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To reach our full potential, both as individuals and as a company, at LionEight we are ready to invest in skills development and believe in the results that will come. In order to achieve the desired results and truly strengthen leadership capacities by developing leadership skills among employees, it is necessary to develop a long-term and thorough development program.

In this blog you will have the opportunity to find out how LionEight, a software company in expansion, approaches the development of one such program whose creation and implementation is being worked on by Ana Račić, Business Development Manager and Đurđa Tošić, HR Generalist who will tell us a little more about it.

"LionEight is a young company and when I say that I don't just mean the years of existence, but also the average age of our employees. It is very nice that during one working day we have the opportunity to cooperate with colleagues who differ greatly from each other in their seniority, length of work experience and expertise. This diversity is our trademark and allows us to single out the best from a multitude of perspectives and accordingly find the most appropriate answers to everyday business challenges.

 

To reach our full potential, both as individuals and as a company, at LionEight we are ready to invest in skills development and believe in the results that will come. In order to achieve the desired results and truly strengthen leadership capacities by developing leadership skills among employees, it is necessary to develop a long-term and thorough development program.

Among other things, one group of colleagues with whom I work a lot consists of leaders of the new generation, young people who started their career at LionEight and who have over time distinguished themselves for their knowledge, consistency, dedication, effort, charisma, resourcefulness, dexterity and collegiality. They are now part of middle management and lead large and important teams within our company. Bearing in mind their potential and the impact they have on other employees, we strive to equip them with tools and skills that will help them lead teams.

Creating a development program for new generation leaders was taken as a serious task. It is widely accepted practice to provide individuals entering leadership positions with training or a series of soft skills training. This is where investments are often put to an end in their development, and expectations of them continue to grow. At LionEight, we want to avoid this scenario because it gives results in the short run, and we try to nurture the mentality of long-distancers and believe that only with such an approach do we achieve the right results.

Below I present our development program for new generation leaders through 4 steps:

Equipping with basic leadership skills

We targeted three basic thematic units and dedicated each training to one of them. It's communication, leadership and motivation. As part of the first thematic unit, we answered the following questions: "What do we mean by communication? How do we know that the message we have conveyed is understood in the desired way? "How do we give feedback to each other?" Then, bearing in mind that the transition from an operational to a leadership position can lead an employee to question what his new role is, we addressed the universal roles of leaders and the types of power.

When it comes to motivation, we talked about hygiene and motivation factors in the work environment, the most common demotivators and the influence of leaders on employee motivation. On a five-stage scale, leaders rate this training cycle as 4, which for us is positive feedback and gives us a wind in the back for further steps

Applying the learned and monitoring progress

After the training cycle, we did not expect the leaders to abruptly change their way of working and start applying everything we processed in the trainings. In most cases, it is very difficult to put thetheory into practice and with that in mind, we have created mini task for leaders that were based on the skills acquired in training. The goal was that through the realization of these tasks in real circumstances, leaders gradually improve their routine in leading teams.

Creating an open and supportive atmosphere between HR and leaders

Through the training cycle, and later through check-in meetings that we held once every two weeks for leaders to share their experiences regarding tasks, space was naturally created for discussion on various topics that are important to leaders. Most importantly, this was not a one-way process because it meant to me as HR that I continuously get inputs about current events and climate within the department in order to provide the leaders with the most adequate support and to be able to plan further steps. As a consequence of the first two steps, there are a lot of spontaneous discussions on a daily basis between HR and leaders, joint proposals for the improvement of certain processes and the realization of them.

Continuous learning

When we covered topics such as motivation, communication and leadership, when leaders experienced how applying all this looks like in practice, what effect it has on employees, and when we have created a safe and stable climate, the moment came to dedicate ourselves to each leader through individual development programs tailored to each of them.

By applying the learned in real-life situations, leaders have gained a deeper understanding of their teams and developed the ability to effectively communicate, motivate and inspire others. By creating an open and supportive atmosphere, we have built a bridge of trust between HR and leaders, enabling them to freely share ideas and challenges. Through continuous learning and individual development programs, each leader gets the opportunity to develop their unique talents and really contribute to the growth of our organization."

Interviewee: Đurđa Tošić