A short-sighted, one-dimensional approach to leadership development and management training will never come back with optimal returns or outcomes, as these matters need to be approached in a highly intelligent and forward-thinking fashion. After all, the key objective in deploying a management training program will be to further the skills and prowess of supervisors and other leaders throughout the business, which is a cause worthy of any executive's attention.
Some training programs will be a bit heavier on technical skills development and leave out the softer side of matters, including communication and influence knowledge, while others will do the exact opposite. The best leadership development initiatives will cover all bases involved in management for the given firm, helping these critical employees become more effective and confident while moving through their daily responsibilities.
The question of desire
Harvard Business Review recently explained that the criteria businesses have in place to measure the successes and failures of leadership should always be unique to their specific objectives, culture and general environments. Having a cookie-cutter type of evaluation plan in place will often lead to poor alignment, which will then be difficult to improve upon over time and could end up hindering leadership success rather than stimulating improvement.
According to the news provider, one of the questions involved in the development of training programs ought to involve individual leaders' desires with respect to the types of managers they want to be. Citing the successful management of a more robust leadership development program at a major bank in Australia, the source stated that engagement has since reached 97 percent for the business. The strategy involved a wealth of feedback from all employees across the business.
Considering how low engagement is on average across industries and regions per recent studies, this could easily be viewed as an unprecedented outcome for the bank. Harvard Business Review added that companies would do well to push their leaders to be their own unique selves, and potentially incorporate training protocols that work to further self-awareness among their managers to boost engagement for other staff members.
Measurement and specialization
The two core drivers of a successful leadership training program tend to be accurate measurement systems and enhanced specialization of procedures to ensure each participant gets the full range of knowledge he or she needs to succeed in managerial or executive positions. The measurement aspect of this can be relatively straightforward, with the company crafting a plan that first baselines performances before the deployment of a new program, then accurately evaluates the success of each individual component over time.
As for specialization, this can generally be a bit trickier and more time-consuming. However, getting feedback from leaders and evaluating their performances before even provisioning the necessary training solutions can provide the insights necessary to ensure each investment has a strong chance of coming back with high returns. An intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to management training can benefit businesses in myriad direct and indirect fashions.