Why Employers Should Focus on Improving Leadership Training in 2024
Leadership training is essential for the success of any business, and in today's rapidly changing world, it is more important than ever for leaders to have the skills they need to help their organization attract and retain top talent.
For this reason, employers should focus on improving their leadership training programs in 2024 and beyond.
“In 2024, leadership development training remains an essential component of organizational success. Effective leaders are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and qualities needed to navigate the challenges of the modern business landscape,” writes training program expert Joe Walker on Medium.
Employers will want to improve their leadership training programs by making them:
- Relevant: The content of your leadership training program should be relevant to the specific needs of your leaders and your organization.
- Engaging: Leadership training should be engaging and interactive. This will help leaders to learn and retain information more effectively.
- Measurable: You should be able to measure the effectiveness of your leadership training program. This will help you to ensure that your program is meeting the needs of your leaders and your organization.
“As work environments evolve, so must leadership training and development. Today’s leaders need upskilling in coaching, mentoring and inclusion initiatives,” wrote Cailin Potami in Business News Daily. “HR professionals are increasingly concerned about leadership development within their organizations. [A} Gartner survey revealed that 60 percent of HR managers cited leader and manager effectiveness as a top concern.”
What is Leadership Training and Why is it Important?
Leadership training is a process of developing and improving the leadership skills of individuals and teams. It can be done through formal training programs, coaching, mentoring, and on-the-job learning.
Leadership training is important for the success of any business because it helps to:
- Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity: Employees who feel supported and valued by their leaders are more likely to be engaged and productive.
- Boost Innovation and Creativity: Leaders who are open to new ideas and encourage feedback create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This can lead to increased innovation and creativity.
- Attract and Retain Top Talent: Employees are increasingly looking for employers who offer opportunities for growth and development. Leadership training can help employers to attract and retain top talent.
- Improve Customer Service: Leaders who set a good example and create a positive work environment are more likely to have employees who provide excellent customer service.
Why is Leadership Training a Priority in Today's Business World?
While leadership training has always been important to organizations, today’s business world makes it a priority as leaders need to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.
“Rising inflation, scarce expensive talent, and global supply constraints represent a new combination of variables for HR leaders to understand as they consider their 2023 strategies,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.
Here are some of the specific reasons why leadership training is a priority in today's business world:
- The Rise of Remote and Hybrid Work: Remote and hybrid work have become increasingly common in recent years. This has created new challenges for leaders, such as how to build and maintain team morale and how to communicate effectively with employees who are not in the same physical location. Leadership training can help leaders develop the skills they need to be successful in a remote or hybrid work environment.
- The Need for Diversity and Inclusion: Businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Leaders need to be able to create a workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. Leadership training can help leaders develop the skills they need to promote diversity and inclusion in their organizations.
- The Importance of Sustainability and Ethics: Businesses are under increasing pressure to operate in a sustainable and ethical manner. Leaders need to be able to make decisions that are good for the environment and society. Leadership training can help leaders develop the skills they need to lead their organizations in a sustainable and ethical way.
“Effective leadership is a cornerstone of organizational success. As we enter 2024, the business landscape continues to evolve, and leadership development programs play a critical role in nurturing and growing future leaders,” wrote Walker.
What Elements Should Your Leadership Training Program Include?
Your leadership training program should include a variety of elements that will help your leaders to develop the skills they need to be successful. Here are a few suggestions:
- Upskilling in Coaching and Mentoring: Coaching and mentoring are powerful tools for developing leaders. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to coach and mentor their team members.
- Inclusive Initiatives: Your leadership training program should include training on diversity and inclusion. This will help your leaders to create a workplace where all employees feel valued and respected.
- Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is an essential skill for leaders. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to develop their emotional intelligence.
- Authenticity: Authentic leaders are genuine and transparent. They are true to themselves and their values. Authentic leaders are more likely to build trust with their team members and create a positive work environment. Your leadership training program should help your leaders to develop their authenticity.
- Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Empathetic leaders can connect with their team members on a deeper level. They are also better able to understand and respond to the needs of their customers. Your leadership training program should help your leaders to develop their empathy.
- Adaptability: Adaptability is the ability to change and adjust to new situations. Adaptive leaders can navigate challenges and opportunities effectively. Your leadership training program should help your leaders to develop their adaptability.
- Communication: Communication is essential for effective leadership. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to communicate effectively with their team members, their customers, and other stakeholders.
- Problem-solving: Leaders are constantly faced with problems to solve. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to solve problems effectively.
- Decision-making: Leaders need to be able to make sound decisions, even under pressure. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to make effective decisions.
- Delegation: Effective delegation is essential for leaders. Your leadership training program should teach your leaders how to delegate tasks effectively.
Seeking Leadership Development from Top Programs
Some companies turn to outside help for leadership training, using such top programs as:
- Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program (AMP): This program is aimed at senior executives with an emphasis on innovation and a global perspective.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Stanford LEAD: For those with busy schedules, this program is part-time and online with participants working on practical real-world projects.
- Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) Leadership Development Program: A flexible program that focuses on leadership at various levels with an emphasis on feedback-based development and self-awareness.
- Dale Carnegie’s Leadership Training for Managers: Aimed at mid-level managers with a focus on conflict resolution, employee engagement, and communication.
- MIT Sloan School of Management’s Executive Education Programs: A focus on emerging trends for this program which covers innovation, strategy, and leadership skills.
- University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School’s Leadership Programs: Known for its practicality, this program offers a range of leadership programs.
“The best leadership development programs are designed to nurture these skills, and they continue to evolve to meet the dynamic needs of organizations and their leaders,” concluded Walker.
HR leaders can drive their organizations forward and gain a competitive advantage, according to Gartner, by acting on leadership development in 2024.