By: Ed Albertson
Younger employees continue to rapidly flood the workforce, while baby boomers are increasingly preparing to step down and enter retirement. As a result, most enterprises are at risk of a clear and present danger of lacking continuity most enterprises, with the faces of leadership and the general staff changing more quickly than most decision-makers have yet realized.
However, businesses of all sizes can bolster the efficacy of their managerial-level staff by incorporating long-term, comprehensive leadership development programs that are rich with diverse content and delivery methods. By starting the process as soon as possible, continuity will be strengthened and managers will be better positioned to tackle the challenges of the modern day.
Simple steps toward leadership
Training Magazine recently reported that leadership programs are largely lacking, with one survey from the Brandon Hall Group finding that three-quarters of employees who have gone through such development initiatives do not believe they are effective. Considering the importance of leadership training for new managers, this is simply unacceptable.
Decision-makers should consider some of these best practices when developing leadership training programs:
- Mentoring and Coaching: Many current or prospective managers will respond well to mentoring and coaching programs. Consider pairing new employees who are expected to advance into leadership positions with long-standing supervisors or executives. By spending an hour or two each day with those who know the ropes, new leaders will be in a better position to acclimate to their new roles.
- Early Deployment: Experts continue to assert that one of the most widespread issues with leadership training is how late most companies begin the process. Business should develop managers before they step into their new positions, not after. Failure to prepare managers early enough has been found to lead to the formation of bad habits and lack of trust among other employees.
- Technology-Based Training: With new training technology such as mobile and eLearning, businesses can deploy leadership development content in a more engaging fashion, especially for younger employees. However, decision-makers need to remember that the content must be relevant, and that there are methods to measure the success of each investment.
- Evaluations: Executives and small business owners should always work to assess how new managers are feeling in their roles, and if the development process helped prepare them. Without regular assessments, it will be difficult to stimulate further performance improvements.
Business 2 Community recently reported that internal communication is among the most important components of customer service. With the right leadership development programs, managers will be ready to strengthen internal and external communications.