Why the New Year Is the Ideal Time To Kickstart Your in-House Leadership Development Program

  • Ezra
  • January 4th, 2021

The new year is a great opportunity for new resolutions, but it’s also the perfect excuse to kickstart your in-house leadership development program to help your business to grow.

New Year Leadership Development

Since 153 B.C, we’ve been using new year’s resolutions as a way to commit to new goals and improve our lives for the next year. As a business, there’s no better time to make large structural changes than the new year. This is because the “New Year, New You” concept can be an incredibly potent way to kickstart changes to how your company functions.

While many of your talented employees are likely already making new year’s resolutions to help them advance in their careers, it’s also a good idea for senior professionals and leaders to overhaul the way their company functions. Understanding how to become a better leader can trigger a lot of positive changes within the company, boosting employee morale, and increasing productivity.

What makes the new year the ideal time to kickstart your in-house leadership development program?

There are a couple of great reasons why the new year is the perfect opportunity for you to kickstart an in-house leadership development program.

  • Everyone is positively affected by the idea of making resolutions in the new year. People are more likely to try new things, reflect on their past year, and motivate themselves to try harder.
  • End-of-year reflections can help you get a clearer perspective of how your business has changed or developed over the past year. This will allow you to identify areas that need to be improved, and you can adjust your in-house leadership development program with this in mind.
  • The holiday season that precedes the new year gives your staff time to unwind, relax, and focus on themselves for a little while. This gives them the opportunity to reset their minds and start fresh when the new year comes around.

Why is investing in leadership development important?

More and more companies are starting to increase their budgets for leadership training programs. In 2019 alone, investments in leadership training were estimated to be around $370.3 billion globally with $169.4 billion coming from North America alone. This is because leadership training is a research-backed method of improving overall job performance. Not only does leadership training teach high-level concepts and theories, but it also puts them into practice with practical applications that can be used in an office setting.

Still not convinced? What if we said that leadership training could improve subordinate performance by 8% and personal performance by 28%? These are difficult numbers to grasp without much context, but it shows that leadership training can have a positive effect that trickles down from senior staff members to employees and trainees. Overall, it can boost the morale of the company and is effective for large enterprises businesses in addition to smaller companies.

Strong leadership will become paramount in 2021 as we brave what we hope to be the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Troubling times like this call for strong leaders that are able to take charge, adopt innovative productivity strategies, and also make important decisions. In short, strengthening organizational leadership should be a major focal point for all enterprises.

Measuring success from leadership development

We could talk about statistics all day to show what leadership development could do for your business. However, facts and numbers alone won’t make much of a difference for your business. Every company is different, so it’s important to think about leadership development and its benefits in the context of your company.

To help you measure this, it’s important to establish some key performance indicators (KPIs). This will help you determine if your internal leadership development programs are worth the investment and if they’re being taken seriously by seniors members of staff. But what KPIs can you track and what might constitute a positive return on your investment?

  • Talent retention. Good leadership means an easier time retaining talent. Keeping your top employees is the key to growing your business quickly and efficiently, so make sure you track how well you’re retaining talented members in your business.
  • Employee satisfaction. Every company attempts to measure employee satisfaction in different ways. The fastest way to get feedback is to use employee satisfaction surveys. These will let you know if your staff are happy with senior staff, giving you a helpful metric to measure the success of your leadership development programs.
  • Personal reflections. While it’s not a quantifiable metric, leaders can spend some time thinking about their actions and decisions throughout the week. This reflection helps you learn more about what they could be doing better as a leader. Productive reflections will result in more action taken for the next week.

How is leadership development set to change in 2021?

Leadership development trends will be a little different in 2021. This is to account for the remote-focused approach that is necessary due to COVID-19, but it also stems from a need to create more value with in-house leadership development programs.

  • We expect that mobile learning will become an even bigger component of in-house leadership development. This allows your senior staff to develop their leadership skills regardless of where they are in the world.
  • More frequent use of employee surveys to gain valuable feedback on how your leaders are performing and how they can improve their approach.
  • AI-supported decision making will help take advantage of large sets of data. For example, it could analyze your employee data and create correlations to determine who is ready to move into a leadership role, which courses are most suitable for specific employees and positions, or which leadership development exercises lead to faster promotions.

The new year is a fantastic time of the year to kickstart an in-house leadership development program. It’ll serve as a base for training new employees that are ready to take on a leadership role, but it can also teach older managers new concepts that will help them motivate and guide their teams with more precision and efficiency.

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