Creating a Leadership Development Program for High-Potential Employees

accel5 | September 25, 2018

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Developing high-potential employees requires investing in their skills. Learn how to craft a leadership development program.

Lately, some companies have chosen to shift the focus of their leadership development programs to high-potential employees. These employees possess skills necessary to thrive in management or senior roles, but need additional coaching before taking on new roles. Developing and grooming high-potential employees requires a well-rounded program that focuses on specific skills relevant to your organization’s needs. EBSCO Corporate has outlined the steps required to create a program that will help your employees reach their full potential.

Outline Critical Competencies

The first step to creating any corporate learning program is deciding the focus. With a leadership development program, you should identify eight to 12 key competencies that your training will focus on. These competencies should include critical soft skills such as project management, teamwork, communication, time management, and more. You can identify these competencies by utilizing employee surveys to see where your company can improve. It may also be helpful to review your organization’s mission statement for a quick refresh of goals. Make sure that your final list is broad enough that it is inclusive, yet not overwhelming for your audience.

Identify High Potential Employees

While outlining your program’s critical competencies, you can also begin identifying high-potential employees for your program. Be sure to focus on employees who thrive in their current role and are always eager to take on responsibility. If you are unsure of who fits that description, speak with senior managers and get their feedback.

Curate Your Content

Your next step is finding content that is suitable for your program’s goals and audience. Use free online resources to track down reading and videos on your chosen competencies. Be sure that your content is actionable and that employees can put the concepts into practice immediately. If you are having trouble finding the right content for your program, explore curate corporate learning tools such as EBSCO’s Accel5. Accel5 is a microlearning solution that features videos, business book summaries, and articles spotlighting best practices from an unparalleled group of business leaders.

Developing and grooming high potential employees requires a well-rounded program that focuses on specific skills relevant to your organization’s needs.

Prepare Your Audience

Prior to the program, have your audience complete “pre-work,” such as reading relevant book summaries or articles, or watching video clips that will prepare them for their upcoming training. Ensure that the content is efficient – employees should spend no more than ten minutes a day on their pre-work.

Hold Your Program

Your leadership development program should be customized to your company’s needs, while also utilizing some general ideas. You want to be sure that your program is long enough to be effective, but not so long that employees will fall behind with their work. Many companies have found that two to five days is an ideal amount of time. Another useful tip is to partner each attendee with a counterpart, or “buddy.” As buddies, these employees will be responsible for holding each other accountable both during and after the program. Finally, be sure that you are checking in with employees throughout the program to assist with any questions or challenges that they may face.

Following Up

A successful program does not end once the training is complete. Be sure to follow up with attendees at various points. Immediately after the program has concluded, give attendees access to a corporate learning solution to help them continue their development. About a month after the program, check in with the high-potential employees to see if they are still speaking with their buddy – if they are not, encourage them to reach out. Finally, once you have run your program multiple times, send out another company-wide survey and review the results

A leadership development program for high-potential employees is an exciting way for your company to improve and focus on the future. Download our infographic from Accel5 to receive the key steps required for a successful program.

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