A Complete Guide to Leadership Training and Development
In today’s professional landscape, the importance of leadership training cannot be overstated. Leadership training such as eLearning leadership courses is an essential way to build effective leadership and drive impressive business results.
As each company has a different standard and culture for leadership, it’s important that you offer your employees a source of inspiration and motivation. But the real question revolves around whether or not leaders can be taught or if they are born with their natural leadership capabilities. Let’s delve into leadership training below.
What Is Leadership Training?
Leadership development training consists of courses and programs tailored to help you grow your leadership skills, refine skills necessary to run a team and provide motivation for success. Ideally, anyone who is in a supervisory role, whether they have recently been promoted or have been in a leadership role for years, will take leadership training to brush up on their skills.
As leaders are the people who push teams to reach their full potential and bring out the best in each person, they are an integral part of your company’s overall success. Without strong leaders, employees won’t feel the same sense of motivation or loyalty to the company and could take their skills elsewhere.
Why Invest in Leadership Development and Training?
If you’re still on the fence about the importance of leadership skills or if it’s applicable to your business, we’ve outlined some of the main benefits of investing in leadership skills training at your company.
Did you know that by 2025, it’s expected that the majority of Forbes Global 2000 public companies will be based out of emerging markets? This means that leaders will need to develop and strengthen new skills to help them compensate for any restricting physical or cultural boundaries.
Rise of Remote Workers
The remote workforce is here to stay, and it’s projected that within the next 10 years, at least half of the U.S. workforce will be composed of freelancers and contractors. Investing in training on leadership skills can equip your leaders to better manage their remote teams and find engaging ways to unite them.
Millennials and Gen Z continue to take on more leadership positions and bring fresh ideas to the way that companies are run. Traditional leadership approaches aren’t enough to overcome these differences.
What Leadership Skills Should Your Organization Develop?
Leadership training and development is a broad category. It might be difficult to pinpoint the specific skills needed to become a great leader, especially when there are such differences in day-to-day responsibilities. We’ve outlined a list of essential leadership skills that apply to many industries and titles.
The best leaders know how to contribute to the conversation and also have the ability to actively listen to those around them. This helps to build trust within the team.
Team success should come before a leader’s ego. Great leaders are willing to take more than their share of the blame and are happy to share the credit with their teams.
Without acting with integrity and respect, those in leadership positions will have trouble building a collaborative, healthy work environment. Aim to build a style that’s based on teamwork rather than orders.
Make sure your training on leadership also focuses on reliability; when team members know their leaders are on their side, it helps to motivate them.
Leaders need to be proactive and propel their teams toward agreed-upon company goals. Taking the initiative to be one step ahead and anticipate problems are critical for leadership roles.
There’s something to be said for leaders who have a passion for leading and growing a team. The best leaders are endlessly passionate and dedicated to team success.
Positive energy is contagious. The more enthusiastic and upbeat leaders are, the more likely it is that other team members adopt the same mindset.
The best leaders show rather than tell. They are an example to the team and pride themselves on coming up with innovative solutions to common problems.
Leadership training should also revolve around strategic thinking as leaders have the skills to focus on both daily tasks in addition to long-term business goals.
Effective leaders can provide support when it comes to technical questions but can also provide moral support to their team when needed.
Successful leaders are authentic and don’t only lead by explanation, but also by example. Make sure to focus on the consistency between actions and words.
How to Create an Effective Leadership Training Plan
There’s a difference between building skills and building a leadership training program. Here are some tips to consider when thinking about leadership skills training.
#1 Use eLearning To Enhance Your Leadership Training
eLearning isn’t a blanket solution to your leadership training needs, however, it offers many different benefits that you should consider:
- Through eLearning, you can build a unique performance and learning ecosystem that focuses on leadership training. This can help foster a culture of continuous learning.
- Microlearning techniques offer bite-sized learning modules that include action-oriented nuggets to drive learning and productivity.
- You can create unique learning pathways toward specific roles or skill sets.
- Microlearning has many diverse formats such as video-based learning to resonate with learners at different levels.
- eLearning courses often include interjections of other learning techniques such as collaborative learning, coaching, mentoring, and shadowing.
#2 Develop a Culture of Learning
If your company doesn’t focus on learning and development, it will be difficult to get employee and executive buy-in. By establishing a culture of learning as soon as possible, you help to set your company up for long-term success. In addition, you help to attract and retain employees as they are looking for a company that values professional development.
#3 Define Learning Objectives
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine what leadership gaps currently exist in your organization. This could be either in recruitment or succession. For example, maybe you have a hard time promoting or hiring new leaders, or maybe you have senior leaders that might be retiring soon.
You’ll also want to factor in any strategic objective of your company. This could include expanding into a new market or rebranding to a more modern brand. Make sure you are developing leaders with these goals in mind.
Next, think about what your current leaders have in common. Finally, pinpoint your audience and determine who will be involved with training on leadership.
#4 Create the Right Mix of Leadership Training Methods
When developing leadership skills, make sure that you’re implementing a range of training methods to appeal to different types of audiences and learners. There’s an underlying theme to the best leadership training programs and that’s including diverse learning methods.
There’s something to be said about one-on-one learning. Maybe you pair senior executives with leaders who have recently taken on a new role so they can ask questions and absorb knowledge. The most successful companies put a strong emphasis on ongoing and one-on-one learning, giving managers with direct reports the opportunity to learn from those more experienced than them.
Group learning is another effective leadership training technique. This approach applies to both internal and external activities. Here is what group learning can be used to accomplish:
- Understand and navigate real-world challenges and situations.
- Train future leaders to better understand group dynamics.
- Pinpoint employees who have leadership potential.
- Enable leadership team development as those who have a management position can assemble a peer group to encourage the development of new skills and to improve interpersonal relationships.
Leaders aren’t created in an isolated environment, but that doesn’t mean that self-directed learning is useless to your training approach. Self-directed learning helps teach soft skills such as strategic thinking and communication.
#5 Include Experiential Training
Experiential training is an ideal way to nurture leaders and show them the skills they need to achieve success in your organization. Make sure that your leadership training for managers and other higher-ups contains real-world scenarios that help push them to grow and learn.
A huge benefit of using a training approach that includes real-world scenarios is that it helps to connect specific skills or knowledge to scenarios that they could encounter in a day-to-day situation.
For example, if you are starting leadership training with current employees, you could put them in charge of a larger project. For middle-level managers, experiential training could consist of shadowing an executive. Regardless of who you’re training, aim to incorporate practical exercises in addition to coaching and mentoring.
#6 Define Success
Similar to other development initiatives you’re taking within your company, you must know how to define success. Measuring the impact of your leadership courses can help you make modifications. Here are some key success indicators you might want to consider tracking:
- How many participants completed the training program successfully.
- How many participants were promoted.
- Whether or not the employee took on more responsibilities following the course.
- Feedback from participants on how their experience was.
- Whether or not the skills in the courses helped employees become better at their current role.
By keeping track of these different areas, you’ll be able to better determine how effective your leadership training program is.
Leadership Training Activities for Employees
The activities in your leadership training for employees should revolve around preparing your employees to embrace their new roles. Here are some activities that many programs include:
- Self-assessment exercises are helpful in pinpointing areas of improvement and help to build self-awareness.
- Mentoring or coaching from more seasoned leaders helps familiarize employees with different leadership styles and organizational management.
- Group activities help emerging leaders to connect across different company initiatives and start to adapt to a management mindset.
- On-the-job training such as taking over an important project to improve accountability and take on more responsibility.
- Remote training programs such as eLearning courses help employees go through leadership information at their own pace.
Leadership Development Activities for Managers
When it comes to leadership training for managers, you’ll want to shift the focus toward improving and enhancing existing leadership skills. It’s at this point in a manager’s journey that they strive to become better at influencing other people and operating with a more strategic mindset. This helps them lead other leaders and unite teams together. Here are the types of activities that middle-management should see in their trainings:
- On-the-job training to solve high-level issues and understand other areas of the business.
- 360-degree assessments help to identify areas that need improvement.
- Learning from exposure helps managers improve their insight by learning from senior executives and others who have more experience.
- Providing mentoring and coaching to emerging leaders helps strengthen leadership skills.
Leadership Development Activities for Executives
Leadership development activities for executives should revolve more around strategy instead of daily business operations. C-suite leaders should focus on building a future for the company by driving action through different units of the business.
Here are some activities for this type of leadership training:
- Executive team coaching to help top-level leaders pinpoint their shared company vision and alignment.
- Individual executive coaching helps to solve complicated business problems and increase personal development.
- 360-degree assessments help identify specific leadership styles and areas where improvements can be made.
- Executive education programs help leaders stay updated on the latest advancements in technology and help them gain specific skills.
Leadership Training with Allegro Media Design
As more companies embrace a hybrid work model, the importance of accessible training from anywhere becomes that much more important. Our team at Allegro Media Design has extensive experience creating a range of leadership eLearning courses that are effective and tailored to your company. If you’re interested in learning more about our custom courses, please contact us today!