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Leadership Development

Best Practices For Implementing A Leadership Development Program


Develop an Effective Approach For All Leaders

Offering a top-notch leadership development program will provide leaders with the seeds for growth that will flourish in the years to come.

Once you have established the need and how you will evaluate your leadership development program, the next step is to successfully implement your leadership development curriculum.

Don’t leave a Gap in Your leadership development Pipeline

At FlashPoint, we are a strong proponent that leaders be supported at every level, and that everyone can improve as a leader. Keeping that mindset is important when planning and implementing a leadership development program.

Managers are often promoted because of technical skills, but strong people skills—such as communication, self-awareness, coaching, goal-setting, and feedback—are the day-to-day skills managers can master in order to be effective.

Research has shown that many leaders prefer personalized learning in more than one form, whether it is virtual or in-person training, assessments to diagnose leadership strengths or opportunities, coaching, mentorship, or other opportunities that will help them navigate and succeed in your organization.

As someone who is in charge of planning your company’s leadership development program framework, how do you know which type of training will have the most effective outcome? The key is to have a truly flexible leadership development curriculum that can be used for a wide spectrum of your emerging or seasoned leaders, no matter what age or learning style they have.

Nailing down the elements of effective leadership development

Here are some things that you’ll want to put on your checklist before you implement your leadership development program:

  • Make sure senior leadership is on board with the program. You’ve connected the elements of your leadership program to the high-level goals of your organization. Now . . . have you connected your leadership to the goals of your program.

  • Its never too early to get your leaders on board. Make sure you let participants know what is expected of them and that you show senior leadership estimated metrics. Give everyone time to ask questions and get answers so that they are comfortable with the program. Finally, to bring things full circle, make senior leadership part of any recognition ceremony at key milestones or when the program is completed.

  • Know your attendees. Consider the employee/manager/emerging leader audience who will be taking part in the leadership development program. What are their ages? What role do they play in the company? What are their needs? Poll potential learners to find out how you can make their experience resonate.

  • What's the format? If you have identified the unique audiences, how will you get this information to them? Some learners will do better in a virtual learning environment, while others may get far more with an in-person program. Coaching and mentoring are good tools for all levels (and ages) of leaders. Millennials and Gen Z can learn from seasoned employees who can share what they’ve learned from their success, whereas those same seasoned employees can learn from the new perspectives and the (presumably) tech-savvy skills of their younger co-workers.

  • Consider the specific needs of individual locations. What elements can be global and which ones need to be customized? Time differences, varied office working hours, remote teams, hybrid teams, and local language may differ dramatically among locations. Make sure you take into account all locations and don’t expect that one size will fit all.

  • Involve the managers of your learners. This group will be vital to ensuring that learners are encouraged and allowed to take full advantage of the program. Getting the immediate managers on board helps to ensure that time spent on leadership development is a priority. Often learners need to know that the training is supported by their manager—and senior management—to feel they can prioritize learning.
  • Consider branding. Give the leadership development curriculum a name that resonates at your company. If you are working with offices in more than one country, make sure you adapt for that, are inclusive, and don’t use idioms or location-centric imagery or vernacular.

  • Don’t run out of steam before you share the success of your program. In an earlier post, What to Consider for Your Leadership Development Program, we discussed ensuring you had an idea of what metrics you wanted to gauge the success of your program. Make sure you follow up with those metrics to evaluate the success of your efforts.

Success is in the Details

Spending time to evaluate, create, and implement an outstanding leadership development program will pay large dividends in the years to come. Developing a talent pipeline within your company may be one of the most important efforts you will be involved with as an HR professional. Research has shown time and time again that employees who are happier and more engaged stay with their company, and employees flourish as they find new and more challenging roles within their company. Good luck, and don't hesitate to contact us at FlashPoint if we can help!

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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Lauren Parkhill

Lauren Parkhill leads the marketing team in creating creative content that helps organizations develop their leaders and teams.