- September 16, 2021
- Posted by: James Haggerty
- Category: Employee Development
Whether you are an entrepreneur with your own business or a professional looking to fit into the management and administrative world, leadership training can be an invaluable tool for you.
Whenever we think of leadership, we often compare it to charisma or natural ability to lead someone. To a certain extent this is true, some people are more talented at leading others without going through a leadership program, but it would be wrong to think that leadership exists only within this natural talent.
Leadership is similar to any other skill—learnable. You can teach yourself through practice and consistent development to become a leader even if you don’t see yourself as someone with that natural talent. A lot of people believe that a leader is born, but this is not true—they are made and taught.
Why Do Companies Need Leadership Training?
Managers, business owners, CEOs, company presidents, or whatever your job title may be; if you have authority over others, you hold some responsibility for them. Some jobs obviously have more responsibility than others and you may only have to talk to clients, but even that little bit of interaction is greatly impacted by your leadership ability.
This responsibility is easily visible if you look at how your position influences those around you. Let’s say you are the co-team lead of a project. Your job is to keep up with the team’s employees and bring up any issues they have while working alongside them. In this position, the communication, direction, and motivation of the team you are working with will be directly correlated to your leadership ability. If you are skilled at communication and strategic directing of the project, issues that might have otherwise needed the help of your supervisor, mistakes later on, or the making of deadlines, are all impacted.
A motivated team who is effectively communicating problems can boost the efficiency of any project. Mid-level companies who have potentially tens if not hundreds of these manager positions will reap the greatest rewards when considering leadership development.
What Is the Purpose of a Leadership Development Program?
As we mentioned previously, leadership is a teachable skill. The purpose of a leadership development program is to help people develop their leadership skills to be used in practical applications in their jobs or business. This includes communication, strategic direction, types of effective management, and more.
One of the primary impacts that a leadership program has is that it makes the manager more aware of socio-political and socio-cultural differences. When in the real world, these differences are all around us impacting our employees in different ways, but we have little to no chance to see them. A leadership training course gives you the ability to understand and think about the social situation in more detail to communicate better cross-culturally.
Furthermore, a leadership program will give you as a manager more insight into the psychology of the workplace allowing you to control it to a degree. For instance, you might need to adapt different managing strategies for separate teams or employees to give your employees their most effective environment.
The ‘command and control’ managerial model is extremely common among managers. This model restricts your employees when you give direct orders to them to act in certain ways while working. It can be a soft or hard method, but in either case it restricts the employee’s autonomy in the workplace. Giving employees some degree of autonomy has been shown to increase their self-motivation and thus their overall efficiency. Some employees may thrive when given more autonomy, while others might perform better under more strict management. A leadership program can help you adapt to the situation to fit better with both the workplace needs and the employee’s needs.
Is Leadership Training Effective?
The short answer is, yes—leadership training is effective. Of course, there are instances in which you will likely see more effective results.
If you are an individual in a manager role, you’ll see more results depending on the position you are in and how long you have been in your career field. Low to mid-career managers and administrators will see more results from leadership training as they have time to build up more skills than late-career managers. The position you are in will also be a factor in its effectiveness. While it is undoubtedly beneficial to go through leadership training to improve your managing skills, if you are in a position that doesn’t make use of your authority often, you will see less results.
If you are the owner, CEO, or president attempting to decide whether sending your managers to a leadership training program will benefit the company, your decision should depend greatly on the size of your company. Mid-level companies and larger will see the most results from sending their key managers to leadership training. When you start to scale up a business, efficiency brought about by lack of motivation, communication, or strategic direction will start to pile up. A leadership program will help reduce the lack of efficiency that exists within your company.
When in a leadership program, you or your managers will learn:
- Managing tactics
- Strategic direction
- Psychology of the workplace
- Constructive feedback
- And more.
Each one of these subjects impacts the efficiency of a team no matter the size. Communication is at the forefront of every business model out there. Poor communication can lead to a crumbling of the overall functionality of the workplace, potentially delaying projects, losing clients, or low motivation of the team. This makes a leadership training program an invaluable asset to the overall efficiency of a company or team.
Does Leadership Training Make a Difference?
Communication is the baseline of any leadership training program. Most managers have some degree of leadership qualities already, but it is useless if they don’t also sharpen their skills. A team’s communication is vital to its efficiency.
Say one person is behind on their project, but no one has asked them about it and they are afraid to talk to the team about their delay. Instead, they keep working on it until everyone is done and everyone but that person has finished. This isn’t necessarily an error in that person’s ability alone, but also the managers. An employee who is scared to communicate to the team means that the manager either needs to keep up with that employee or create a space that the employee would feel comfortable sharing that they are behind. Through a leadership training program, you learn how to create such an environment and give your employees peace of mind.
Even if the problem isn’t as severe as this, knowing how to communicate and the behavior one should hold at a specific time, is an invaluable asset to creating a motivated workspace. Efficiency in companies is largely controlled by how well a manager can perform their duties and think of ways to improve the team’s efficiency under pressure.
Functions of Leadership
The function of a leader is broad and encompasses more than their managerial position.When you think of a leader, you might picture someone wearing a pristine suit with a blue tie constantly carrying documents around while talking to their teams. While this may fit the image of a leader, they must be able to adapt and wear many different hats.
As you already know, communication is the lifeblood of a company, but not all people communicate the same. Some people will respond better when spoken to or interacted with in a certain way.
You can think of it as writing a business email. When you write a business email, one of the considerations is how direct you want to be to the other person. Many people might not like being bluntly told what you think, meaning you will have to soften the blow or rephrase the email accordingly. A leader has to be able to make decisions such as this on the fly between the many different people who make up their team. They may even need to make decisions on how to interact with complete strangers such as clients or employees they have never met before.
A leader’s ability to communicate and their management type corresponds to the effect that they will have when placed in a team.
What to Expect From a Leadership Course
When you start to offer your employees leadership courses or want to go through one yourself, it’s a good idea to know what to expect when going through it.
Here are 5 topics to expect from a leadership course:
1. Employee Engagement
One of the number one reasons to offer or take a leadership course is the engagement it requires.
You’ll be actively improving and thinking about ways to become a better leader giving you more job security and value within the company. Actively practicing leadership training in the workplace helps keep you or your employees emotionally committed.
Increased engagement and motivation naturally leads to an increase in productivity.
When going through or offering leadership training, you are giving the chance to enhance their career skills, giving them a higher chance at raises or better positions. As they progress and achieve their goals, they will be naturally encouraged to keep developing their skills and improve their leadership abilities.
This continuous cycle naturally helps employees recognize their ability to grow and develop with their work. The further they develop their skills, the more productive and effective they will become when put in a position of authority.
3. Helps Retain Employees
Another natural occurrence as a result of increased productivity and engagement is employee retainment. Companies spend thousands recruiting new employees, making the loss of just one employee a massive loss of investment.
To save on hiring costs, lowering the turnover rate of your company is essential. Leadership training is an easy way to accomplish a large part of keeping your employees motivated and on board throughout a large portion of their career. They will feel like your company is a good place for them to grow and develop as long as you give them the opportunities to do so.
One of the number one causes for a high turnover rate is dissatisfaction with managers and leaders. Offering leadership training to managers ensures that all of your managers have the skills necessary to actually perform their duties as a manager effectively. A manager skilled at leadership will naturally lower turnover rate and help employees work more efficiently.
A key part of any leadership course is building confidence.
Any leader needs to be confident and skilled enough to make tough decisions once in a while. A leadership course is a fantastic way for an employee to build their confidence to fit the role of a leader. This will dissolve the lack of confidence they might have when they first enter the role of a manager.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Communication and strategic decisions are all influenced by emotional intelligence. A leader needs to understand both their own emotions and the emotions of other people to communicate effectively with them. If an employee they are managing feels down, they should be able to recognize this and respond accordingly, depending on the situation.
Some people may have a higher emotional intelligence than others at the start, but that doesn’t mean others can’t learn it too. Emotional intelligence in a leadership program can be custom made to fit an employee’s training requirements. If your managers are struggling to relate to or understand your other employees, an emotional intelligence leadership course can help them meet their needs.
Start a Leadership Program Today
Anyone in business can benefit from taking a leadership program. They can be tailored to fit what you feel you or your employees are lacking, targeting their weak spots in management. You don’t need to be a high-level employee or a CEO to reap great benefits from signing up for a leadership program.
Contact Apogee System Consultants for more leadership and staff development assistance to make your team of employees the best they can be.
Experienced Chief Executive Addiction Recovery and Mental Health Professional
Business professional in the Addiction Recovery and Mental Health industry for the past 26 years. Caring, compassionate and strongly motivated to make a difference in the organizations I am affiliated with and welfare of the population we serve. Currently focused on advocating, educating and developing projects leveraging evidence based, real time technology to support individuals in recovery.