5 Ways to Cultivate Business Leadership

A manager gathers feedback using employee feedback collection methods.

It’s not enough to have a great business idea. Without a business leadership team that can execute the strategy successfully and motivate colleagues, that great idea won’t make it to fruition.

Companies with strong leadership teams are more profitable because they have better employee engagement and morale. These companies typically have improved productivity, work quality, and employee retention. The following steps can help you strengthen your team’s leadership skills and make your company more successful:

  1. Determine your company’s core leadership values
  2. Create a leadership training program
  3. Develop a formal mentorship program
  4. Facilitate a feedback-rich culture
  5. Promote from within

1. Determine Your Company’s Core Leadership Values

Tell your team members the characteristics that will make them stand out as strong leaders. If you’ve created core values for your company, you could choose many of the same values to maintain consistency. Choose five to seven values, such as:

  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Vision
  • Integrity
  • Dedication
  • Collaboration
  • Motivation

2. Create a Leadership Training Program

Have your HR team design a leadership training program that will help your team members gain the skills they need to motivate a team. You could make the program optional or mandatory for all managers, first-time managers, or your entire team. You may want to offer classes on essential business leadership skills such as:

If your HR team doesn’t have the bandwidth to manage a leadership training program, consider providing professional development stipends that employees can use to sign up for external leadership training programs, executive coaching sessions, certification programs, and one-off classes.

3. Develop a Formal Mentorship Program

Make sure all your team members have the advice and support they need to advance by creating a formal mentorship program. As you’re designing your program, consider whether you want to pair more senior-level and junior- or mid-level employees from the same department or different departments, set a minimum number of monthly or quarterly meetings, create discussion topics and agendas, and provide opportunities for job shadowing.

You could also consider different types of mentorship pairings, such as reverse mentoring and peer-to-peer mentoring. In reverse mentoring relationships, junior- and mid-level employees mentor executives, whereas in peer-to-peer people on the same level mentor each other.

Regardless of the type, all mentorship relationships are mutually beneficial. Less experienced employees will learn skills, including good business leadership skills and advice for navigating office politics, and more experienced employees will learn new soft and hard skills and gain a new perspective.

4. Facilitate a Feedback-Rich Culture

The most effective leaders are good at giving and receiving feedback. In addition to helping your team members improve their business leadership skills, some feedback can help you improve your company culture so you have higher employee morale, engagement, and retention. These tactics can help you encourage your employees to give positive and constructive feedback frequently:

Quarterly Reviews

Ask managers to have quarterly reviews with their direct reports. These meetings can help strengthen working relationships, improve performance, and increase employee satisfaction. It’s beneficial for employees to use these conversations to discuss:

  • Quarterly goals and objectives
  • Career development plans and progress
  • Changes that would improve employee satisfaction
  • Constructive and positive feedback

One-On-One Meetings

In addition to quarterly reviews, prompt managers to have quick weekly or biweekly check-ins to talk about current and upcoming projects. These meetings provide a good opportunity to ask questions and set priorities, so everyone is on the same page.

HR Software

You can use HR software to collect valuable feedback. Consider platforms that facilitate:

  • 360-degree feedback. This feature makes it easy for people at all levels of the organizational chart to give feedback to one another.
  • Employee engagement surveys. Send quarterly surveys to your team to find out assess work satisfaction. You may want to include questions about the company culture, work relationships, compensation, job satisfaction, diversity and inclusion initiatives, career advancement opportunities, and work-life balance.

5. Promote From Within

The best way to cultivate business leadership is to promote employees to management-level roles. It’s helpful to create a clear career path for every role, an equitable promotion process, and an internal job board. Help your employees gain the skills and experience they need to reach their goals by having a clear career development plan for each employee and providing the professional development opportunities and support they need to advance.

You can fill a role faster when you hire internally, and it takes less time for an internal hire to adjust to a new role since they have established relationships and institutional knowledge. Another benefit of hiring internally is that you’re likely to have increased employee engagement and morale because employees know there are career advancement opportunities, whether they want to move up or pivot.

Continue to Foster Good Business Leadership

These strategies will help your team members develop essential leadership skills, so you have the right team in place to exceed your goals and objectives. Keep strengthening your team and company performance by implementing expert-recommended hiring and management best practices from Monster.