Leadership development has become a major attraction for any company that wants to stand out from the crowd and become established in its niche.
Leaders should have the capacity to manage and do things. While waiting for this to happen with a trial and error formula may be tempting, futuristic companies frame leadership development in their curriculum to boost specific leadership skills. This exceedingly optimizes the practice and actively prepares the leaders to excel in their job and lead their teams with exceptional productivity.
But before proceeding, first, let’s find out all about leadership development.
Table of Contents
What is leadership development?
Leadership development is a procedure for cultivating required abilities, traits, confidence and knowledge in a company’s workforce wishing to pursue leadership spots in the future. It basically applies to the abilities a person needs to lead and manage teams efficiently.
Companies can prepare high-caliber people to take leadership positions in the company by offering them the skills and tools to manage teams.
This works as a perfect stepping stone. Most companies have internal practices to recognize and nurture their employees and prepare them for challenging positions: examples are schemes for university pass-outs.
Concept of leader development
Leader development is a complementary benefit of leadership development. Though the name may resemble it, the application is different. Leadership development eases the management of teams; leader development works on a person’s personal and professional development.
It challenges the internal mechanism of an individual and helps them become the best leaders. It helps a professional think critically about their management style, discipline and emotional intelligence.
Why is leadership development important for organizations?
Best companies risk a high premium on leadership development. According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report, 80% of respondents marked leadership a major priority for their companies, and only half of them think they have the potential to meet their leadership requisitions.
Similarly, according to a McKinsey report, 9 in 10 CEOs agree that leadership development is the most significant problem in the human capital aspect.
The need is evident and transparent. A growing company comprises a team that needs a prominent person to lead them. But teams and people are regularly updated. As soon as the existing leader leaves, new members emerge, creating new challenges. Hence, companies require a pipeline of expert professionals who can take the lead.
Leadership development ensures that an organization has a dynamic pool of talent with the skill, training and expertise needed to gain a competitive advantage and accomplish desired business results.
As quoted by Peter Drucker, “Good leadership doesn’t involve making speeches or gaining likes; it is about results, not characteristics”. It is more than business management. Managerial abilities help to run a business effectively, but leadership skills help inspire people to bring change and lead to better development.
Every workplace needs new breeds of leaders with related abilities and perfect mindsets. Taking its effect on profit and competitiveness, leadership development is a major requirement for companies who want to future-proof their business.
Reasons an organization won’t prosper without leadership development
Concentrating on leadership development is the most effective way to help an organization prosper. The growth potential of a company that hires good people, raises them as leaders, and consistently focuses on their development is limitless.
Leadership development benefits different areas important to sustained business success. Improving workers and business, leadership development offers incredible ROI by boosting productivity, income, role success, ability fit, retention rates, inclusive corporate culture and job satisfaction.
Conversely, inefficient leadership development causes poor morale, low productivity levels, a mal-functioning culture and more employee attrition.
Here are the major areas an organization can benefit from by investing in leadership development.
Done correctly, leadership development allows a company to set up and maintain a competitive advantage. Efficient leaders motivate their teams to deliver better performance. With the right coaching, they tend to develop and implement efficient strategies to meet their company’s goals. As per a survey by McBassi, there is a big relation between talent growth and companies’ stock prices.
Change is a major field where leadership programs offer deep impact, especially when discussing economic shifts and unexpected market movements. Because an effective leadership program enhances an individual’s ability to resolve issues and adopt changes, it boosts a company’s agility to thrive in a business environment.
Well-coached individuals lead their teams to better productivity and competence. This leads to more income and enhanced profit margins. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, leadership development increases a company’s financial performance, offering better investment and human capital. The increment is as much as 5 times compared to those companies that don’t focus on human assets more.
Talent hiring and retention
Companies with inefficient leadership development programs suffer more attrition than companies with strong employee development and leadership development programs. The reason being more millennials and Gen-Z workers value program and job experience that improves their abilities and offers scope for career growth. The study states that millennials choose coaching and development over other employment benefits.
Bad leadership reduces employee engagement and boosts turnover rates. Making the situation worse, the expense of bad hires and new recruitment may be unbearable to small startups.
When workers love their job role and picture a good roadmap for their career, their engagement rate increases. A motivated team has higher chances of performing better than a demotivated and fragmented team. Leadership coaching programs help develop an ownership and accountability culture. Once people own and love their roles, their morale is high and they perform better.
Succession planning and upskilling
Leadership coaching programs equip a team with skills that don’t just help them in their current job role but also in the future. An effective program ensures that a pipeline of expert talent is available for any unpredicted turnover, avoiding any setbacks and keeping the company on track. As per Alain Bejjani, “A major goal of leadership development is to allow people to meet their present and future challenges while carrying their company on the path of development.”
With leaders leading a team and staff performing their duties well, a culture of engaged excellence develops. Best leadership development coaching programs offer purpose, enhanced morale, and inclusive and unified work culture. The programs include the human-side element needed for organizational development, skill development, innovation, teamwork and accountability.
So, imagine if leadership development has many benefits for organizations; what would be the list for employees? Here is a list of benefits leadership developments offer to employees.
Why is leadership development important for employees?
While working in a company, its culture is everything. Not only does a company need a cohesive team across all sections, but it also wants to ensure employees get good scope for growth, development and leadership in their job.
Though some employees may not have the abilities and training, a company should ensure to equip their employees with the right leadership development coaching.
What does leadership coaching offer to employees?
Leadership should thoroughly be demonstrated at all levels of a company. Leadership coaching programs at uExcelerate are a great way to coach your employees. Understanding not to pigeonhole your staff, not to resist change, and trying to witness yourself as others notice you and interact with others in the manner they want is the basic goal of their leadership development coaching program. Just a few sessions will bring positive changes to your entire company.
Investing in leadership development is not just a new way to rejuvenate and reset the mind of your current leaders. Still, it is also about training your employees who will be future leaders.
The program’s success depends on how it is carried out and the following provided later. After all, you’re investing in the next-gen of your company, and you want to ensure they are well-prepared to take the reins.
Here are the major benefits of leadership training for the workforce:
When you efficiently train your leaders, you eventually boost your employees and company’s productivity. The trained leaders offer direction to their team to ensure everything is performing at par or above.
In the course of a shortfall, your team will have the ability needed to inspect the problem, handle the issue and offer good solutions. When the staff is decked with the skills of awesome leaders, work is done better, and issues are resolved more effectively, leading to a better work environment.
Engaged and independent employees
A major goal of a leadership development program is to enhance employee engagement and independence. Engaged employees have high morale and productivity, and a leadership program will help them understand the complete picture instead of getting lost in their particular tasks. It also helps employees take feedback, creating a more positive environment and developing long-lasting relations across the company.
The leadership development program also contributes to employee independence, allowing them to become great project managers in their roles. They are connected, more energetic, and consistently enhance their work quality.
Offering leadership development training to all employees can amend their work mindsets. Employees have one of two mindsets when working: a fixed mindset and a growth-oriented mindset. Those with a fixed mindset don’t want to evolve, but those with a growth mindset know the importance of development and growth and aim to grow and explore new options. It provides new ways of thinking to an employee.
A great idea behind offering a leadership development program to your employees is to train your new-gen managers. You don’t want to promote candidates depending on their personalities. A candidate should possess the right skills, experience, expertise, knowledge and talent to become a great leader. Without efficient training to work, inspire, interact and encourage their co-workers, your employees may not become the professional leaders they should be in the future.
Retain top talent
Employee turnover is expensive in every industry. It is essential to keep employee turnover rates low to avoid loss of money and resources.
The significance of leadership development training in the workplace is that its presence will give you an edge over your competitors. Employees look for ways to grow and sharpen their skills at a low cost. By offering corporate leadership training coaching, you give them a reason to stay happy and loyal to your company.
Leadership training is essential because it invests the company in its people. And companies love to make this investment to get the most out of their employees. The whole workforce will be empowered to accomplish its goals by ensuring employee competency.
Types of leadership development programs
When you’re selecting leadership development programs for your employee, some interesting development programs which appear are:
Around 48% of leaders require outside coaching to hone their skills. Leaders look for external sources and objectivity during their learning experience.
When provided an option, 29% of the team said they wanted more knowledge to learn. The knowledge of an external coach can help enhance learning and growth by offering challenging conditions. This coaching program helps develop a coaching culture that increases engagement and retention.
Developmental assignments help employees and leaders to apply their expertise and gain knowledge through experience. The idea is to apply the skills to new challenges. As per a survey, leaders state that they apply around 72% of what they learned to their daily operations, while in some places, the rate was only 53%.
Formal in-person training/
An in-person classroom is important. It is one of the most on-demand learning options in this digital era. It is more like internal training.
39% of leaders mentioned they preferred in-person training. The simple reason being it’s social. It makes the learning more interactive and engaging. The coaches create engaging live virtual classroom experiences or in-person training experiences, and learners are more interested in the program.
Employees also gain informal learning moments, exchange of ideas, more visibility and higher networking.
With time, the role of leaders is changed. They are more popular as empowering guides who engage, inspire, collaborate and develop workforces without losing their business goals. By signing up for just two sessions of 4 hours each for two weeks, eExcelerate ensures that a leader will overcome all the challenges they face in their current job.
- They will inspire employees.
- Turn out to be professional leaders
- Accept and adopt change the agile way
- Handle unique perspectives of stakeholders
- Manage employees of a different generation
So, choose the program and develop an ideal leadership pipeline through coaching. The right tools and approach help the employees create an inclusive and equal culture in the company.
Goals of leadership development
There is always room for development when you want to be a leader. One way to expand your leadership skills is by setting leadership development objectives. The goals you set should aim to improve your weakness and boost your leadership abilities.
Leadership development goals
- Be a good listener
A priority trait of a good leader is active listening. An efficient leader allows a clear communication culture in the workplace. They listen actively to what their team says. They enter communication with the goal of listening to their team’s insight.
Agreeing to listen will instil a strong idea of trust and encourage people to be open to you and share their ideas. It will enhance productivity and help you move better to your goals.
- Render constructive feedback to aid growth
Organizations that adopt clear communication and employee development do it via feedback. As a leader, you can lead your team to excellence by offering constructive feedback that focuses on improvement.
Offering the right feedback on the team’s behaviour can inspire growth. Developing a work environment where the team looks forward to the feedback of their leader is important. So, offer feedback in a manner that reinforces and encourages them to do good things.
- Be adaptable
Rather than setting a goal of adaptability, it is more about being open to change. Be open-minded to upcoming opportunities and look for new ways to do things and grow over time.
- Become more efficient
Leaders sometimes handle conflicting responsibilities which is why time management is important. Look out for ways you can get efficient and work on those objectives. As you get more efficient, you will have time to sharpen your other abilities and accomplish more tasks.
- Develop dynamic teams
A successful company is inclusive and diverse, consisting of unique individuals. A good leader should pick a suitable employee for a job to develop a successful and well-rounded team.
Leaders often look to hire employees who are like themselves. But for a business to thrive, it is important to have an eclectic team with vivid skills.
Business leaders should assess an individual’s skills and determine if they can fulfil the goals while being a good fit for the work environment.
- Follow leaders
The business culture begins with leadership. To develop a company that eases open communication and teamwork, the leader should personify good traits. If the leader sets a bad example, the employees will follow.
Leaders can lead by example and never reveal how turbulent times impact them on a personal level.
- Emerge as a mentor
A good leader turns out to be a great mentor. The team looks up to their leader for guidance, help, coaching and counselling, so make good mentorship your priority goal. Develop a strategy to help every team member grow individually and as a team.
Show the team that you care about their personal and professional development and listen to their woes and worries.
- Appreciate, recognize and empathize with your team
A good leader knows the fact that the biggest asset of a business is its employee. Hence, they appreciate their team when they achieve something. Having a satisfied workforce enhances productivity and lowers turnover rates.
Appreciate the team publicly to make them feel valued. Acknowledge their work and don’t take them for granted. A shoutout to each other can do wonders in expanding their productivity and morale.
The best leadership development goals aim to improve your weakness and enhance your leadership style. It improves communication, workplace culture and business relationships.
Developing organizational leaders
In this competitive time, when human capital is rarer than financial capital, a business can have a competitive advantage if it manages and allocates its talent appropriately.
A good leader:
- Outlines the roles important to developing value for the company and then assess the abilities, traits, experience and knowledge of the current talent.
- Recognizes the important skills needed for several prospective future contingencies to plan talent development accordingly.
- Look for new ways to attract talent with modern technological advancements.
Organizational leadership development encourages a new leadership structure
Inspired by rising digitalization, automation, affordability, demographic shift and connectivity, a company structures itself as a thriving ecosystem instead of a bureaucratic business facility for older generations. Companies choose flatter leadership frameworks and operating models to support simplicity and agility.
For success, businesses today should know when and how to delegate responsibilities. It empowers employees to pick innovative solutions, develop beyond their current positions and be content at work. It also offers leaders a chance to concentrate on the growth of their business.
Organizational leadership development develops skilled and empowered leaders
The old logic for training is to share managerial abilities- planning, reporting, assigning tasks and budgeting, and then comes leadership. Today, organizational leader development takes place in a new way. It is about updating the way leaders work.
Leader coaching encourages innovation instead of just doing traditional jobs. They are skilled and empowered to take decisions and follow an approach others would happily follow.
Creating a leadership development plan
Every company may differ in their approach to leadership development, but the foundation of the planning remains the same.
Know what leadership is
Review business goals and know what leadership is all about for your company. What skills do your current people have vs the type of leaders you need in the future?
Select a competency model to come to a decision. Some in-demand leadership competencies are:
- Coaching ability
- Engaging workforce
- Boosting commitment
- Strategic planning
Recognize your leadership applicants
Once you know how you want your future leaders to be, select the candidates in which you want to invest. Go for a one-on-one meeting to discuss leadership opportunities and see if your vision aligns with their career goals.
Though nothing authentic, as per Robert Walter’s white paper, employees are happier to work for someone who values them and provides a progressive path.
State your leadership objectives
Consider your priorities for the company. Always ensure to keep the goals broad and long-term. However, you can break your broad, long-term goals into a series of small objectives; if your goal is to be more resilient, you can achieve it by:
- Opting for weekly coaching sessions and getting feedback
- Attending round-table discussions with colleagues to boost strength
- Adopting self-care to be resilient in and out of work.
Pick your development method
Depending on the size of your company, type of employees and work goals, you can choose a blend of different development training methods.
- Micro-learning: Learning in pieces to train regularly.
- Leader coaching: contact existing leaders and learn from them.
- Peer-to-peer learning: Discussion brainstorming challenges and solutions with colleagues.
- Instructor-led coaching sessions: In an in-person or virtual setting.
Hone your skills
A good leader is a specialized blend of skills and characteristics. Some skills to develop as a leader are career planning, how to assess change in person, empathy, active listening and creating value in a talk so you can handle all organizational challenges that come to you.
Boost your leadership trajectory
Endeavouring to be a good and able leader is a commitment you can make at any time in your career. The sooner you do, the more benefits you can reap. By assessing where you stand professionally and thinking about where you want to go, you can program a good leadership plan to allow you to develop skills to be more impactful in your work.
Implementing a leadership development plan
Planning a good leadership development plan is just half the battle; the success lies in implementing it efficiently. Here are some practices to implement a leadership development plan.
- Link the program goals to the business goals
Keeping the leadership development coaching goals aligned with the business goals is important. Review the company’s priorities and know what skills the leaders should accomplish.
Also, consider what will support your company culture and detect the changes to ensure the leadership development program becomes successful. Some questions to ask are:
- What outcome do you expect from a leadership development program?
- What inspires the initiatives?
- What will be the advantage of the outcome?
- Plan a journey recommended to meet the learners’ needs
Planning involves a lot of things. Firstly, make sure the learning journey is integrated into competencies. What goals do you want your leaders to fulfil and why? What behavior do you expect from them?
Also, remember the correct format to meet your learners’ preferences and requirements. Do they need a virtual learning experience? Do you want to explore their learning? Do they prefer a blended learning journey?
As per Global Leadership Forecast research, leaders look for coaching to grow their skills outside daily work.
- Know your sponsors and get them with you
The company’s leadership program owner and stakeholders should share their thoughts in person. This helps with the strategic alignment of the goals and helps make the program more effective and compelling.
- Focus on the elements you want to be consistent with and the ones you want to adjust
A primary lesson for leadership development implementation is strategically choosing what design elements should be consistent and what needs to be adjusted.
For instance, before Covid-19, a company needed complete compliance with multi-day learning programs deployed globally on the same schedule. The only adjustment was the local language.
However, post-pandemic, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that companies favor. Choose the elements wisely and work with your local teams to adjust the preferences. It makes the learners more engaged, and they learn more.
- Create a deployment plan and decide on running a pilot
A major thing to decide is who will go first. Pilots have become easier with virtual sessions. Consider your time zone, language and other regional preferences and plan.
- Make your program connect with learners
There have been too many leadership development programs with practical names. But companies like notable names for a memorable experience.
For instance, programs like LEAD, STRIVE, and STEP UP are good names and will make the learners feel connected easily.
- Help the learners get started easily
Make it simpler for the learners to find your program and understand it. Figure out the touchpoints for all major roles. Some companies automate touchpoints through their learning management system to reduce effort. Always keep things transparent for conciseness and clarity.
- Assess to know the value
A lot of effort is needed to develop a training initiative. This is why companies look for measurements. As per the Global leadership Forecast, 18% of companies assess the business effect of their leadership development programs.
A good way to implement a leadership development program is to know the results you want to achieve and what your stakeholders want. Then use the metrics to get the value of initiatives and make future decisions to increase the program’s impact.
How internal coaches can help instill an environment that fosters and celebrates internal development?
A company with a diverse workforce including people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and religions must instill an environment that fosters internal development. However, diversity is just half of the D&I program. Developing a culture where people are recognized and appreciated needs a better effort.
The goal is to develop a culture where all workers feel included. While diversity focuses on selecting people with different abilities and backgrounds, inclusion means ensuring those voices are heard. When all employees different from their leaders are allowed to prosper, the company witnesses more profits, engagement, skills and retention rates.
How to put internal coaches into action to support internal development?
- Set coaching expectations
Often employees don’t understand the difference between training and coaching. So, it is essential to mention the values, objectives and expectations of the internal coaching program first. Share the coach’s and coachee’s duties and responsibilities and clear all doubts then and there.
When both parties know what’s expected of them, the coaching experience will become better.
- Get support from the seniors
As per HR Daily Advisor, companies with internal coaching culture have a 60% chance of their seniors being involved in the program.
- Set guidelines for coaching relationships
While you have too many benefits of internal coaching, the approach has one issue, i.e., confidentiality. Because coaches and coachees work in the same place, some employees may not be comfortable working with them.
So, it is important to set a transparent confidentiality policy and ensure the coachee and coach agree.
- Offer coaching skills to all leaders
Make sure everyone trains for the core leadership skills. The core skills include a blend of emotional intelligence and coaching to help people prepare for a project, learn and develop for the future. Most companies plan robust learning journeys to train their staff to become professional leaders.
- Promote the use of coaching skills on the job
The next step is encouraging the leaders to apply what they have learned. Practice makes a person perfect. So, they can perfect themselves when they put their coaching skills into action. It helps you make the transition easily to a coaching culture.
Some companies have a coach training session with follow-up where coaching opportunities are discussed, and lessons learned are shared.
- Create accountability
Lastly, everyone needs to be held accountable for their duties in developing a coaching culture. The responsibilities placed on the leaders often differ from those shared in the coaching culture. Hence, the difference should be measured, and amendments should be made to the leadership program.
A perfect result of effective coaching is that the leaders should develop a team who feels empowered with their decisions. The right accountability system inspires workers to be responsible for their performance and encourages coaches to take ownership of the coach everyone.
It is important to collect evidence of the efficiency of coaching efforts. Check out the progress of leaders and find out what needs to change. This will give you an idea of how your coaching is working.
If you have already invested time, money and effort in workplace coaching, dig deeper and choose a comprehensive coaching culture. Ensure coaching takes place at all levels to see higher productivity, deeper engagement and better performances.
How Uexcelerate can help organizations get started on their leadership development journey?
At Uexcelerate, the coaching platform takes a completely new approach to leadership roles. They identify the coaching goals and set up their training mechanism accordingly.
The basic goal of coaching is to help the leaders know their responsibilities and offer their best in the first few months. This is where uExcelerate enters. The AI-based platform offers on-demand online coaching-as-a-service to companies to help their leaders gain personal transformation and achieve tangible organizational goals.
Using uExcelerate’s mobile and web-based digital leadership development platform, companies can pick customized programs for their employees and address their customized skill development by choosing one-on-one or group coaching.
Some of the amazing offerings of uExcelerate are given below:
- On-demand coaching: Employees can avail of the services as per their comfort, and the service providers are made accessible accordingly.
- Program management: The program is personalized, and the onboard coaches are picked to make the learning journey of the leaders simple.
- Personalized engagements: Different modes of coach-coachee engagement are suggested, such as one-on-one, group, team or mixed learning approaches.
- Assessment and reports: Tracking and measuring a candidate’s journey to keep their real-time progress in check is also made possible through effective tools.
- AI/ML-powered: The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithm help offer customized guidance and learning experience.
The registration process is quite simple and convenient:
- Set up your company’s profile in no time. Organizations can go for internal coaches or coachees and program managers.
- Schedule your call. Schedule sessions as per your convenience.
- Create a personalized development plan. Develop a customized plan and schedule sessions with the coach.
- Track your progress. Measure your progress through consistent feedback.
Undoubtedly you cannot question the benefits of coaching; every company requires an effective leadership coaching program. But why they should choose uExcelerate?
Goal setting: The platform helps you design your goals with your coach. It offers better clarity on your situation and future. Study the important leadership behavior shift for the success of coaching and align it with the goals.
Action plan: The platform helps the coachee track their coaching journey towards their goals. It runs consistent progress checks and changes the development program accordingly.
Coach match: Matching the coach with the coachees is important for the success of the coaching relationship. UExcelerate helps you do it using its AI-based system. It offers suitable recommendations of coaches to the coachee to get the best results.
Flexible grouping: The platform allows the creation of a blended coaching program. Depending on the need of the company and the leaders, they can choose one-on-one coaching, team coaching or group coaching.
Performance measurement: It offers transparent communication. Allows the coachee and the coach to address their problems and resolve them in every session. It helps the coach set better programs for the coachee.
There are great leaders everywhere; you just need to polish them. At Uexcelerate, we just do that. We help you polish and groom your leaders to emerge as performance holders and do their best in their field. The leaders are trained to meet their personal and company goals together. The company enhances their skill set to develop an inclusive workplace culture to lead its teams in a better way.
The leadership program makes the leaders know their strengths and weaknesses and rise beyond the normal. It makes them more loyal to their company and devoted to their duty. Partner with us and instil a leadership coaching culture to foster amazing coaching and conversation skills across your future leaders.