The importance of developing leaders within your organisation cannot be overstated. From improving productivity and boosting employee morale to growing leaders that drive unprecedented growth and innovation for your brand, the ROI of leadership development can easily turn out to be enormous.
However, all that only works when you have an effective leadership development program. So what makes leadership development program a success? Let’s look at the top five elements.
1. A reliable recruitment process
Recruiting employees for leadership development is perhaps the most influential step of the whole program. The success of this step lies in your (or your HR team’s) ability to spot leadership qualities in your employees.
The success of your leadership development initiatives depends as much on the trainees, as it does on you.
2. Clear communication of goals and learning outcomes
Once you have recruited the right individuals for training, it is time to let them know:
- Why is the training being conducted?
- Why have they been chosen for the training?
By knowing the answers to these questions, along with the benefits the training program will provide to the organisation and their individual career growth, your leadership recruits will be able to see the relevance of the training they are about to receive.
This will foster motivation within the learners, helping you overcome the engagement challenges associated with leadership development training.
3. Involvement of current leaders
Any instructor-led training program is only as effective as the instructor delivering it. In the case of leadership development, nothing matches the effectiveness driven by personal mentorship by leaders that have proven their mettle.
If possible, choose at least one mentor from within your organisation as they will be able to shed light on real-life examples of how leaders at your organisation have overcome business challenges in the past.
4. Strategic delivery of custom training content
Drawing from the last point, including examples and case studies from your own organisation’s experiences, has many benefits. For starters, it helps you with brand building and highlighting your organisation’s achievements. Moreover, doing so will even help learners relate the training to their current jobs.
However, the most noteworthy benefit of developing custom training content is that it can be designed to address the most pressing needs of your organisation. At the same time, custom training content can also be personalised to the unique needs of your learners.
Similar to personalised content, personalised delivery of content is also important. Different learners have different learning habits, and your content delivery should be designed to accommodate these differences. For this reason, it is important to develop a content delivery strategy that combines different training styles (instructor-led and self-paced online) and elements (videos, ebooks, learning games).
Doing all this will not be easy or cheap. However, if done right, customising the training experience for the future leaders of your organisation is well worth the effort.
5. Trackable results
In the age of information, data is power. Thankfully, with the right tools, training administrators and organisations have access to more detailed training data than ever before.
Modern learning management systems even allow you to create custom reports that let you only focus on metrics that matter.
All that is left is to analyse this data and pinpoint areas where your leadership development training can be improved.
At the same time, diligent tracking of your training results will also help you routinely eliminate obsolete elements, while helping you identify opportunities to add new, updated information to share with your future leaders.
Successful leadership development demands a significant investment of effort, time, resources, and money. Careful, result-driven implementation thus becomes extremely important.