Human resource professionals need to wear many hats. Whether it’s benefits, retention, or training, the HR department encompasses a variety of day-to-date duties and tasks. One specific area we’re looking at today is recognizing and training future leaders within an organization. What types of training and retention programs should be put in place to promote future leaders?
When someone with leadership potential is recognized within an organization, the Human Resources department usually works with that person’s current manager to develop a succession plan that helps roadmap the promotion. HR can help management determine how best to develop these individuals through specialized training programs and benefit incentives. Direct reports or managers are usually the ones to select these individuals, but HR can be a good sounding board and can provide valuable advice based on past experience.
Investing in leadership development is something that all companies should do. Here are a few ways that HR professionals can be a part of the training and development of future leadership.
Hire, then develop. When hiring,it’s smart to think about which candidates might have the potential to become leaders down the line. Having a future plan in mind makes it much easier to promote and foster talent from within the company, to build on the company investment in time, resources, and knowledge.
Offer comparable compensation benefits. It’s important to keep abreast of current trends in compensation and benefits so that you are sure to offer a comparable package to those star employees who are most likely to be wooed away by competitors. Include leadership development opportunities as part of a benefits package, since this can go a long way toward securing their loyalty.
Create mentoring programs. A mentorship program that pairs less-experienced employees with more senior employees in the company can provide big payoffs. Spending time with someone who has more experience has proven beneficial to new employees, and also to strengthen the company as a whole.
Provide frequent feedback and coaching. You want them to stretch, but not break—so make sure these employees have adequate support in their new assignments. Frequent evaluations will help you catch and address problems early on, so that they can continue to develop into strong candidates.
HR professionals usually have their hands full, managing the needs of both new and current employees. But it’s important to keep looking forward to see what the future may hold for those individuals who show promise as leaders, since they will direct the success and longevity of the company. Develop processes that nurture these individuals through training, mentoring, and offering comparable benefits, to get on track to create strong leaders and future success.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.