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6 Tips to Improve Your Leadership Development

Built-In shared what you need to know in order to develop leaders in your organization. Below is an excerpt from the article, featuring closerlook Vice President of Human Resources Caitlin Golden.

Find Training That’s Relevant to Your Industry

A crucial component of any leadership development plan is training. While employees can hone some of their leadership chops on the job, these courses provide a safe space to develop the skills they need.

If you have really good training, it gives employees a safe space to learn the tools and principles they need to better manage or lead their team, said Caitlin Golden, VP of HR at the digital marketing agency closerlook.

There’s just one problem — the lessons don’t always stick.

Golden recalled running a training session at her previous company, a creative advertising agency, that focused more on sales than it did on selling creative marketing. Once the team completed it, the lessons were immediately forgotten.

“It’s really hard to apply [the training] wholesale if it isn’t specific to your company or what you do,” Golden said.

To fix this, it’s important to first identify the skills that you want your leaders to develop. This will give you a sense of what training to invest in. It also creates a shared language within the company about what it means to be a leader, Golden said.

“If you’re able to incorporate some of your company’s values into the training and draw some of those parallels, it just makes it all more personalized.”

– Caitlin Golden, Vice President of Human Resources

closerlook’s training curriculum encompasses lessons on delegating work, how to build trust, how to be a coach and DEI and communication, among others. Its parent company, Fishawack Health, runs the training through its learning and development team. It’s a three-month program that includes one 90-minute session each week. Each quarter a new cohort of employees (a mix of current managers, senior staff members and even junior employees tabbed by their managers) will go through the training.

Since the training is run internally, it ensures the lessons are relevant to the culture and challenges of the company. This makes it easier for the trainees to take those lessons into their work, Golden said. They also supplement the curriculum with a leadership coach, who spends time with each person in the training to help them apply the training material.

If you’re outsourcing your training, Golden suggests finding a program that’s either relevant to your company’s industry or customizable. The more you can incorporate your company values and challenges into the curriculum, the more likely the message is to stick.

“If you’re able to incorporate some of your company’s values into the training and draw some of those parallels, it just makes it all more personalized,” Golden said. “It helps people feel like, ‘I’m learning to do this for my company.’”

It’s also helpful to look for programs that provide their lessons in increments. When the training is crammed into a day-long seminar, it’s impossible for employees to retain all of that information.

“I’m loving that there are more spaced out sessions,” Golden said. “Every week you’re coming in learning something new, as opposed to sitting in a room for a half day or full day and learning everything [at once].”

Read the full article at builtin.com.

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