What Learning Modalities Are Right For Leadership Training?

What Learning Modalities Are Right For Leadership Training?
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Summary: Learn how to choose the right employee development training methods to train your next generation of leadership.

Customize Your Organizational Leadership Training

As professionals, employees, and team members of an organization, it is most often true that we don’t want to just follow the leader; we want to know our leadership is knowledgeable, capable, confident, and secure in the direction they choose. For that reason, leadership development is at the forefront of many discussions within businesses.

Good leadership is essential for the success of the business, whether through improved productivity, increased morale, or positive overall impact on the culture. Developing effective employee leadership training and development programs creates an environment of success with higher retention rates and creativity. However, ineffective programs for leadership development often have the opposite effect.

How Do We Create Effective Programs For Leadership Development And Employee Training And Development?

It is important to keep the learner experience and audience needs at the forefront when you develop your leadership training. You should, as a best practice, build employee training and development and leadership development programs based on different learning styles. Training and development programs must be more than engaging; they must meet the personal and educational needs of all learners to be effective.

One way in which different educational needs can be fulfilled is through asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning enables learners to access training and development content on their own time while maintaining strict deadlines for assessments and content navigation. The ability to retain information when in a comfortable environment greatly increases.

Another option is blended learning, in which an organization uses asynchronous learning along with in-person training on the job. Blended learning allows employees to learn on their own time and apply the Learning and Development concepts during work hours. Applying the concepts in person allows supervisors or trainers to perform instant assessments of the employees’ ability to comprehend the material.

How Do We Apply These Learning Strategies In Our Training And Development Programs?

First, understand leadership development and employee training and development programs of old are tired. These programs remove the ability for the employees to truly connect with the material. It becomes more of a “must do” than creating an opportunity for employees to become more invested in the organization.

Second, diversify the modalities. Basically, keep the employees on their toes. The Learning and Development material should be presented through different mediums, such as video, audio, assessments, and in-person training. Using different modalities keeps the employees more engaged by capturing their focus on the material.

Third, use on-the-job training to assess gaps in knowledge and understanding. Trainers and supervisors must use this time to provide additional guidance to employees who have questions or are having difficulty grasping concepts.

Our Leadership Development And Employee Training And Development Programs Aren’t Producing The Desired Outcomes—What Do We Do Now?

This is a common issue. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that American companies spent a whopping $160 billion dollars for employee training and development in 2015 alone. However, assessments of behaviors after the training unveiled that most employees revert back to their original behaviors. Respondents admitted the training wasn’t applicable to their daily work life and higher-ups weren’t following through by supporting the training and development they were promoting. Training and development is a commitment that requires constant application.

One way to improve leadership development and employee training and development programs is to establish an initial assessment of what processes or behaviors need to be improved. The initial assessment is the foundation for the whole program, so it is essential for this assessment to be completely candid. Separate what is true from what is desired. The desired result is the outcome and something to work towards, so that cannot be included in the initial gap assessment. If this seems too much, or the ability to be candid about areas of improvement is lacking, then hire an outside company specializing in training and development for leaders and employees.

Companies must be aware of what aspects of training will not apply to daily work life. If this research is not completed, then money on leadership development and employee training and development is being wasted. Use Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in your own company as a reference for what will and will not be applicable.

Where Do We Go From Here?

A study conducted by Forbes found that only 48% of top executives felt their direct reporting line had the skills to become part of the corporate executive team in their organization, and only 50% of the employees waiting to become Chief Experience Officers had any access to leadership development for this position. These are shocking statistics that most companies cannot afford. Don’t pour money into ineffective or barely-there training and development programs.

Effective leadership development and employee training and development programs determine the success or failure of a company. It is important to either develop your internal L&D teams to build the right training, or bring in a consultant to help.

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