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Leadership Development

Improve Your Organization's Leadership Skills, Now


Why Leadership, Why Now?

Studies show a clear connection between the quality of an organization’s leadership practices—as perceived by employees—and subsequent intentions by employees to stay with an organization, perform at a higher level, and apply discretionary effort.

Often we find it easier to focus on pressing concerns rather than to set aside time for training and skill-reinforcement activities, yet we know that today’s skills will not take our organizations to a higher level. As learning and development specialists, we need to ensure leadership takes center stage, now. Here's some ways to get started:

Steps to Improve Your Organization's Leadership Skills

Once you've made the commitment to the leader development process, where do you start? Here's some tips for getting started:

  1. Review your organization's leadership competencies. Competencies are the combination of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are required in your organizations for leaders to be successful and thrive. Competencies set the stage for learning outcomes and help ensure training gets buy-in from decision makers by ensuring you are aware of factors and behavioral indicators that equal success in your organization and how your leaders can achieve it. (Download our tip-sheet for developing competencies if yours could use a refresh.)
  2. Collect input on specific leadership skills needs. Conduct a survey of leaders as well as their direct reports. Ask, “What skills would make you a better leader?” and “What skills would help your manager to bring out your best performance?” Once you have the initial skills list, prioritize them through input from focus groups or even interviews. (This could potentially be done with a 360-degree leadership survey, such as the LPI®: The Leadership Practices Inventory®.*)
  3. Develop your program’s reinforcement approach. Investment in learning is lost when there is no expectation of implementation and no connection to ongoing performance. To ensure that new skills become part of the expected repertoire of leadership behaviors, consider reinforcement through renewal sessions, individual and group coaching, and action learning projects. (You can also implement a post-program digital reinforcement solution such as Mindmarker.)
  4. Develop baseline metrics to be able to determine the impact of training. Metrics could include the percentage of goals achieved compared to those without the training, percentage of participants still with the organization after one year and three years, percentage of participants promoted after one year and two years, etc. Develop a method of keeping track of future participants so you don't have to backtrack to find data.
  5. Implement a pilot program and be sure participants provide feedback. Ensure the group size (whether virtual or in-person), interaction, and timing allows all participants to have a chance to ask questions and participate. Administer evaluations before the participants leave for the highest percentage of responses, and consider keeping them anonymous, if possible. A well-crafted evaluation will tell you whether the participants found the information valuable, areas for improvement, what elements they plan to implement immediately, and more.  
  6. Measure the results. Measurement should not be finished with participant evaluations. Use your baseline metrics and tracking process to update participant outcomes every 6 months, post-program, if possible, and be prepared to report to senior management on the impact over time. 
  7. Tweak and repeat. To maximize organizational impact and keep the learning momentum going, plan for new hires and those unable to attend the pilot program to attend a new session, and help develop expectations of leaders in your organization. Your organization will benefit most from having all leaders on the same page, using the same language, and expecting the same behaviors from each other.

To get in front of an ever-accelerating business cycle, organizations must improve their leaders’ skills, which in turn, will improve their employees’ performance. Delaying leader development has a cost: a new product may be late to market, more errors may result, companies may have fewer repeat customers, and employee turnover rate will surely not improve by itself.  There will never be a better time to get started than now. Contact us if you would like to explore how FlashPoint can help develop your leaders and teams.

*Up to 90% of Fortune 500 companies use some type of multi-rater or 360 assessment. When it comes to leadership and employee engagement, we find that a research and evidence-based assessment is the best way to provide measurable results. The Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®) 360 is based on over 30 years of research, and is available in multiple languages with global data from over 5 million participants.

Photo by Marek Piwnicki 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.