While being a manager requires leadership skills, not all managers are natural leaders. Being a strong leader requires (amongst others) knowing how to build a solid relationship of trust, in particular with employees. This is crucial in order to create an effective, motivational and positive work environment.
As HR, you want to ensure all teams and individuals are performing well, but you want to pay particular attention to managers. It’s important to have people in leadership positions who are able to drive forward company values and model the behaviour you want to see. So how can you help managers develop their leadership skills?
A simple way is for them to set a baseline of their current leadership skills. They can do that by surveying those around them, or you can initiate a leadership review after which they can compile the information and see the bigger picture.
Below are 7 questions managers can ask their team members:
Do I ask for feedback frequently enough?
Do I listen actively to you and the rest of the team?
Do you find my communication clear and easy to understand, or is there something you would recommend I do to improve?
Do I clearly communicate our company’s vision and mission to you?
Are our team vision and goals clear to you?
Do you feel empowered in your role?
Do you feel supported in your career development?
When asking these questions, managers should encourage people to give detailed comments and context, to help provide an understanding of the answers given.
After establishing a baseline, you can repeat the survey on a quarterly basis to keep track of managers’ development of their leadership skills. Regularly reflecting on the results will help them, and you, be aware of their key strengths and weaknesses that can then be transferred into a clear and strategic development plan.