The last 12 months has been something that none of us had experienced before. In the blink of an eye, the pandemic changed the trajectory of our lives and our businesses. Across the world, businesses have been forced to reinvent themselves to adapt to the new reality. The ones who couldn’t do that have met the same fate as the dinosaurs did eons ago.
The same has been true for the learning landscape too. With traditional classroom based trainings’ being ruled out, companies worldwide have scampered to find solutions that would work in the new reality. In a happy twist of fate though, the Pandemic is perhaps the best thing that has happened to the L&D function.
LinkedIn Workplace Report 2020 : Insights from the web
This is what the Linkedin Workplace Report 2020 had to say:
“After years of being under-resourced, L&D budgets are expected to continue to grow—shifting from Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to online learning—and executive buy-in continues to build.
Because of these factors, L&D pros are newly positioned as critical strategic business partners —key to growth and innovation. As we enter the year, talent developers are focused on finding innovative ways to drive engagement, activate managers, and measure the business impact
of learning. Simultaneously, they are looking ahead, preparing for the upskilling and reskilling revolution coming in the next 3-5 years, when digital transformation and automation are expected to have a greater impact on the workforce globally.”
If the Pandemic has taught one lesson to all organisations worldwide, it is that leadership makes all the difference. Some companies found themselves stumped and are caught in the glare of the headlights. While, others have navigated this period with acumen.
When you look deeper, the difference lies in the efforts made by the leadership team.
Thus, it is the time to reiterate and revisit –
Why is it that we shouldn’t be taking our eyes off leadership development initiatives even at the most dire of times?
Instead of waiting for physical leadership development programs to come back, companies today are proactively embracing the Virtual Leadership Development.
Here are a few reasons why you should be looking at embracing them too:
1. Enhanced Productivity
Multiple studies have suggested that investing in leadership development activities can offer an ROI of approximately six times the training program’s cost. Moreover, there is a notable improvement in teamwork and individual working efficiency.
Companies have realised that investing in such programs also sends across an encouraging message to the employees about their growth being a priority for the organisation, even when the chips are down. This, in turn, provides the teams with a jolt of confidence, increasing team engagement, and reinforcing trust between team members.
2. Retain Talent
As is well documented by now, employees do not leave their jobs; instead, they leave their managers. Employees are likely to leave because of a difficult manager, even if they enjoy their work.
Investing in managerial programs that improves the emotional quotient (EQ) of leaders is a good way to plug this leak in the system.
Further, when companies invest in the betterment of employees’ careers, they are more likely to stay with them for the long-term. Virtual leadership development programs that can be delivered anywhere and anytime are a great way for organisations to show this intent.
3. Enhanced Engagement Of Employees
Equipping employees with the right kind of skills through proper training can help them stay motivated in the long-run. Committed employees continue to look for ways to learn new things and keep expanding their skill sets. Leadership training provides such employees an effective tool to keep improving at their workplace.
Hence, leadership development activities also facilitates greater employee engagement. When employees recognise that the company is investing in their development, it will make them feel appreciated. This will further motivate them to grow with the organisation.
4. Flexible And Cost-Effective
Start-ups or medium-sized companies do not have adequate capital to invest in resources needed for in-person leadership development activities. However, virtual programs allow such organisations to build a capable team, even on a tight budget. This is mainly because they ar able to save big on travel and other related expenditures.
Even with a restricted budget, digital training programs offer a wide range of options. Online learning programs allow the employees to learn while on the go
5. Building Future Leaders
An organisation is only as good as its leadership pipeline. This is the reason that marquee companies like Hindustan Unilever invests in leadership training across the length and breadth of its organisation including, the front end executives.
One of their leaders once told us
“If every single person in the company behaves like a leader, can you imagine the impact that it will have on its market performance?”
According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning survey, training for soft skills is at the top priority for talent development teams. Therefore, if you want to make sure that your employees are well-rounded as well as ready to take up new positions, then virtual leadership training is a smart idea.
How should an organisation go about planning an effective leadership development program that is suited for its needs?
Do read and download our definitive guide to leadership development programs that will give you a step-by-step guidance on the same.
I hope this blog makes you think about taking up leadership training. Do share your leadership training programs experiences with us, in the comments.