Many of your employees will have aspirations of future success, and so spotting the leaders in your team can be important for managers. Promoting from within is not only a cost effective strategy, but it can boost morale and quicken the hiring process as well. That said, you can’t just promote everyone with a loud voice and big ambitions. Having the potential to achieve those aspirations, and to do so within your business, is a different matter entirely.

How to spot management potential in your employees

Not everyone is cut out for management, so spotting the right talent among your existing employees is a valuable skill. Management have a key role to play in any business, particularly on attrition rates, as employees with high confidence in their seniors are five times more likely to remain at a company for more than two years than those without such confidence.

In order to give your business the best chance of making successful promotions and reaping these benefits, it’s important to have two things: the right framework to allow talent to grow, and an eye on what to look for in high-potential employees. We cover both of these areas in the tips below which focus on how to recognise and nurture management potential in your employees.

Hire wisely for every position

You never know who could rise up the ranks to become a crucial member of your team, so don’t assume that those hired for lower roles won’t end up in contention for top jobs. A lot of requirements for management are soft skills, and so someone with less experience or less hands-on talent for a role could still surprise you. Remember that almost all employees will have to work in a team, so skills like communication and negotiation are going be important no matter what.

Provide training and a career path

Once you have good people in your business, help them to perform effectively and reach towards a higher goal. If you’ve got a great salesperson, you can either keep them bringing in their own sales, or you can help them take the next step into management and pass those skills onto a whole team. Knowledge transfer from good people is crucial for business continuity, so make sure it’s clear to all employees what the next steps could be and how they can get there.

Succession planning is a key aspect here - if you’ve earmarked someone to take over should a management position become vacant, make sure they know that and are motivated to hang around and keep performing.

Start a conversation, and keep it going

Engagement with high-potential employees is crucial. Not only will their input and ideas help you to build a better workplace culture, making it more likely that they’ll stay with the business, but you will also have a chance to gauge their interest in management and their long-term goals. It’s no good pinning your hopes on a promising teacher as your next headmaster if they don’t want to make the transition into that more administrative position.

Assess their skill set, attitude, and experience

There are certain qualities that management positions need. Communication skills and the ability to perform under pressure are chief amongst these. Look out for cool-headed negotiators, especially those with previous leadership experience in other jobs or roles.

Natural leaders will rise to the top and many will have held positions in the past - whether it’s the captaincy of a university sports team or the fundraising leader for a work initiative. Keep an eye out for these indicators, as well as high work ethics that may show they’ve got one eye on the rung above them.

With this advice in mind, your business will be able to find, grow, and promote the right talent to stay successful for years to come.

About the author

Jake Waller is a wordsmith who plies his trade here at Findmyshift. He uses his background in engineering to simplify complex topics for a variety of tech firms. When not writing for Findmyshift he blogs under a pseudonym at My Name is Skylance and has a passion for creative writing and editing, about which he's always talking on Twitter.