THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO INCREASE THE LEADERSHIP capabilities of an organisation: you hire it, or train it. But with Hays Asia reporting that 70% of Chinese employees will see wage increases in 2015, competing for talent by throwing more money at the problem isn’t a long term solution.
With this constraint in mind, I’ve created a four-step plan to help you invest in your current talent, rather than headhunt others.
1. Get systematic
Talent development should be done systematically, and that starts by developing a talent pipeline. A well-organised talent pipeline generates talents for planned growth of an organisation. [quote float=”left”]HR needs to be at the table with all other departments.[/quote]For this reason, HR needs to be at the table with all other departments. If the development of talent is not marching to the same beat as operations, sales, procurement and R&D, then there will be a significant gap between an organisation’s goals and what it can realistically achieve.
The leadership training plan should be constructed from the view of an organisation’s mid-term strategic plan and long-term plan. However, short-term strategic plan should also be considered, but it should be on operational level.
2. Divide your talent pipeline into stages
Leadership training is commonly divided into three stages, for elementary, intermediate, and advanced leaders. Each level has its own separate training targets and training methods that also need to be suitable for these training targets. Publicise these stages, and link them to career advancement, and you will get significant buy-in from your staff.
3. Leadership development shouldn’t be ‘one-off’
Leadership development should be done on regular basis, for example, on quarterly basis or bi-monthly basis. Running a program once a year, will be less effective since new skills learnt will be easily forgotten before they can form a habit. [quote float=”right”]Leadership development should be done on regular basis[/quote]For example, one ClarkMorgan client, a large Austrian plastics company, runs a four-day program every quarter. Within a 12 month period, middle managers receive 16 days of training, as well as continuous reminders through Wechat coaching.
4. ‘Effectiveness’ first, then ‘measurement’, then ‘methods’
Increasing the effectiveness is the ultimate goal of each leadership training program. To realise this purpose, the final training outcome should be clearly defined well in advance, using the methods of pre-training interview, questionnaires, critical event interview, and more. Then, based on the final target of leadership training, the performance target should be defined. Thirdly, the training targets and the training methods should be defined. Another key factor of realising leadership training effectiveness is participant’s direct supervisor. Without his/her support and coaching, few trainees will use what they have learned in their daily work.
With the war for talent unabated, and with pay rises expected across every industry in China, the solution to build leadership capability this year should be in the development of your staff.