While the floor manager is the leader of your team, leaders within the team can be very important. Leaders take initiative, keep a cool head and can direct others in stressful situations when they aren’t sure what to do. When you have leaders on your team, you want to foster their skills. But first you have to identify them. Here are five ways to identify leadership skills on your team.
Don’t Be Overly Focused on Performance
The best performer on your team is not necessarily the best leader. In fact, the opposite may be true. They may be so good at producing output because they are great at unquestioningly following orders. Focus instead on potential, as measured by creativity, flexibility and a willingness and ability to learn.
Look for Accountability
While many of your employees will try to shift blame when a problem occurs, a true leader will hold themselves accountable. They will take responsibility for their own failures, and if someone else fails, they will recognize the work is a team effort and will hold themselves accountable for their part in it as well. Rather than looking for ways to get out of a situation, leaders will attack it head on and look for solutions.
Look for Action
This brings us to the next sign of leadership skills: willingness to take action. When a crisis happens, observe who is watching to see who will pick up the slack and see who jumps into action. Even if they aren’t able to come up with the right solution every time, the person who takes that initiative is bound to turn out to be a strong leader.
Watch for Emotional Intelligence
You don’t need emotional intelligence to know how to work a forklift or run a conveyor belt, but you do need it to be a leader. Do you observe your employee taking time out to interact positively with other workers on the team? Do they help others? Are they a team player? A worker who is unselfish and understands the importance of team bonding can be a great leader.
Watch for Communication Skills
As a manager yourself, you know communication skills are paramount. If you cannot clearly and concisely explain your ideas so everyone can understand them and take the necessary steps to put them into action, if you cannot create an environment where workers feel comfortable coming to you with their ideas, questions or concerns, you cannot be an effective leader. If you are trying to identify leadership skills among your employees, good communication is a must.
When looking for team leaders, make sure not to judge too hastily. New team members may be taking some time to get acclimated to the environment, but they may prove highly effective leaders later. Other workers may show great leadership in a particular instance, but you may find it does not translate to general situations in the workplace. Take your time, observe carefully and you will find your leaders.