Hiring Your Leadership Team: The Best Traits for the Best Employee Experience

BusinessManagement

  • Author Angela Ash
  • Published November 14, 2023
  • Word count 1,015

Building a strong leadership team is critical for business success. The process is multilayered and highly specific and often bound by industry standards.

Typically, stellar leadership teams should be able to provide a clear vision and strategy, ensure goal execution, boost team development, drive culture and values across the board, and excel at problem-solving, decision-making and risk management.

Also, strong leadership teams are capable of encouraging innovation and responding effectively to market shifts. To top it off, leaders often play a significant role in managing relationships with stakeholders, meaning they need to possess a set of suitable soft skills in addition to professional expertise.

Likewise, they inspire and motivate their teams, which, in turn, boosts employee engagement, productivity, and morale. They provide a competitive advantage that sets their organization from the competition.

Shortly put, a strong leadership team is the core of a business that influences every aspect of organizational processes, culture, and future prospects.

That is to say that long-term business growth relies heavily on the team’s expertise, which is exactly why hiring the right people is so important.

Identifying Leadership Needs

Hiring for success starts with identifying leadership needs. Businesses need to perform a comprehensive analysis of their goals and challenges to determine the competencies they need.

Here’s a recommended checklist:

  • Organizational assessment — Examine your company's current structure, size, industry, long-term strategic goals, company mission & vision, values, and organizational context.

  • Review strategic objectives — Define short-term and long-term goals and asses the type of leadership roles required to achieve them.

  • Identify leadership gaps — Define areas where leadership may be lacking and hire new team members to remedy the issue.

  • Conduct a SWOT analysis — Identify internal and external factors impacting your business.

  • Succession planning — Identify individuals within the company with leadership potential.

  • Keep informed about industry trends — Insights will help you determine the type of leadership expertise your business needs.

  • Perform benchmarking — Compare your business leadership structure with industry benchmarks.

  • Future-proof your leadership team — Ensure that your leadership needs are aligned with the potential business opportunities and challenges.

Hiring a Chief Operating Officer

Sometimes, hiring a Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the best starting point. The right time to hire a COO varies depending on your organizational needs and specific circumstances.

As vague as it seems, this rule can actually be structured. Typical factors that imply your business may be in need of a COO include:

  • If your company is experiencing rapid growth and your current leadership team is struggling to keep up.

  • If your company's operations are becoming increasingly complex.

  • If the CEO is unable to focus on the long-term strategic goals due to any reason.

  • If your company is considering entering new markets, undergoing major restructuring, or launching new product lines.

  • If there's a gap in your leadership team’s expertise.

  • If your leadership team is feeling overwhelmed or stretched thin.

  • If you’re planning to groom someone who might eventually succeed the CEO.

Training Your Leadership Team

Finding the right candidate goes only so far as to help your business address the shortage. However, keep in mind that even the finest of candidates need to be trained to be able to seamlessly fit into your company culture (to say nothing of organizational processes and the like).

Depending on your needs and circumstances, you may consider one (or more) of the following management coaching styles:

  • Directive coaching (specific instructions and guidance)

  • Supportive coaching (encouragement and emotional support)

  • Collaborative coaching (teamwork and shared accountability)

  • Transformational coaching (high expectations, feedback, and new challenges)

  • Coaching by asking questions a.k.a. “Socratic Coaching” (asking open-ended questions to boost critical thinking)

  • Performance coaching (clear performance expectations and regular feedback)

  • Positive reinforcement coaching (desired behaviors through positive feedback, rewards, and recognition)

  • 360-degree feedback coaching (feedback from peers, subordinates, and superiors)

  • Goal-oriented coaching (specific goals, progress tracking, action adjustment)

  • Situation-dependent coaching

The best management coaching style is not necessarily just one of the above. More often than not, it’s a combination of various styles that uphold leaders’ strengths, organizational needs and overall goals.

Leadership Team Development

Team development is a critical aspect of building a strong leadership team. In addition, the approach fosters an environment of growth and drives continual improvement.

Team development specifically targets enhancing leadership skills. It identifies essential leadership skills and builds on them. Typical skills may include strategic thinking, decision-making, conflict resolution and effective communication.

Next on, effective team development taps into succession planning. Sooner or later, current leaders will retire and the business needs to be ready for that. Team development nurtures potential future leaders and trains them on the go.

Team development ensures organizational resilience, boosts employee engagement, provides knowledge transfer, and inspires collaboration. All of these amount to the organization being able to adapt to changes fast and improve team performance in the long run.

Building a Culture of Continuous Learning

Team development promotes a culture of continuous learning and sets an example for the entire organization.

An environment where learning, growth, and development are viewed as a constant is certain to thrive no matter the circumstances.

First and foremost, a continuous learning culture emphasizes the professional growth and development of all employees, including the leadership team. Leaders who prioritize their own inspire others. Secondly, it enables leaders to stay up to date with industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices, empowering them to be adaptable.

Leaders who engage in continuous learning are more likely to improve their leadership skills and foster innovation. Along the way, they’ll inspire creativity and idea development.

Shortly put, leaders dedicated to continuous learning typically develop a lifelong learning mindset, which makes them open to new ideas, perspectives and feedback.

Everything considered, there’s much planning involved in leadership and succession planning. That’s why it is essential to nurture an inclusive culture that cherishes learning. As time goes by, the entire organization will be transformed into an inspiring environment where challenges easily become opportunities and ideas thrive.

Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, who focuses on important business topics.

https://www.gcestrategicconsulting.com/blog/hire-a-coo

https://www.theshiftspot.com/management-coaching-styles/

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