One of my favorite books is "Taking People with You." It's an incredible resource with great perspective on the importance of not just developing leadership skills within yourself, but trying to inspire and train potential leaders from among your team members.
Great leadership isn't just about good communication skills, a contagious positive attitude and an insightful listening ear, althougth all of these qualities are very important for leaders. Great leadership is also about inspiring others to become great leaders themselves. When members of your team are looking at you not just for direction, but also with a sense of wanting to obtain some of the qualities you exhibit, that's when you really understand that leadership is truly about inspiration.
So, are there people on your team seeking to become better leaders? Are you tuned in enough to sense anyone inspired and driven to do more? If so, what trainings are you offering them? A structured and feasable plan for leadership training, even for mid-level management, is vital if you want more of your team members to move into the ranks of leadership. Leadership training matters, and here are some reasons why you should consider making it part of the culture of your organization.
Companies who offer trainings see the return in their bottom line. Research has shown that organizations who offer leadership and life skills trainings as part of their employee benefits programs suffer less turnover and have higher employee satisfaction rates. In an interesting article by Doreen Derosa, she states, "When employees feel like their company invests in them by providing training and advancement opportunities, they are more likely to perform better. This means employees are more satisfied in their positions and with the company as a whole." Not only do employees stick around, they are better equipped to perform at peak, and with efficiency as they are satisfied in their positions and feel fulfilled.
Trainings are easier and more efficient than ever. The digital age has brought an incredible amount of diversity in the way we interact, and this applies to employee and leadership trainings as well. Technology allows for online learning, e-learning via modules, and even gaming and other interactive training software. While the classroom can still be powerful for team-building and interactive workshops, there are many alternatives which are very cost effective and affordable. Organizations can be very creative in offering their employees help to improve their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. When you begin to seek innovative ways to train your employees, the response from them may be surprisingly enthusiastic.
FInally, leadership training fosters loyalty. Great leaders know that employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. In fact, many people don't rank salary as their main reason for working. People want to feel a sense of accomplishment, to feel part of a team, and to believe that what they are doing is making a difference in the bigger picture. Your team members are seeking to feel a part of something that is satisfying now and into the future. Leadership training, and opportunities to improve interpersonal and communication skills allows them to feel that they are working with purpose and not simply for a paycheck. Any employer can offer money. Great employers offer true satisfaction.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have great people on your team, seeking to improve not only your bottom line but their leadership skills as well, don't hold back any more! Go ahead and begin to investigate available options that will work for your organization, and start investing in your team members as not just resources, but as people. You will see the difference!