Company leaders are uniquely equipped to bridge the gap between employee demands and company demands. As a result, companies can transform their culture, recruit and retain the best talent, mitigate risk, and foster overall innovation which affects the bottom line. This potential has put new-found emphasis and pressure on leadership training and a leadership development program that focuses on inclusion. However, if companies do not address certain obstacles, they WILL fail.
The right focus for your Leadership Development Program
The topic of organizational culture and leadership is extremely complex. Without being able to focus strategy and training, you risk overwhelming leaders and diluting the overall message you are sending throughout your organization. A clear methodology, with the right mix of focus and freedom, is an important first step. Inclusion is the focus area that has the right mix and targets intended outcomes in talent and productivity.
Training at scale
Not all organizations, departments or teams are the same, but having a focused training strategy is pointless if you can’t deploy it at a company-wide scale. Your company does not achieve its intended outcomes if training does not reach/impact all departments, teams, and individuals within a company. This is more relevant for larger companies, but it also applies to organizations of all sizes. Thankfully, technology is providing new opportunities for organizations to train effectively at scale.
It seems like just about everyone in 2019 has a busy professional and personal life. It is easy to understand how leaders might find it difficult to remember and apply their training days, not to mention in a way that makes an impact. Finding new ways to reach develop leaders with more timely, consistent and relevant training will be the most important hurdle to achieving future results. Most people will forget more than 80% of what they just heard and learned within 24 hours. No one learns anything that sticks forever in just one session.
Winning over detractors
Even if your organization has a new focus for its leadership training and a means of deploying this training at scale, results won’t happen without the right internal stakeholders’ buy-in. If your company’s top leaders don’t show belief in company training, then the overall workforce cannot follow. Getting the right buy-in is arguably the most crucial step to start with.
Focus on the human side (avoid pushing compliance)
If leadership training comes off as just another compliance tool, you will risk reducing buy-in and subsequent impact. Diversity and inclusion can sometimes be confused with compliance. Developing inclusive leaders breeds better leaders who are happier and more effective in their jobs. Empowering well-intentioned leaders to be better requires meaningful training on inclusion, providing leaders the tools to empower their teams to perform their best.
At the end of the day, the work of diversity and inclusion is aimed at building better workplaces and happier employees. Leadership is the intersection where companies can impact all the complexities that play into making better workplaces. Giving leaders the tools to empower themselves and their teams is a powerful way to change the workplace. It’s important to deepen these discussions whenever possible. Feel free to join our complimentary virtual events as a great way to further dialogue and grow in a community of thought-leadership. We would love to host your insights and answer your questions at my upcoming Q&A Roundtable.