Leadership development is amongst the hottest topics among business executives and a core component of a successful human resources strategy. And for good reason:
According to Development Dimensions International, from intellectual property to customer satisfaction, 80% of a company’s valuation is now intangible.
Developing tomorrow's leaders in your business
Helping your team establish leadership development plans enables them to take ownership of their personal development—whether that’s through mentoring, skills assessment programs, online learning or in-house development.
These leadership development techniques can help you nurture the next generation of star performers and develop future company leadership teams. They also present an opportunity to develop an individual’s ability to contribute to the company’s revenue and performance overall.
Once you do this, people who want to develop their career will look for feedback and expect answers to questions like:
- “What skills and training do I need to develop to the next level?”
- "How can I gain more leadership experience within my current role?"
- "What role does mentorship play in my development?"
If you can answer these questions and mark the learning milestones of your talent, you will retain and develop your employees into leaders over time.
That’s good news for a business that wants to last.
What is a leadership development program?
A leadership development program is a comprehensive plan enacted by a company to support the growth of an employee into a predetermined leadership role. This strategy aims to cultivate the specific qualities deemed necessary to best serve the leadership position within the company.
An effective leadership development program actively encourages employee growth in line with larger company objectives and is key to long-term organizational success.
How to create a leadership development program
Follow this simple 5-step process to build the framework for an effective leadership development program.
1. Identify the necessary skill set for the leadership position in question.
Outline a set of specific qualities and skills that will best serve the role you want to develop. Make sure it’s comprehensive and helps candidates contribute to achieving your organization’s goals.
2. Assess the existing abilities of potential leaders within your company.
Evaluate your employees’ strengths and weaknesses in the context of the desired leadership role. Keep a list of any employees whose existing skill set already play to the potential leadership role.
3. Determine how you will foster the needed skills.
Many components of your leadership development plan will be unique to the employee completing it and the leadership role they’re preparing for. However, you should have a basic set of guidelines in place for posterity’s sake, to measure growth, and to chart progress over time. Your leadership plan may change over time, but some core tenets may remain. It’s always good practice to see how your roles and requirements for positions change with time to meet the demands of your company, as well as your industry’s evolution.
4. Maintain continued development practices.
Development doesn’t stop when an employee completes the program. It’s important to routinely put the employee in situations to hone their skills and give them opportunities for applying said skills.
5. Monitor the program results.
Keep tabs on employees who complete the leadership development program. Track their promotions and gather feedback on how well they display and further develop the leadership qualities they were trained for.