Succession Planning to Grow New Leaders in your Organization

One of the most important aspects of organizational development is succession planning and, in particular, growing new leaders. There are lots of ways to develop a positive culture in your place of work that will nurture and grow the leaders of the future. Here's how to turn your workplace into an organization that grows the leaders of the future and makes your department a stellar place to work.

Cross-Train Your Employees

Take a look at the skills and experience in your department. Is there someone you are highly dependent on with particular skills? If they resigned or were ill tomorrow would you be left with a huge gap? Developing staff to be able to step up is vital, not only for their personal development but to increase the resilience in your organization so it can operate effectively if a crisis occurs. Offer buddy opportunities with other staff, encourage sharing of ideas at team meetings, and enable co-working on projects to help increase that knowledge and experience in leadership. Make sure that your aspiring leaders are able to deputize for you as well. Examples are encouraging them to give board presentations, stand in for you at meetings, or lead a key project. Succession planning enhances the culture within your organization, creating a positive working environment.

Be Aspirational With Objectives

All employees need clarity in their jobs and with their objectives. In partnership with writing the standard objectives that address everyday corporate issues, think of creative projects and opportunities to stretch into new territory at work, and enhance personal development. Employees can also learn about different leadership styles and when to use them. Secondments open up opportunities to lead and learn from other teams. Offering development and secondments to employees and making the opportunity available in your own department grows new leaders through their new experience. All these help someone reach beyond their current surroundings to learn new skills, get out of the comfort zone, and gain confidence. It also makes your department an attractive place to work for the existing staff and those looking for a job.

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Encourage Coaching

A coach helps employees work through challenges and experiential learning. They facilitate a learner to develop through practical experiences. Having a coach is an excellent way of developing employees and enhancing leadership qualities in an individual. Having a network or list of potential coaches for employees is an effective way to start developing those skills and shows your team you care about their future. Coaches help people learn from mistakes or challenging situations. These are both areas where employees can gain insight into their behavior and deal with situations that grow leadership abilities.


Review the Culture

Doing a cultural audit to explore the characteristics of your organization is an excellent way of ensuring the values and behaviors are open to leadership development. By having an open and transparent culture where people can develop, talent and leadership will thrive. By getting your staff to think about the importance of culture in an organization, they are able to walk the talk with leading teams and model the values and beliefs of that workplace.

Growing a new leader is an exciting aspect of managing a department. By setting out opportunities and challenges within your team, you'll develop the leaders of the future and be the go-to place for inspirational development in the workplace.

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About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is Director of IRI's Digital Workplace Solutions Group, and the founder of A Better Leader. Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.