75% say leadership development programs are ineffective

by CXOtoday News Desk    Nov 13, 2013

leadership programs

Effective leadership programs can take organizations to newer heights and vice versa. A recent study however reveals that the majority of organizations feel that their leadership development programs are falling short, with 75% saying that their leadership development program was not very effective.

The survey conducted by Brandon Hall Group and commissioned by Skillsoft focused both on IT and non-IT companies to understand their leadership practices.

“More and more organizations are facing a retirement boom, which will eliminate established intellectual capital and create a demand for new talent that possesses leadership skills,” says Laci Loew, Principal Analyst and Talent Management Practice Leader, Brandon Hall Group and author of the report.

Loew believes the research shows that organizations are falling woefully short with their strategic leadership development programs, which will inevitably result in frustration and dissatisfaction amongst all employees and damage organizations’ ability to grow and compete. “This is a wakeup call for organizations to invest in their leadership development programs now to address this widening leadership skills gap before it causes lasting damage,” she says.

The report shows that organizations are dramatically more satisfied with their leadership development programs when a specific leadership development strategy is in place, spending on leadership development in the training budget is higher, and the leadership development programs have been in existence for five years or longer.

Those organizations that rated their leadership development programs effective spent, on average, 60% more on leadership development than their counterparts. In fact, more than half of these organizations have seen the leadership development budget remain stagnant and 20% have seen decreases. Yet those that have increased the budget are 65% more likely to have very effective business environment.

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Nearly 63% of companies with formal leadership development strategies reported that the majority of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) had improved by 76% better than organizations with no strategy and no strategic plans in development.

The report shows that for businesses across size and industry verticals, there is a need to establish formal, strategic leadership development programs. “Organizations should establish and grow leadership development programs that meet business goals and lay the groundwork for future talent successes,” says Loew.

According to experts, leadership programs to be successful with a clear vision, and should be targeted to the top executive to middle level managers who have the potential to become leaders to inspire their respective teams.

Leadership programs should offer tools can include books, online resources, accountability and networking groups, worksheets, step-by-step processes and future conferences. To understand its effectiveness, organizations should go for an evaluation session to understand its greater implications on the organizations as well as on the society, say experts.