Diverse leadership teams bring a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and insights, which ultimately fuels innovation and drives better decision-making. While the knee-jerk reaction might be to scour the job market for new hires to create diverse leadership teams, a goldmine of untapped potential often lies within the people already working for you. The key lies in developing the people you already have to create diverse and dynamic leadership teams that will propel your company forwards and develop their careers.
The Myth of External Recruitment
It’s a common misconception that hiring new employees is the only way to inject different types of people into your leadership teams to create diverse teams. While external recruitment can definitely bring fresh perspectives, it’s important not to overlook the immense value of your existing workforce. Your employees have a deep understanding of your company culture, processes, and industry nuances, making them uniquely positioned to contribute to leadership roles. Often people in these roles will be looking for opportunities to develop their careers.
Every employee possesses a unique blend of skills, experiences, and qualities that make them potential leaders. By investing in their development, you can unlock their hidden potential and pave the way for a diverse leadership team. People are different in many ways and will bring unique perspectives. People need to feel they are welcomed and can contribute their unique perspectives to help them to develop as leaders. Work with people to understand their unique perspectives, skills and talents. And think about what adjustments will help people to achieve their potential.
Diverse Talent Programme
To help people progress, consider investing in a diverse talent programme. These programmes can be tailored to suit how you work and include training, coaching, mentoring and more. Help people to identify their strengths, skills and development areas. And offer people the opportunity to take part in a programme to develop their skills and leadership. This not only equips them for leadership positions but also sends a powerful message that their growth is valued and supported.
Celebrating and Showcasing Success Stories
As people progress into new roles, take the time to highlight success stories of employees who have developed their careers. Celebrate their achievements as proof that the path to leadership doesn’t always require an external search. These narratives inspire others to believe in their potential and embolden them to step into leadership roles. Encourage people to share stories, and as new leaders emerge, encourage them to mentor others. This creates a pool of people ready to step up into leadership roles.
A Lasting Impact
Developing people in this way creates a reputation for the long term. When employees see that their growth and potential are valued, they become more engaged, loyal, and motivated to contribute their best. An internal focus on development reinforces the company’s commitment to inclusion and sets the stage for sustainable diversity in leadership. That’s not to say that there will not be roles where you need to hire externally. There will be specific skills you need for some roles, but developing your future leaders creates a lasting impact.
By investing in the development of your existing employees, you not only unlock a wealth of potential but also cultivate a culture of inclusion, innovation, and collaboration that will drive your success for years to come. So, embrace the power of your people, and watch your leadership teams flourish with diversity and strength.
We are currently working on programmes like this with employers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information