7 Steps To Create A Leadership Development Plan For Top Talent
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Creating A Leadership Development Plan For Your Top Talent

Leaders require a unique set of skills to hold down the fort and keep their team in check. But they also need to have a compassionate side to provide continual support and guide their subordinates to success. So, how do you create a leadership development plan for top talent that fosters a harmonious balance? Though there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy you can employ, there are steps to simplify the process. Start by scoping out their pre-existing knowledge and gaps then move on to timelines, budgets, and curriculum. These 7 steps can help you prep new team leaders for every challenge that lies ahead.

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1. Survey And Pre-Assess

An effective leadership development plan should start with diagnostics. Conduct surveys to get employee input and identify their personal preferences. Then pre-assess them to gauge the gaps and figure out the best approach. How do employee training participants feel about the current online training plan and/or delivery methods? Is there a common theme among their test results that you need to address in online training? Most importantly, are there any employees who stand out as ideal peer coaches? Keep in mind that employee training participants can also be valuable sources of experiential knowledge. For instance, they might be able to host workshops or events to help other team leaders.

2. Evaluate Your Current Online Training Plans And Certification Paths

Now that you’re armed with employee eLearning feedback take a closer look at your online training plans, certification paths, and JIT libraries. Are there online training resources with particularly low engagement scores? Are there any outdated assets that need to be removed or refreshed for modern employees? This is the time to declutter your catalogs and identify under-performing resources that hinder employee progress.

3. Create A Development Timeline And Budget

The next step to create a leadership development plan is to set a timeline and an accurate budget. When do you want to launch your new program, and which tasks are involved? Will you roll out in phases to make it more manageable? How much do you have to spend on original content creation, and are there any assets you can repurpose to cut costs? Do you need to purchase a new LMS or a rapid eLearning authoring tool? These are all questions to help you streamline the development process and stretch available resources. You must also identify which team members you need to get on board and the support or software they require.

4. Get Employee Training Participants Involved In The Customization Process

Your leaders—or future hopefuls—should have a say in online training development because they’re the ones who rely on it for forwarding momentum. They must use the online training tools to pursue their career goals and prepare themselves for the leadership challenges ahead. So, solicit their advice about which activities they’d like to see. Do they prefer self-guided paths, live events, or social learning opportunities? How often do they access the support online training library, and do the current assets meet their needs? Another way to get them involved is to encourage employee resource contributions—which also reduces spending.

5. Design Curriculum Based On Existing And Emerging Gaps

You need to be an amateur fortune teller to create a successful leadership online training plan. You can’t just stop at the current skill, performance, and knowledge gaps. But detect emerging gaps that may hinder employee development in the not-too-distant future. Then design curriculum to 'cut them off at the pass' and prevent these pain points from escalating. For instance, there’s a sudden surge in customer complaints or a drop in sales. In response, you develop simulations, scenarios, and demo videos to build interpersonal skills and boost consumer loyalty. Business reports helped you zero-in on the issue so that you’re able to hone relevant talents and prep new mangers.

6. Incorporate Peer Coaching And Live Events

Your most valuable asset is your workforce. They contribute to your bottom line, keep operations running, and service customers. But employees are also a source of knowledge for their peers. Launch a peer coaching or mentoring program to give team leaders anytime, anywhere support. They can use live chats, video conferencing, or message boards to stay in touch. Another way to facilitate social learning is to host live events. Schedule webinars and workshops where employee training participants can share their opinions and ideas. Invite guest speakers to share their insights about leading a team and setting a positive example.

7. Periodically Reevaluate Your Leadership Development Strategy

It’s always a work in progress. Reevaluate your leadership development strategy from time to time to identify hidden flaws. It might not even be an issue with the design. As your organization grows, employees must grow along with it. Which means new skills, tasks to master, and on-the-job hurdles to overcome. As such, the online training curriculum must reflect all these fresh gaps that crop up over time. Conduct follow up surveys and polls to see what your employees think of the recent courses and JIT activities. Assess employee training participants regularly to verify that they’re building skills that tie into their job roles.

These steps are adaptable based on your organization’s needs and objectives. Feel free to shuffle them around and expand them as you see fit. For example, you may have to survey the team after each phase of the project. Then you might need to adjust as you go along. It’s also wise to create a reusable template that makes it easy to personalize plans based on job duties, responsibilities, and departments. The goals might be the same, but employees have carte blanche to choose how they get there and when.

Leadership online training benefits every member of your organization, from new hires to higher-ups. Download the eBook Transform Top Talent Into Team Leaders: The Ultimate Guide For Leadership Development Training and find out how to create outstanding leadership development training—along with the pitfalls you should avoid, and more.

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