Turning your unskilled workers into the dedicated, well-trained leaders of the future is an essential step for any company trying to make it into the big leagues. Nonetheless, even the best HR managers and savviest small business owners oftentimes struggle when it comes to encouraging employees to embrace leadership training with gusto. Luckily, a series of tried-and-tested tips and strategies can help you as you push your workers to help themselves.
Here’s how to encourage your employees to take leadership training, and the best arguments to rely upon when debating its efficacy.
You need to explain the benefits of training
Far too many bosses and managers find themselves infuriated when their workers don’t take training or educational opportunities seriously; after all, you’re trying to help these people, and they don’t seem to want to help themselves! It’s a simple matter of fact that you need to carefully convey the benefits of training to your workforce if you want them to embrace it with anything other than a lackluster attitude, however. If you’re not explaining why they need to become the leaders of tomorrow, they’ll never step up to the task of improving themselves no matter the costs.
You can start making this argument successfully by reminding them that no one is born into leadership; leaders are made rather than created. Experts who study training initiatives frequently find that many nonetheless believe the fallacy that leadership is something inherently within certain people. This naturally leads to leadership training failing more often than it succeeds, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the investment. You just need to start tackling leadership training properly, which starts by examining how others have gone wrong before you.
Taking a closer look at how training goes wrong, we can see that too many employers expect their workers to change without making fundamental adjustments to the system and workspace those workers are existing in. Top management has to be involvement in the leadership training process from the start, which often necessitates that team leaders put themselves into vulnerable positions of learning and lower themselves to the position of their team members. If those at the bottom aren’t seeing a positive example at the top that they can follow, they’ll never make meaningful progress.
Lead by example
The best thing you can do when it comes to encouraging your employees to take leadership training is to simply lead by example, and regularly enlist the help of managers and executives to lead and engage with training exercises. This also permits you to collect better feedback, as making sure the people are the top are keyed into what is and isn’t working is essential if you don’t want a leadership training course with a good customer experience to crash and burn early on. Always allow brutally honest and anonymous feedback if you really want to see what your workers think of your leadership initiatives.
You also have to give your workers chances to lead in their everyday lives if you want them to become true leaders in the long-term. A failure to give your workers real opportunities to exercise the skills and knowledge they’ve just learned is also a surefire way to effectively waste your investment in training. Consider embracing a mentorship system that sees workers who successfully pass leadership training programs endowed with greater responsibilities, then, and you’ll see better results while also incentivizing workers to sign up. At the end of the day, leadership training is all about producing results, so work tirelessly to demonstrate to your workers that leadership training is the key to success they’ve been looking for.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As manager of a large team of digital marketers, Alex is responsible for delivering the training and development of his entire department. He emphasises standardizing procedures and creating an immersive on-boarding process as key to bringing new members to your team.
Outside business, Alex is a keen videographer and music producer, living and working in Brighton, UK.