Prepare for your future growth & success by investing now to develop talented people into future leaders.
The best companies invest twice as much in developing emerging leaders and high potential associates than low performing companies. If you’re not investing in nurturing and developing your high-potential employees, you are missing an opportunity to ensure your future success and accelerate future margins and profits.
Build your development program around some essential strategies. This includes identifying high-potential development associates as high-potential, discussing with them the career challenges and opportunities that will maximize their engagement and their personal satisfaction and trying to place them into those types of opportunities when possible.
Ensure that your development candidates feel the love by telling them, in your one on one conversations, that they are valued. Show them your willingness to be flexible with their child-care and travel requirements and take care to let them know you care. Finally, give them significant assignments that challenge them to grow and delegate important work to them, allowing them to increase their contribution and gain confidence.
Keep the education and the challenges coming continuously, moving your associates into new roles, new departments and continue to push them gently to keep moving forward with their training and growth. Just because someone has been a stellar salesperson doesn’t mean that they’d rather be promoted to Sales Manager. When an exceptional position in Operations or Marketing opens and might be an excellent growth opportunity, encourage them to pursue it!
Engage your executives in the development program. Assign each executive in your company to mentor a top performer development candidate for a year. Ask executives to serve as a coach to an associate, in addition to the associate’s regular manager. Change candidate and executive assignments annually to ensure candidates and executives get to expand their experience and build relationships regularly.
Create opportunities for visibility and substantive engagement for your top development candidates. Great companies insist upon leaders and members of their Board of Directors having meaningful contact with the next generation of leaders during their developmental stages. A team building exercise away from the normal business environment once a year is a great best practice that encourages significant growth.
Make sure that your leaders have the systems and tools required to drive success in a development program of this type.
Provide structure to ensure success in your development efforts, including processes for creating coursework, charting performance and more.