Develop a Robust Leadership Training Program in Three Steps
6 min. Read
Last Updated: 04/14/2016
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A leadership training program can play an essential role in helping your company cultivate its next generation of talent, potentially improve service delivery, help employees feel that they're growing and developing their careers, and lay the foundation for solutions to future challenges like succession planning. Even the most promising hires can benefit from training that improves their management skills. However, launching a leadership program can be a challenge. Read about three steps you can take to make it easier for your company to create and manage a leadership training program.
Define Leadership Success for your Organization
Each company's vision and definition of success is unique. Not all competencies are leadership competencies, yet they may be important in the workplace. The best leadership development programs start by defining what successful leadership looks like at that company. What are the company's core values and mission? How does that translate into your expectations for your leaders on a daily, quarterly, and annual basis?
Using that information as a guideline, it's possible to break down the individual skills and areas of expertise that each position needs. Building a leadership program that supports those skills — with a particular eye toward how talent needs to develop over time — may lead to the best business and learning outcomes.
Develop Ongoing and Multi-Dimensional Programs
The most effective leadership programs create ongoing learning opportunities for staff and managers. Few companies are successful with solely classroom-based sessions, for example. Embrace the idea that talent learns in different ways, and reinforce those ways with practical, hands-on training.
Today's most effective leadership development programs often incorporate a wide range of learning formats. You can choose from diverse formats such as coaching, seminars, conferences, trade shows, mentoring, book-based learning, online development programs, and much more. Look for a variety of sources and styles that will keep your leaders challenged and engaged.
Create Feedback Loops and Mentoring for Personal Input
Generalized programs go a long way toward laying the foundation for future leadership success. However, teaching leadership often requires individual guidance, coaching, and feedback. Companies with successful leadership training programs often create the context for individual input. The use of outside coaches and internal mentors are two examples of approaches that have been proven to work.
The value in providing individual oversight is two-fold. First, budding leaders have a trusted resource who they can ask for specific feedback about challenging situations. At the same time, personalized observation and coaching can allow a knowledgeable resource to give leaders individualized guidance that's customized to their situation, ability, and experience. As a result, they're likely to grow their skills faster than when trying to implement general guidance on their own.
Your company's leaders should set the vision, motivate the team, and ultimately be responsible for the performance of your company. Creating a leadership development training program may help ensure that the next generation of talent is ready for tomorrow's biggest challenges.