looking for opportunities and teachable moments.
- Get to know your employees as individuals.
Make it a point to learn more about each person on your team. What is their educational background and experience? What are their career goals and ambitions? Do they have any specific areas of interest? Not only will this support you in using their skills more effectively, you can also expand on opportunities for them to reach their goals. Arrange for them to work on a project that challenges their abilities and allows them to develop or refine their skills. Take advantage of training or professional development courses that align with their goals or areas of interest.
- Consider how your own skills and experiences can be of benefit.
Use your own experience as a tool for teaching when maximizing employee behaviors. As you have risen in your own career, what have you learned along the way? Share these skills and serve as a coach or mentor to others. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you can teach that would benefit their professional growth. Be willing to share mistakes that you have made and learned from through the years that have supported your journey.
- Actively listen.
Though there may be a lot that you want to share, make sure you are listening to what your employees say. Hear them out as they discuss challenges, fears, concerns, ideas, or goals. Instead of giving them the answers, give them the tools and resources to discover the answers on their own. Ask questions that prompt them to think critically and creatively as they develop solutions. Their train of thought may not be exactly the same as yours, so take the time to listen and gain understanding so you can better guide their learning. Offer encouragement and support.
- Always be learning.
Just because you are in a leadership role does not mean that you have nothing left to learn. Be a positive role model and always be looking for ways to better yourself as well. Let employees see how you handle challenging situations and confront complex issues. Do not be afraid to ask questions and seek training to expand your knowledge and skills. Keep in mind that as employees are learning from you, you can be learning from them too. Have your own network of professionals that you look up to and regard as role models.
As a leader, you have the ability to inspire and motivate those around you to thrive in their careers. By knowing your team, where they are now, and where they want to be, you have the opportunity to make a difference and support them individually and as a group. Let JP Kantor Consulting guide you in building your leadership skills and more effectively coaching and mentoring your employees. Be a proactive part of helping them to grow and achieve more and in turn benefiting the company as well.