PREPARE, MEASURE, INITIATE. Steps for executing Leadership Development and Training

Over the last few years the worrying statistics that keep coming out of the large research companies is that the majority of organizations are not opening up leadership development and training to employees below the executive suite. Currently only 5% of organizations actively develop and invest in leadership capability below the executive leadership team.

What is exciting is that the executives that do invest in leadership development at all levels are seeing substantial return on investment from implementing these programs, especially when it comes to the growing millennial workforce.

The data is pretty clear, every organization should be implementing leadership development across the whole organization but getting started can prove to be the largest hurdle.

The first step is assessing your current situation and setting a benchmark for creating an effective leadership program. Every organization is different and every organization has a different set of values and strategic objectives. What needs to be understood first is what your core competencies are and how can these be measured across the whole organization. Too many companies use a cookie cutter approach and do not measure effectively the principal competencies that promote their organizations' success.

By using employee pulse surveys, performance management surveys and 360 leadership feedback surveys you can effectively measure your whole company against your custom competencies. The resultant data is incredible valuable as it can then be aggregated across all departments to understand where the gaps are for the whole organization. Not only can this quickly identify the key challenges but it also allows organizations to efficiently create development programs based on these development competencies.

Once you have measured the company competencies you need to evaluate the results and identify the best initiatives to act on your development areas. We recommend choosing a maximum of four critical areas to develop.

Most leading organizations are now implementing a range of new and effective programs based on the feedback they received from their employees. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, bring in external thought leaders from other well-known brands to help engage and motivate leaders

Leadership has finally been recognized as a number one priority in improving employee engagement, employee experience (EX) and profitability in successful companies. In order to execute a leadership program it is essential that there is a feedback process in place to provide you with informed and critical data on leadership areas that need to be addressed. The feedback process needs to be constantly re-evaluated and repeated to ensure continuous improvement.

So do you know what your leadership competencies are? And how are you measuring them?