Leadership roles are some of the most challenging to fill and most organisations admit that they struggle to develop leadership skills and even to identify the potential leaders in their company. Unfortunately for these organisations, leadership development is one of today’s most important competencies and those that fail to nurture the relevant skills in their employees will find themselves at a serious disadvantage. Leaders not only have the skills to get the job done efficiently, they inspire others in the company to work harder and succeed, making them a vital driver behind business success.
We’re always talking about ‘the leaders of tomorrow’ and even use tests like Myers-Briggs to help people find out where they fit in the work group and whether they are leaders themselves. Sheep-like behaviour is often seen as a negative trait today, whether it’s in the workplace or in our everyday lives. It’s clear that leaders are important to us and leadership skills are coveted, particularly in the workplace, but why is this?
Leaders are first and foremost inspirers. They inspire or literally lead others to a cause or achievement. In the workplace this includes motivating and helping teams to complete projects as well as setting an example and inspiring everyday professional etiquette. It can even include passing on their own leadership skills to others.
To inspire and motivate others, of course, leaders also need to be competent in their field and industry. They are usually the hardest working people in the organisation, finding efficiencies and encouraging productivity both in themselves and others. They are therefore critical to business success.
Leaders themselves may be vital for short term business success, but developing a continual process of nurturing managers into these leadership roles is vital for long term success. Continually developing leadership roles means always having the right skills and people to carry the business forward and achieve overall company goals, helping to make the business more viable in the long run.
Of course, employees themselves are usually keen to develop leadership skills and take on more challenging roles. In fact, for most, opportunities for career development and leadership is the number reason they both choose to take a job in the first place and choose to stay there in the long term. That means creating a leadership development program is a key driver of employee retention. Not only can developing leaders internally help to retain your top talent and keep them from crossing over to your competition, but it can also save you significantly on recruitment costs.
A good leader can give your company a competitive edge, help you to achieve business goals and even save you money on sourcing and securing new talent, but what exactly should you be looking out for and nurturing in your employees to make them good leaders?
Of course, there are many qualities that make a good leader. Some are more prominent naturally in some people while others may need to be nurtured and guided more, but all can be developed.
SuccessFactors provide a whole suite of modules designed both specifically and indirectly to help create leadership roles and develop the leadership skills in employees to prepare them for these roles. While individually these modules can help in various ways to help develop leaders, it is only when used together that they can help businesses create a continual cycle of leadership development.
SuccessFactors Succession & Development is the key leadership development module designed specifically to help businesses identify and create leadership roles and to then help employees map their career path and achieve their goals to fill these critical roles.
The first stage of creating a culture of leadership is to first identify these roles, whether it’s spotting current positions that need to be filled or even creating the new roles needed to help the business achieve their goals. Visibility and planning tools help businesses to anticipate and spot skills gaps.
You can then search for and match the right candidates to these roles and recommend them to employees to kickstart intelligent career pathing. Along with performance tracking, dynamic drag-and-drop calibration tools, talent profiles and visual org charts lets you objectively assess employee competencies and zero in on top performers. This means you can remove bias from the assessment process and make sure you develop talent based on real merit, not just a gut instinct.
With Succession & Development you can then work with employees to choose career paths and then create career development plans to help them achieve their dream roles. Help them set career specific competency goals to work towards and even combine with SuccessFactors Performance & Goals to make sure these goals are aligned with business needs. With SuccessFactors goal setting you get access to a library of hundreds of SMART goals and managers can cascade these down from business goals to team goals all the way down to personal targets.
Together the two modules not only give employees clearly defined objectives that they need to work towards their leadership role, but it also ensures these career development plans are always working towards the goals of the business and overall success.
The SuccessFactors Learning module is designed to provide one centralised location for employees to train, learn and develop their skills. HR teams can create and upload resources, course material and even exams and certifications. Employees can then track their progress, empowering them to take control of their own learning and be proactive with their own development. Mixed media like blogs, videos, playlists, guides and more motivate employees to take on learning and keeps them engaged.
You can also develop both formal and informal leadership courses for your top talent along with other formal role specific skills and courses to ensure their competence. Because leaders learn from everyone, you can also enable collaborative learning. This helps potential leaders learn from others, including current leaders in the business, as well as coach and train others themselves.
Of course, nothing beats peer-to-peer learning. With Succession & Development you can create mentoring programs and automatically match mentors to your future leaders to help them learn from the best and spend more time learning directly in their role.
Tracking performance has a dual purpose; spotting your top talent within your management team for leadership potential and then tracking performance once your managers are on their leadership path. SuccessFactors Performance & Goals also integrates with Learning so both employees and managers can track learning progress in line with their goals and their career development plan.
A standardised review process with helpful writing tools and guides ensures potential leaders get detailed and actionable feedback on their progress to help them achieve their goals. It also helps keep feedback compliant to reduce company liability. Being a cloud based solution SuccessFactors allows for open communication between managers and employees anywhere anytime so there’s never a reason to miss a feedback session and potential leaders can get advice whenever they need it to keep them on track.
Once you nurture your leaders into their new roles you can use SuccessFactors Onboarding to set up a detailed onboarding process for their new position and give them access to everything they need to get settled and start performing straight away. You can then start the whole process again for new employees and empower your newly developed leaders to mentor, coach and nurture others to take on critical positions.
Ready to start developing a culture of continual leadership development? Contact us today about SuccessFactors to start planning and nurturing the best talent for future business success.