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The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development in 2 minutes. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Wednesday 07 Oct 20

The TakeawayCreating a Leadership Pipeline Through Development-for-retention

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Leaders are an integral cog in any organisation.

However, only 1 in 10 people possess the natural ability to lead successfully, so learning to develop leaders is crucial.

One great way to create a pipeline of future leaders is to implement a development-for-retention strategy.

What is a Development-for-retention Strategy?

Development-for-retention is a strategy where rather than recruiting new staff, organisations aim to continually develop, upskill and reskill existing talent instead.

(Click here for a quick guide about the difference between reskilling and upskilling staff)

Why is Development-for-retention So Important?

According to a Workplace Learning survey from LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if their employer invested in their professional development.

This statistic shows that providing professional development opportunities is a very effective way of reducing turnover.

Having a development-for-retention strategy helps organisations retain talent and encourages employees to improve their skills and abilities.

Without a development-for-retention strategy in place, organisations may be at risk of suffering a talent shortage.

How to Recognise Potential Leaders

Only a small percentage of people are naturally leadership material. It can be difficult to identify potential leaders early on but here are 5 signs to look out for in employees:

  • High level of engagement
    Shows interest and personal investment in the organisation and its future.

  • Open to feedback
    Seeks out and acts on feedback regularly to continually improve their work.

  • Eager to learn
    Looks for opportunities to learn and develop both personally and professionally.

  • Inspire and motivate others
    Has a positive mindset and encourages others to reach their full potential.

  • Goal-orientated
    Focuses on goals and achievements instead of overly-worrying about details.

How to Develop Potential Leaders

There are many ways to develop your existing employees’ knowledge, skills and behaviour, including:

  • Feedback
    The problem is that feedback is often overcomplicated; feedback should clearly outline an employee’s strengths, areas for improvement and identify actionable next steps.

  • Coaching
    Don’t just be a manager, be a coach. Leaders should aim to teach and advise employees to encourage them to learn, grow and develop

  • Training
    Leadership and management training can also be an extremely effective way of developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours existing staff need, should they wish to one day grow into leaders and managers.

Recommended Next Steps

If you’re looking to implement a development-for-retention strategy to create a leadership pipeline, here are 3 recommended steps you can take:

  1. Identify your talent gaps
    Assess your teams and identify roles that could be filled by existing staff e.g. team leader, project manager.

  2. Analyse your existing employees
    Decide which of your existing employees could fill these talent gaps and have a conversation with them to see is they want to develop into that role.

  3. Create development plans for your employees
    After consulting with your employees, create a PDP for each employee that outlines what needs to be done before they can move into that role.

“Good leaders develop ideas. Great leaders develop people. The best leaders develop new leaders.” Bobby Umar, Leadership TED speaker

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