Developing Employees Into Leaders Through Performance Management

Posted by Julie • July 26, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 3 min read

Being a good leader is no easy task. In fact, only 27% of Millennial men and 21% of Millennial women believe they have strong leadership abilities. These statistics probably leave any executive a little uneasy, as someday they will be hoping to pass the management baton on to these same individuals.

The good news is you can work on instilling leadership skills into your employees through great performance management. These qualities are absolutely necessary if you want to develop your employees into phenomenal leaders.


One quality that all amazing leaders have in common is – confidence. When it comes to the employees on your team, you might be wondering how a leader could have any control over this the development of this particular quality. Luckily, it is something leaders have the ability to build. Start the process by having some yourself! Be transparent about problems, including your own flaws. Own your strengths and build up those who work with and for you. Of course, actions speak louder than words, so be sure to show coworkers and subordinates respect and motivate them through mistakes.

Use performance management techniques like feedback to express how important both hard times and failure are to success. That considerable increase in your own self-confidence will lead to a more productive workforce as as 70% of employees who lack confidence in their leadership are disengaged. If you, as a leader, are lacking self-confidence, you’ll have trouble empowering and motivating your employees.

In the next performance review: Discuss specific mistakes that have been made along the way for each employee and what can be learned from them to move forward. Don’t be afraid to bring up a few of your own to keep everything in perspective.

Learn why managers are the key to successful performance management.


You know the saying, “Honesty is the best policy?” This is absolutely the case when it comes to leadership. Employees need to know whether or not they’re doing well in order to progress in the right direction. . 8 out of 10 Millennials expect regular feedback on their performance. They WANT to know so they’re able to better themselves and the team. This is difficult to do if their leader is not completely honest with them. Transparency during performance reviews helps you establish expectations and the steps needed to actually achieve them.

The next time you give feedback: If the task your employee has completed isn’t quite right, be sure to let them know why and how to fix it, instead of doing it yourself and moving on. They will only learn if you’re willing to teach and you might just be surprised how great the next try turns out.

Read 7 facts you need to know before giving employee feedback.


How can you get team members to take accountability for their projects and actions? Use performance feedback to inspire employees to go past simply completing a task and instead actually own it. This may involve a little free reign on projects, but they’ll be able to take accountability to a whole new next level with a project they call and consider their own from start to finish. That connection will help employees feel more motivated, driven and eager to do their very best on each task.

In the next performance review: Think of a long or short term project together you’d like to see completed in a certain timeframe that the team member can get excited about and flex their strengths.

Leaders aren’t born. They’re made. Someone may come into your company with a little to no leadership skills, but that just gives you an opportunity to develop them into a phenomenal leader. By teaching them honesty, confidence and the ability to focus, your company will be in great hands with the next set of leaders.

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