Over the years, it has become more and more challenging for employers to find, hire, and keep skilled workers. In fact, ManpowerGroup's Talent Shortage survey recently found that talent shortages are at an all-time high in more than a decade, as results reveal that 69% of U.S. companies report talent shortages. Even more daunting, a Korn Ferry study found that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren't enough skilled people to take them.
This means employers need to focus more on looking in-house for worthy candidates who, with more developed skills, can take on job roles just as (if not more) efficiently than a new hire. Not only are they already proven capable, but they are already familiar with your business, expectations, goals, and processes.
The key is to harness the potential already in your company and provide access to relevant skill development that benefits you and your employees.
Here are four ways to develop employees' skills to help them fulfill leadership roles within your company.
1. Mentoring Tailored to Fulfill a Need
Mentoring tailored to fulfill a need is an essential way to hone and mature skills specific to a role. It helps employees explore potential as leaders and learn relevant skills from an established and experienced employee. It is a long-term influence on the growth and learning of the employee. The key is to match the mentor with the position the junior employee is likely to fulfill. This way, the expert advice and guidance resonate more with the employee in question.
2. One-to-One Coaching
While mentoring focuses on developing skills and growth for an employee's future, one-to-one coaching can focus on skill developments that are here and now. You can educate employees on a developing skill before getting into a project that involves a certain degree of ability.
These one-on-one sessions provide the extra opportunity for you to pinpoint obstacles in their career development and help employees overcome them. Most importantly, by creating a positive learning environment in these sessions, you strengthen the opportunity to see significant growth.
However, it is important to note that this type of training is not right for everyone, though. Everyone's needs differ from person to person, and there may be more effective approaches that can be more proactive than this one, depending on the employee.
Microlearning is another viable option for leadership training. This approach is more geared towards employees who like independent learning and thrive off of harnessing their skill development through self-directed methods instead of working closely with another person. This way, the employee gets pieces of information over time that fuel development and performance.
The usefulness of microlearning also depends on what your future leader will oversee, e.g., sales vs. technical. A technical employee may only need to be updated on the latest technology. At the same time, a salesperson can sometimes need more guidance on breaking out of their shell and experiencing face-to-face interactions.
Shadowing can be a great leadership training tactic for employees who benefit most from watching and learning from an experienced leader. However, shadowing is typically paired with mentoring or one-on-one coaching for the best results. This is because it allows potential leaders to envision and hone leadership skills while establishing their own skills, learning the basics, and building more hands-on experiences.
The key to shadowing is to be open about the importance of feedback. It is critical to know what is working with your employees and what is not.
Learn More About Leadership
Overall, it is better to train and promote from within than it is to search out a new hire. You save on the time and costs of searching, get the same efficiency (if not better), and reduce turnover as employees recognize the benefit in growth opportunities they can get from you. Your business couldn't be where it is without your employees, and studies show that 68% of employees say training and development is the company's most important policy. Get ahead of the talent shortage curve and learn more about how you can maximize the potential of employees already working for you.
Learn more about leadership training by downloading our eBook "Leadership Training Tactics."