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How to Design a Leadership Training Program - HRDQ

How to Design a Leadership Training Program

Effective leaders are essential in an organization. The leadership team needs to have the skills to manage their employees while keeping the business on track to meet its goals and objectives. Benefits of great leadership are immense: they include increased teamwork, innovation, creativity, productivity, morale, and employee satisfaction—which all lead to revenue growth.

But not every person in a management role is a great leader. Fortunately, implementing a comprehensive training program will ensure your leaders are up to the task of guiding the business to success. Here’s how to design a leadership training program that will develop managers into more effective leaders.

Define Your Business Needs

When designing a leadership training program, go over all of the needs that your organization has and what the leadership team must do to support those needs. Do they have the right skill set? If not, determine how this program will help bring them up to speed. Consider short and long-term goals and incorporate them as valuable parts of the program as well.

Focus on current gaps in leadership that you may be experiencing. Is anyone leaving or being promoted? Should there be a new role created for an upcoming product launch? Does it make sense to merge two roles into one? Once you have defined all of the company needs—and the leadership required for them—map them out as part of the program.

Assess Your Organizational Goals

Take a look at what your organization wants to accomplish as well as the tools and resources that need to be in place in order to meet your goals. Your organization’s specific values are unique, and so is the leadership you need to have in place.

What kind of characteristics should leaders in your organization have, and do the current leaders have these attitudes? Focus on the ideal type of leadership for your unique workplace. For example, some companies are focused on collaboration, so having spirited and energetic leaders is important. Others may focus on growth and acquisitions, so a merger integration-savvy leader is crucial.

Assess potential candidates' management skills, in addition to their leadership skills: Leader Manager Profile

Identify Viable Candidates for Leadership Roles

Often, the right candidates are already in-house. Managers should be doing regular performance reviews where they can identify potential talent for the future. A rising star may one day be a great leader. Every employee should have a career path at a company, and they should know what it takes to get where they want to go.

Choose Experienced Instructors to Teach the Program

Many training programs are only as good as their trainer. You should choose an instructor who is experienced with leadership training and knows how to implement a program based on your unique needs.

A good trainer will partner with you to address your goals. They’ll get to know your organization and what issues you need to solve. The training solutions they create should combine sound theory with a thorough understanding of your unique environment.

Use a Blended Learning System

Learning today isn’t just sitting in a classroom listening to a lecturer. Use a combination of online, in-person, and experiential learning methods to provide a more valuable experience for the learner. Moving around and switching up different types of learning methods is proven to help learners retain more information.

Have the Team Learn their Leadership Style

Knowing your leadership style can make the difference between a good manager and a bad manager. If a manager is aware of their own style—and what others’ styles are—they will be better equipped to work with others on projects and lead their team more effectively.

During the leadership training program, consider offering a leadership style assessment. A tool like this can show leaders their preference for one of four behavioral patterns based on measures of assertiveness and expressiveness: direct, spirited, considerate, or systematic. With this knowledge, leaders can build a practical mental framework, assess and adjust their actions, interpret the behavior of others, and improve their success in situations calling for effective leadership.

Identify your team's leadership style: What's My Leadership Style

Teach Leaders How to Cultivate Relationships

During the program, focus on the importance of good relationships in an organization. Leaders need to inspire and encourage their entire team, so use tools like role play and workshops to show them how to better communicate and cooperate with their bosses, peers, and subordinates.

Frequent and open communication is necessary for a manager to perform their role. They need to know what is happening within the organization and solve any potential issues. Share best practices on communication, and implement the right technology that can help them build relationships. Apps like Slack, Skype, and Microsoft Teams allow immediate communication, while project management tools like Trello and Asana help teams collaborate. Have an overview of each of these items in your tech stack, how they go together, and how they should be used. 

As a leader, developing interpersonal relationships is essential: Interpersonal Influence Inventory

Use Measurable Benchmarks to Show Program Success

If the material is just forgotten, it’s not successful. You should create benchmarks to ensure that the program accomplishes what it needs to. Measurable data like the number of participants who successfully completed the program, feedback from participants’ peers on their development, and how many people were promoted after completion can show you the success of the program. Survey the learners themselves after the program is finished to see what can be improved.

Create Powerful Leaders with HRDQ

Doing all of the above will allow you to create a powerful leadership training program that meets your business needs. Better leadership means better dividends, and with the right kind of training in place, effective leadership is certain. 

click hereFor even more ways to improve leadership across your organization, explore the Leadership Training Programs collection. Shop Now!

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.