How to Develop Leadership Skills in Employees | 9 Ways

Aug 8, 2023 | HR Service Management

In South Africa’s ever-changing business world, learning how to be a good leader is essential. It helps businesses grow, come up with new ideas, and be successful in the long run.

This article is a complete guide on how to develop leadership skills in employees. It gives you helpful advice and practical ideas that businesses can use to help their employees become great leaders.

Understanding Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are fundamental competencies and qualities that empower individuals to inspire, guide, and influence others in achieving shared goals.

Definition of Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are a set of abilities that help people be good leaders and manage others well. These skills revolve around communication, adaptability, cultural intelligence, and strategic thinking. They empower leaders to navigate complex business landscapes, inspire their teams, and drive growth and innovation.

Examples of Essential Leadership Skills

Within the South African business landscape, specific leadership skills are particularly relevant and valuable. These include:

  • Effective Communication: Good leaders need to be great at communicating. This means they can clearly explain their ideas, really listen to others, give helpful feedback, and create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and working together.
  • Adaptability: Given the dynamic nature of the South African market, leaders need to adapt quickly to change, embrace new technologies, and handle different business situations with flexibility and determination.
  • Cultural Intelligence: In a diverse and multicultural society like South Africa, leaders need to understand and respect different viewpoints, bring people together from different backgrounds, and create teams where everyone feels included and works well together.
  • Strategic Thinking: Good leaders need to think carefully and plan ahead. They need to solve difficult problems, find chances for improvement, and come up with new and creative solutions. They need to make smart decisions that help the organisation reach its goals and handle uncertain situations with confidence.

The Impact of Leadership Skills on Organisational Success

The impact of leadership skills on organisational success cannot be overstated. These skills play a pivotal role in several key areas:

  • Fostering Collaboration: Effective leaders cultivate an environment of collaboration and teamwork, encouraging open communication, knowledge sharing, and cooperation among team members. This collaborative culture drives creativity, problem-solving, and overall team performance.
  • Boosting Productivity: Leadership skills, such as delegation, motivation, and goal-setting, enable leaders to optimise team productivity. By effectively aligning resources, assigning tasks, and providing guidance, leaders empower their teams to achieve high levels of productivity and meet organisational objectives.
  • Enhancing Employee Engagement: Leadership skills create an environment that nurtures employee engagement. Leaders who listen, provide feedback, recognize achievements, and empower their teams foster a sense of ownership, job satisfaction, and loyalty among employees.

By developing and honing these essential leadership skills, South African businesses can unlock their full potential, drive sustainable growth, and effectively navigate the challenges and opportunities presented in the dynamic business landscape.

Also read: IT Operations Management Best Practices For Remote Teams

How to Develop Leadership Skills in Employees:

1. Create Development Plans

Work together with your employees to create personalised development plans that consider their strengths, goals, and areas for growth. Make sure to establish SMART goals and milestones that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This way, you can track their progress effectively and provide the necessary support along the way.

2. Provide Training and Learning Opportunities

Offer leadership training programs, workshops, and seminars to equip employees with the necessary knowledge and skills. Encourage participation in online courses and industry conferences to broaden their perspectives and stay updated on emerging trends.

Pink Elephant offers various course types catering to different areas of expertise, including project management, service management, IT management, and governance, among others. Our courses are designed to equip your team with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive digital transformation and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

3. Job Rotation and Cross-Functional Assignments

Enable employees to gain exposure to different roles and departments within the organisation. Job rotation and cross-functional assignments enhance problem-solving abilities, promote collaboration, and cultivate a holistic understanding of the business.

4. Provide Feedback and Performance Reviews

Make it a habit to give your employees constructive feedback that helps them identify areas for improvement while also acknowledging their strengths. Conduct performance reviews that align with the defined leadership qualities, allowing them to grow and develop in their roles.

5. Encourage Self-Reflection and Personal Development

Encourage employees to take time for self-reflection and be aware of their own strengths and areas for growth. Suggest activities such as writing in a journal, attending workshops focused on personal development, and seeking feedback from colleagues to enhance their leadership skills. By doing so, they can continuously improve and become more effective leaders.

6. Empowerment and Delegation

Inspire employees to take charge of their responsibilities and delegate tasks to their colleagues. This helps them develop important decision-making skills and grow in confidence. Empowering employees in this way nurtures their leadership qualities, strengthens their sense of ownership, and encourages them to be accountable for their actions.

7. Leading by Example

Set a positive example as a leader by embodying the qualities and behaviours you want to see in others. Be honest, communicate clearly, show understanding, and embrace a mindset that values growth and learning. Your actions will inspire your employees and establish a strong standard for excellent leadership.

8. Continuous Support and Recognition

Continue to support employees as they work on developing their leadership skills. Recognize and celebrate their accomplishments and growth, which will strengthen their commitment and inspire them to keep progressing in their personal and professional development.

9. Evaluate and Adjust

Regularly check how effective your leadership development initiatives are in the organisation. Gather feedback from employees and stakeholders to find out what can be improved and make the necessary changes to the development plans.


It’s really important for businesses in South Africa to help their employees become good leaders. This will help them grow and be successful in the long run. By following the strategies in this guide, businesses can create an environment where leadership is valued, get employees more involved, and have capable leaders who can handle the challenges of the business world today. Investing in developing leadership skills is like investing in the future success of both the employees and the whole company.

So, how can you teach employees to be good leaders? It starts by giving them chances to learn and grow. Offer training programs and opportunities to learn new things. Encourage them to talk openly, work well with others, and think about how they can improve. Give them important tasks and trust them to make decisions. Show them what good leadership looks like by being a good leader yourself. By helping them learn and supporting their development, you can make them into great leaders who will help your company succeed for a long time.

At Pink Elephant, we know how important good leadership is. That’s why we offer Managed IT Services that help businesses focus on what they do best. Our solutions make it easy for organisations to trust us with their IT needs, so their leaders and employees can concentrate on coming up with new ideas and achieving their goals. Get in touch with us today to see how Pink Elephant’s Managed IT Services can support the growth of your organisation without any hassle.