Unlocking Potential: How to Develop Leadership Skills in Employees

Every organisation needs effective leaders to secure business growth. Leaders play a crucial role in managing and directing teams and employees towards productivity. But more importantly, leaders motivate and inspire people to do their best work because they find purpose and meaning in what they do.

While it is common for people to think that there are just natural-born leaders, more often than not, leaders are developed. Not everyone can or wants to be a leader but anyone with the willingness and self-awareness to commit to constant improvement can be a leader.

Being a leader is more than an executive position or a job title. A leader is a passionate individual with the ability to influence people positively to act on a shared goal. While organisations can’t give everyone leadership roles, they can instil leadership skills into the work culture. Below are 7 tips to unlock leadership skills in employees so everyone is a leader at work.

7 Tips to Unlock Leadership Skills in Employees

1. Identify the Leadership Skills Your Organisation Needs

Every organisation is unique and may require different skill sets from its employees. When planning your developmental strategies, consider the industry you belong to, the company culture you want to nurture, the size of your company and the roles of your employees, as well as your perceived challenges.

Here are some examples of leadership skills your organisation may want to develop:

  • Ability to delegate work based on the strengths of their team members

  • Confidence in their abilities to inspire people to also do their best

  • Reliability to ensure everyone is following guidelines and meeting objectives

  • Communication is important in relaying information and giving feedback

  • Discernment to make tough choices under pressure

  • Innovative in developing solutions and promoting creativity

  • Empathy to understand what individuals need to succeed

  • Motivating those around them to commit to improvement

To demonstrate how you can pattern leadership skills to address organisational needs, imagine a startup with limited resources. They’ll need to train employees to be innovative so that everyone can contribute new ideas for products and services, or new ways to reach more customers. In the same way, organisations with high employee turnover may need leaders who have empathy to understand where the dissatisfaction stems from and propose initiatives to boost morale.

2. Invest in Employee Training

Investing in employee training is your organisation’s chance to provide clarity and practical knowledge to guide their performance. Where these training sessions take place and their nature can be adapted to your business setup. The goal is for them to be confident and reliable in doing their tasks because they know what is expected of them.

If your organisation has a remote or hybrid setup, you can host virtual trainings such as webinars or provide e-learning courses they can take at their own time and pace. Then, if you have a physical office or prefer in-person training, you can hold a seminar or workshop in a conference room.

3. Encourage Workshops or Focus Groups

To cultivate employee engagement and camaraderie, have managers schedule workshops and focus groups with their teams where they can freely talk about leadership. These discussions can be in the form of debates, brainstorming sessions, or simulations of scenarios that require leadership intervention. By creating a safe space to voice their opinions, you’re harnessing your employees’ communication skills while testing their ability to discern and innovate.

4. Establish a Mentorship Programme

Establishing a mentorship programme where your employees can have coaching sessions with their team leader or manager will allow them to hone specific leadership skills. The mentorship programme can be tailored to suit the needs of the specific department and team, as well as their schedules.

The mentorship programme can be a sit-down one-on-one session, a project where the mentees can be exposed to how mentors handle leadership situations in real-time, or job shadowing where mentors observe how mentees respond to new leadership responsibilities and constructive feedback.

We suggest you assign mentees to learn from mentors who excel in the areas they need to improve. For instance, someone who lacks discernment in high-stress situations can take notes from a manager who is impressive at conflict resolution.

To ensure that employees are receiving the guidance they need, it would be wise to consider enrolling those in leadership roles to a programme that can expand their coaching skills. With certifications and accreditations under their belt, managers feel more empowered to train employees. Moreover, you boost morale since employees and managers alike feel that their organisation is as invested in their professional development as much as they are dedicated to the company’s growth.

5. Provide Timely Feedback

Feedback whether positive or constructive is necessary for professional growth. Feedback from managers will help reinforce the existing skillset of the employees and/ or identify leadership skills they can improve on. Providing feedback strengthens communication lines within the organisation while sharpening the employees’ ability to delegate and become reliable.

Managers or team leads need to be able to communicate task instructions, check in with their team’s progress, and provide timely feedback to team members. This process allows managers to address task issues promptly and minimise errors while team members can adjust their approach to the task and feel supported to succeed.

6. Foster Trust and Independence

Promoting a culture of trust and independence in the workplace fortifies the team lead’s coaching skills and improves the team members’ reliability. As much as possible, managers must avoid micromanaging so that employees can have opportunities for growth and development. Instead, managers should instil confidence in their team’s capabilities.

Managers or team leaders can assess the current workload of every team member and find ways to challenge them with stretch assignments. As a result, employees adopt a leadership mindset that makes them more accountable and proactive in problem-solving.

7. Shift Focus From Tasks to Goals

Team huddles are crucial to ensuring that the task or project objectives are met. Team leads or managers must be able to establish goals, break them down into smaller tasks, and delegate workload.

With everyone in the team aware of the overall goal, managers can motivate people to become efficient and inspire team members to take initiative. Moreover, everyone is being trained to have more empathy for one another as they go beyond what is expected of them to help struggling team members and contribute to the shared goal.

Final Thoughts on How to Develop Leadership Skills in Employees

Effective leaders can be developed when their organisation invests in their professional growth and nurtures their leadership skills. Every leader can have their fair share of humble beginnings. With this in mind, we encourage management to pay attention to their team members so that they can spot and unlock leadership potential. By ingraining leadership skills in every employee, organisations give rise to better team collaboration. With every employee inspired to be a leader at work, organisations also secure a pipeline of future leaders.

At Kompass Consultancy, we provide coaching to enhance leadership performance and career excellence. To match your unique organisational needs, we devise customised coaching plans to ensure optimal results. Book a discovery call today, we’ll be happy to hear from you and help you develop leaders.

    Book a Discovery Session

    First Name*

    Last Name

    Your Email*

    Mobile Number*



    Gaj Ravichandra
    Gaj Ravichandra