When we get asked “does leadership training work?” the answer is usually yes, and no. Let me explain.
Motivation for leadership training
One of the biggest factors that hinder the success of leadership training is if people are not motivated. An example would be if an individual is forced to attend a course they have no interest in doing against their will. Is that going to work in terms of leadership training or any training? No.
Alternatively, the yes version of that is when individuals can see and appreciate the benefit of the training. If an individual knows they’ll be learning something directly relevant to them, their team or even one of their goals, then yes, the training is more likely work.
When motivation is an issue, evaluating who is sent on the training course is essential. Would there be someone better suited to the training? If somebody might benefit more from some coaching, job shadowing or other ways of learning rather than taking up a place on leadership training then we always recommend using the most efficient method. It best to evaluate the most effective way to up-skill each specific individual.
Training attendance and engagement
Probably an obvious one. Leadership training won’t work if people don’t turn up. Every now and then, we host a programme for companies where only a fraction of the attendees can make it. The reality is, if people don’t turn up, it’s not going to work as effectively as it could. If only part of the team gets the learning, then the rest of the team are either playing catch-up or doomed to fall short, putting the whole team down. Like changing only three out of four tyres on a car, expecting the old tyre to perform the same as the fresh new ones is unrealistic.
Comparable to the previous point. If individuals fail to engage, then companies won’t get the results. Yes, attending is important, but individuals must pay attention too. The differences in engagement since the switch to more virtual sessions is noticeable. As a result of doing more zoom or teams-based sessions there is higher potential for people to be distracted or multitask. By turning off their camera they can reply to emails, scroll on devices and, with a group big enough, even get away with taking the dog for walk. Impossible to do that in a training room. These issues illustrate the importance of training that is designed well and has precise learning outcomes. Design for the right people are they’re more likely to engage. If someone feels you are catering to their needs, a connection and motivation to achieve the learning outcomes will be present.
You know of the presence of multitasking, but what encourages multitasking? An overly demanding schedule.
We work with lots of different companies, small, medium and large. Size doesn’t matter. Individuals with unrealistic and overly demanding schedules are in companies of all sizes. When we put proposals together for Leadership training, we try to get a precise and realistic number of hours everyone has at their disposal for training. It’s important, for the people responsible (those purchasing training) that everybody’s clear from the beginning, that it’s four hours a month, or six hours or two. You need to ensure it fits within the schedules of those attending. Fail to do so and potentially risk an uneven work-life balance, forcing individuals to multitask.
Delivery methods for leadership training
Time to consider delivery methods. It’s important to evaluate whether the delivery fits with the learning needs of the group. It can be tempting to go with something high-tech, fashionable or the latest trend, but can you ensure it will work for your purpose. Our preference at Crescente is to offer something that really works and aligns with the business and needs of everyone. There is a space for high-tech solutions and innovation, but does it fit in with the learning outcomes one is looking to achieve?
Interested in getting more information as an individual learner or for a corporate programme? Get in touch.
Better at absorbing content through video? Watch John cover “Does leadership training work?” on the Crescente YouTube Channel below.