Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Current Business Leadership Team

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Current Business Leadership Team

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

When you look at your company, you see leaders that can get things done and really motivate the people around them. Supervisors, forepersons, managers, and executives all have a major impact on your company. However, what if those leaders suddenly left? What happens when those stars go out? Do you have qualified employees that could fill the gap? Is your bench deep enough to play on and win the game? Have you prepared your top performers to be the leaders of tomorrow? One of the measures of healthy organizations is how comfortable they feel replacing key leadership positions with their own employees. Unfortunately, most of us only look at the people standing right in front of us, and when something happens we make a mad scramble to survive.

Leadership development should not be restricted to existing leaders. Having a healthy population of future leaders in the organization can be the biggest insurance for success.

You need to ask, “What about tomorrow?”

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

You could fill the spot with a new hire, but the difference in cost between promoting leaders from within and trying to find an external candidate can be amazingly high and comes with many hidden problems, especially in these tough economic times. At the same time, hiring someone from outside of the organization does have benefits. It can offer new ideas and new perspectives on old issues, and it creates a healthy influx of productive energy, but should that be your first option? Here are some drawbacks to making outside hiring your number one option:

Recruiting Cost

Finding a qualified, knowledgeable leader takes time and money. Recruiting, interviewing, and testing, even if done in house, comes at a high price. The cost of recruiting a new hire and training them can reach multiples of the employee’s annual salary.

Recruiting internally cuts down on the cost and shows your employees that you value their skills at least as well as those of outsiders.

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

A new candidate takes a number of weeks to learn the culture and work flow of a new organization. During that time, the individual is in a period of negative production.

If the person does not work out in the position, the cost of training and replacement can be as much as 3 times the annual salary of the position. By the time, employers learn that the employee might not work out, it’s past the probation period and damage is already done.

Cultural Adjustment

All companies have a unique set of values, character, and culture. A new candidate comes from a completely different culture and may or may not fit into yours. Interviews and resumes will not show the adaptability of leaders, even if they come from the same line of business. A conflict of values can quickly become a drain on company resources and takes a long time to remedy. The result is most often a demoralized work group. So if hiring leaders externally is cost prohibitive, how do you get out of that cycle? What can you do to develop your most promising performers? You need to ask yourself, “Are there individuals internally that could do the same thing by being moved or promoted?”

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

If the answer is no, then you need to start developing. Now! The most effective way to create your leaders of the future is a professionally developed training plan; but

if you aren’t ready for that step and you need to make some moves quickly. Here are a few tips to start the process:

Start a Mentoring Program

Identify your top performers, identify your top leaders, and get them together. A once-a-week meeting to discuss what the leader does and how he or she is dealing with issues that arise can expose your employees to what being a leader means — and give them an incentive to apply it to their own positions. It will also encourage them to take the initiative for self-development.

Project Share

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

Let your top leaders identify some projects or portions of projects that they can delegate to your potential leaders. The idea is not only to develop the skills needed to complete the tasks, but it also gives them exposure to greater levels of responsibility and lets you evaluate their talents and skills.

Keep People Moving

If it’s possible for you to shuffle people between departments, offer it. Give people the option to try a new area of the company. Not only will they be learning a new skill set, but also their understanding of the entire business will expand, which is a critical aspect of leadership. In the end, this will reduce your training cost for new leaders.

Get to Know Your Employees

Do you know what your employees’ professional aspirations are? Do you know what they really want to do for the company? Do you even know their capabilities? A simple questionnaire can offer you incredibly valuable information on their past experience, skills, and performance desires. Aside from helping you to identify who might be a future leader, it can also help remedy the problem of the right person in the wrong position.

Build Your Own Library

Invest in some personal development audio or video tapes, DVDs, books, or computer-based training tools. There are lots of titles and topics available. Offer these to your employees for check out. The real performers will take advantage of it. This is a cost effective way to train employees with minimal startup cost and no labor, as the training will take place on their own time.

You can also offer “Lunch Box Learning” and show one of the short programs during the lunch hour.

These are just a few of the ways to motivate your top performers into becoming tomorrow’s leaders.

Melvin Feller MA Looks at How To Improve Your Team

The benefit of having well developed leadership skills in your employees will far outweigh the cost of putting these programs in place.

If you do not develop your top performers, they will not be your top performers for long. Soon you will be stuck with a bench full of liabilities. The question you need to ask yourself isn’t, “What happens if I develop them and they leave?”

The question you need to ask is, “What happens if I don’t develop them and they stay?”



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Melvin Feller

President of Melvin Feller Business Group With over three decades of executive coaching, speaking, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches experience.