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Understanding Leadership in Today's Manufacturing Industry

September 20, 2019

Leadership in ManufacturingAs human resources professionals continue to struggle with difficult labor markets and the growing skills gap, there is another issue that is keeping them up at night: identifying and growing the next generation of leadership talent. As the baby boomer generation moves out of the workforce and generation Z enters into the workforce, the demands on new leaders are changing quickly.

Building the proper infrastructure and framework to support these new leaders is critical to long-term organizational success. The following three practices will help build a successful strategy to find and retain high quality leadership talent.

1. Identify Top Talent

When taking steps to identify your next leader, it is critical that the organization first understands its current talent. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the current leadership and of its followers is fundamental to understanding the ideal leadership for your position.

2. Match Talent to the Role

In addition to understanding the people that leaders will be working with, understanding the role that is expected is critical to identifying and placing the correct person. A great way to understand the role is to conduct a job analysisThe data from a job analysis can help inform a myriad of things important in the employee life cycle: job descriptions, selection criteria, interview guides, performance evaluation criteria, etc. Once you have identified the competencies, the tasks important to successfully perform the job, you can determine how best to measure those. And, by understanding the position, one can find individuals with the right knowledge, skills, and abilities that will garner success.

3. Providing Proper Rewards

Driving the proper behaviors in your leaders requires setting the performance management and reward system that is in line with those expectations. Understanding how to set performance goals to focus on the behaviors and not the outcomes will be critical to long-term effective leadership.

Identifying, hiring, and retaining effective leaders is critical to the long term success of any manufacturing organization. The decisions that leaders make will have a lasting impact on your organization. However, only focusing on how to identify or hire quality leaders could result in massive blind spots that leave the future of your organization exposed.

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Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant at PSI. He has extensive experience developing, implementing, and validating legally defensible selection solutions for organizations. Steven has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail, healthcare and education.