While not everyone in the organization is destined for an executive or senior leadership role, there are still many opportunities for employees to develop their leadership skills. Coaching and developing employees to become better leaders is not only essential to overall business growth but key for development and career pathing. Continuing a business beyond one generation of leaders also requires extensive planning. Devising a formal plan, which outlines who will own, operate and help lead the company, is a critical decision that has a direct impact on long-term business profitability.

Consider these four tips as employee development best practices:

  1. Help With Professional Development

Employees that always go the extra mile and seek feedback do so because they envision being promoted down the line. Take adequate one-on-one time to discuss future objectives and goals. After identifying the employee’s goals, alter your coaching style based on the skills and abilities they are looking to acquire. Your support will be a great motivational tool for their current and future roles.

  1. Present New Leadership Opportunities

Identifying potential leaders in case of department moves, retirements, job changes…etc. will benefit everyone involved. Pre-emptively challenge your employees with various leadership responsibilities including mentoring new employees and leading team meetings. Employees will become more valuable to your team as they develop leadership skills and eventually will make ideal candidates for managerial roles.

  1. Offer New Challenges

Employees may stop feeling challenged in their everyday work as they get more comfortable in performing their daily work routine. This is when you have an opportunity to make employees more versatile. Providing new challenges for your employees will increase their value within the company and as a professional.

  1. Continue Providing Constructive Feedback

When employees successfully complete a task, the little parts of the task tend to be overlooked. Find ways to provide specific, constructive feedback on smaller achievements along the way. Explain specifically what went well and where is there an opportunity for improvement. Ask pointed questions that help the employee self-reflect and provide their own take on project performance. Use one-on-one coaching sessions to discuss areas of development and reinforce positive behavior and skillsets. In turn, ask for their feedback. Even for CMOs, like myself, there’s always room to grow, and I remain humbled by that outlook.

To create an effective succession plan and open the door to future opportunities, it’s important to help employees develop professionally and always keep their best interest in mind. Not only will this make employees more productive, but it also sets them up to succeed when they aim for a higher position within the organization.