Everything you Need to Know about Leadership Development
What is leadership development?
Many people talk about leadership development, but what does it really mean? Leadership development refers to the enhancement of skills and abilities that bring confidence to leaders in the workplace. Developing leadership skills is accomplished through a variety of activities including coaching, mentoring, workshops, online courses, webinars, conferences, and more.
The strength of a leadership development plan is determined by three main factors:
- Quality of the program: How invested the coach, mentor, workshop organizer etc. is to providing a successful program
- Level of support and acceptance from current leaders: How engaged the current C-suite professionals are in developing junior members
- Characteristics/learning style of the future leader: How interested the junior leader is in enhancing his or her skills and abilities and applying that to the appropriate activity
The best time to incorporate leadership development in your organization can vary based on business goals, employee career paths, and leadership opportunity availability. Leadership development is often utilized in succession planning which aims to groom the future leaders of the company for a time when high-profile positions become available. However, it can also benefit new or younger employees as they begin to lead small, internal teams or move to mid-level management roles with greater visibility outside the company.
Why Leadership Development Matters
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of leadership development training, yet many organizations are still hesitant to adopt a program. There are many reasons for this, including the time leaders could spend out of the office to receive training and the upfront financial investment. While there are many advantages to leadership training activities for employees, here are five benefits you could see across your entire organization.
- Increased productivity: This applies not only to your leaders but to your entire staff. With effective leadership, your employees will be more productive during their day. One major attribute of this effective leadership is emotional intelligence. By developing emotional intelligence in your leaders, they are better able to empathize with employees and find creative solutions to problems while encouraging productivity.
- Employee retention: You may have heard the phrase, “people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.” By developing effective leaders within your organization, you are more likely to retain top talent and avoid the expense of continually recruiting and hiring new employees. Employees who feel heard, valued, and respected are more likely to continue working at an organization, especially during tough times.
- Increased engagement: Employees are more engaged in their work when they receive timely feedback and constructive criticism that allows them to improve their work and become more effective and efficient. Providing this feedback with grace and tact is an important skill for managers at all levels of the organization, from team leaders to CEOs. When properly acknowledged and assisted, without being made to feel inferior, employees are more willing to work hard to achieve top results.
- Effective and cohesive leadership: When you take the time to train leaders with a cohesive leadership development plan, you ensure that all members of the leadership team are equipped with the same skills and abilities to effectively lead your organization in a single direction. Of course, each leader will have their own individual strengths, but when they work together to achieve the same goals, the entire organization will benefit.
- Improved decision-making: When leaders are equipped with emotional intelligence, they are able to look at all facets of a problem and come up with a solution that best fits the goals of the organization. They are also able to assess the personality of the individuals involved and respond appropriately. This ability to make better decisions can lead to time and money savings you may have otherwise overlooked.
We believe that the importance of leadership skills throughout an organization can not be overstated. This is an area that many business managers recognize as a worthwhile endeavor, yet fail to implement properly, or at all. By working on how to develop leadership skills in the workplace, you’ll set your company up for success and be miles ahead of the competition.
Leadership Development Topics
There are many leadership development topics that companies should consider addressing within their program. These vary based on the type and size of the company as well as the company’s current staff and future business goals. Here are three important leadership topics to consider:
- Communication: Learning how to effectively communicate in person, via phone, and through email, is a critical skill in the workplace. This can be developed early in a person’s career and advance as they do through levels of management. Active listening helps avoid misunderstandings and overcome roadblocks. Soliciting and providing feedback helps encourage and improve performance in junior employees. Creating and delivering consistent messages across the leadership team also promotes a unified culture in the organization.
- Transitioning: Every company goes through major transitions at some point whether it be new leadership, a merger, or opening a new location. Transitions often fluster employees who may be uncertain about the future of the company. Addressing these concerns with solid change management skills can continue to drive productivity and maintain employee satisfaction.
- Empowering Others: Good leaders identify the strengths of individual employees and delegate tasks accordingly. When employees are engaged in the decision-making process, they feel empowered in their role and are able to unleash their full potential to achieve the best results.
These leadership development ideas have been among the top areas for organizations to tackle in their workplace. When future leaders feel confident in their abilities in these areas, they are better able to manage their teams and produce more effective work for customers and clients. When creating your own leadership development plan, choose the types of leadership skills that make the most sense for your group depending on career level, current challenges, and the projected path of your future leaders.
Provide Leadership Development with Lessonly
We hope the above topics give you some insight on the importance of leadership development for companies of all types. This is a highly effective, if underused, business tactic that can yield massive results if implemented correctly.
Lessonly’s online training helps provide important leadership training and skills practice to members of your team. We make it easy to update existing training materials and make them more engaging, keep everyone in your organization on the same page, and quantify training efforts to illustrate the value of learning and how it affects workplace productivity. Plus, you’ll receive the highest quality service from our team of customer experience managers that are here to help you provide the most useful and beneficial leadership development research and information for your teams. Get started with leadership training with a demo today.