Employee Potential: How To Identify And Groom Team Members For Leadership Positions


Part of being a business owner or in higher management is grooming future company leaders. A business is only as good as the people running it, so it is helpful to keep one eye on the future generations of leadership. 

Here are some of the things you could consider doing when grooming your team members for leadership positions. 

Allow Opportunities For The Best To Rise

It will help if you provide opportunities for the highest potential team members to show their abilities. This could include giving them more responsibility, getting their advice on projects and seeing how they manage others. Allowing them to solve their own problems may help you see how they will cope with a managerial position.

Hire Wisely To Begin With

It may help to make your business an attractive place to work for the top talent. There is more to attracting the most talented individuals than simply providing a competitive salary. You could also consider your company’s culture and ethos and show candidates a clear progression path. 

You could view every job opening you have as a potential path to management. When interviewing, you could ask about a candidate’s goals and plans to help determine whether they are a managerial contender. 

Provide Mentorship

Mentorship is an integral part of advancing your employees skills and experience. You could consider mentoring those you have in mind or delegate this to other members of management. This will allow your employees to gain a better understanding of what it is like working at a management level. 

If you choose to delegate mentorship, you should consider taking the time to talk to the employee or employees yourself regularly to see how they are getting on. Check in with them, ask them how they feel about their work and progression path and let them know there is help available if they need it. 

Consider An Open-Door Policy

Many offices operate with an open-door policy. This is a policy of openness and transparency within a company and with a manager or business leader in particular. It will allow you to be reachable to your team and increase mutual respect and collaboration. 

Having an open-door policy can help encourage those employees who have high potential to engage with you and bring you their ideas, concerns and questions. 

Focus On Professional Development 

You could consider enrolling your highest potential employees in courses that will hone and develop their leadership skills. This may be particularly advantageous for employees with high potential but who lack experience or confidence in a particular skill or skills. Communication, interpersonal and financial skills are common skills that most managers will need. 

You could consider doing some research into the training available and find the opportunities that will most benefit the specific employee. Online training can be an excellent way to provide growth opportunities to employees. There are online options for a finance course that will provide your high-potential employees with an online finance certificate. 

Give Regular Constructive Feedback

Regular feedback can be beneficial for any employee. If you have identified employees with leadership potential, you could consider providing them with feedback related to your plans for their career progression. It may help to let them know that you are considering them for a future managerial position and explain why they have been selected. 

You could also consider having debriefing meetings after a project or assignment is completed to discuss how you and they feel their performance’s strengths and weaknesses were. It can be helpful to see how an employee reacts to constructive criticism, as those in managerial positions will need to be able to take criticism and learn from it.

Encourage Good Mental Wellbeing Practices

Good mental health can be just as important as any skill or level of experience for employees. You could consider what you can do to improve the mental wellbeing of all of your employees. This can help to improve performance, productivity and creativity, allowing the best to shine. 

You could consider providing training on mental wellbeing at work, promote a good work/life balance and having an open and honest discussion about mental health. It may also help to provide employees with information on how to get mental health help if they feel they are struggling. 

Disclaimer: The writer of this post isn’t an expert on mental wellbeing, and assertions made don’t necessarily represent facts. Readers should consult the relevant authorities and experts for appropriate care.

Delegate More 

Once you have identified employees with potential, you could consider delegating some of your tasks to them. This can give you a good idea of how they will manage with higher pressure duties. It may help to start small, with a few jobs here and there, so that you don’t overwhelm them. 

You could consider providing feedback as you do this and get their input as well. It is vital to provide enough support and development during this time so that your employee will get the most out of the experience. It will also allow you to see how they rise to meet the new challenges you put before them. 

Ella Woodward is an entrepreneur who has built a career as a freelance writer and building a business from her skill with words and understanding of the needs of corporate readers.

Employee Potential: How To Identify And Groom Team Members For Leadership Positions

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