Are We Really Serious About Developing Leadership Capability?

Every CEO I talk to says they want to develop leadership capability at all levels within their organisation…………..which makes sense, right…………………especially when over 80% of our employees report to supervisors and middle managers!!

But hold on………a recent study by Brandon Hall found that only 5% of organisations invest in leadership capability below the senior executive level.

So are our CEOs saying one thing and doing another?

Maybe it is about cost………….and then I remembered this:

develop people

Multiple studies reinforce that developing leadership capability is one of the focus areas for most organisations, which is refreshing because we all know that the rewards from increasing organisational leadership are increased revenue, profitability, customer service levels and employee engagement and productivity.

So we have commitment, what we need is an effective program that doesn’t cost too much.

Here is the process I suggest because it is effective and low cost.

1. Holding Employees Accountable

You can’t hold employees accountable unless you actually articulate your expectations and how you are going to measure their performance. The first step is to    create a One Page Position Description (download template) which clearly articulates the expectations, KPIs, activities required and leadership traits expected. Once created do not file it, give it to your employee, ask for their feedback and explain to them what you expect from their efforts.

2. Measure Employee Outcomes

It is important to regularly, and formally, measure employee overall performance not just achievement of KPIs. I suggest that you measure employee KPIs every month/quarter but also instigate a Monthly One-On-One Meeting (download template) which is designed to ensure that managers recognise above-and-beyond  performance, deal with sub-standard performance and, importantly, ascertain whether they are providing the leadership and coaching that is required.

3. Holding Managers Accountable

Conducting annual 360 Degree Leadership Development Surveys for all managers and supervisors is a must if you truly want to develop leadership capability at all levels. Due to the high costs imposed by traditional leadership survey providers, the ability for organisations to invest in leadership development beyond the senior executive team has always been problematic. Now, however, that excuse no longer applies due to subscription based survey platforms like MultiRater Surveys. These platforms offer unlimited 360 leadership surveys for a fixed subscription cost, and you can customise the surveys to fully satisfy your organisational requirements.

4. Proactively Seeking Employee Feedback

I am a big fan of conducting a more extensive employee feedback survey once a year supported by very short pulse surveys every two months. Once again, technology has come to the rescue and you no longer have to spend $’000s on employee surveys from traditional providers, just use your existing disrupter survey platform and start asking your employees what they think about how to improve organisational performance.

5. Managers Acting on Employee Feedback

When you conduct your employee feedback surveys, it is imperative that you notify your employees not only the findings (good and bad) but also what the management team will be doing to address the four principal challenges. This communication should also strongly convey that addressing any challenges is not just the management team’s responsibility, it is everyone’s responsibility and the action items should reflect this.

6. Repeat

Once you have completed the first five steps, then reload and do it all again.

And the cost to implement all of the above, other than commitment and time ………. less than $1,800/annum ! ! ! !

Now that we have removed the cost issue …..… when are you going to start developing your leadership capability?

Written by Mark Purbrick

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