Simple Steps to Create a Leadership Development Plan

A leadership development plan is crucial for companies. Its goal is to improve an employee’s ability over a specific period. An effective leadership development plan needs to be structured and personalized, as it is meant to outline the learning objectives and activities an employee is going to undertake to reach their goals.

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What Is Leadership Development?

A leadership development plan can be defined as a detailed blueprint of the professional development and learning activities you or your employees are going to engage in during a certain time to improve a set of abilities.

A well-written leadership development plan requires structure and personalization if it’s going to be able to meet the unique needs of employees as well as the needs of the organization. This type of development plan is focused on helping employees gain leadership competencies and prepare them for management and leadership roles within an organization. Commonly, it’s designed as a long-term plan with different milestones. 

Why Is Leadership Development Important?

Leadership development plans have the potential to keep your key players and your most valuable employees engaged with the company. By detailing a blueprint for their development, you will demonstrate that they’re valuable and dissuade them from seeking alternative job opportunities. 

Development plans are truly critical to business continuity and they help to maintain a sense of trust within a company. 

Creating leadership development plans benefits an organization in different ways. Let’s consider the most important ones:

  1. Skilled leaders attract employees: It’s a fact that great leadership can inspire higher engagement from their workers and as a result reduce turnover. For a good leader, not only will it be easy and natural to keep and maintain employees, but also to attract talented and skilled new employees. 
  2. Skilled leaders are more effective: Empowered leaders can easily solve problems quickly and effectively, and as a result, drive better results for your business over time.
  3. It Improves communication: When leaders make effective communication a priority, it leads to increased productivity and better execution of tasks.
  4. It increases employee loyalty: When companies take the time to develop a leadership plan, it shows their employees that there are growth opportunities available for them. 
  5. It improves customer retention: When leaders are effective, it also translates to an improved customer experience.

How to Create a Leadership Development Plan

If you’re looking to improve leadership skills within your company, then you should start by drafting a leadership development plan.

This plan that you’re going to create needs to address both the needs of current leaders as well as the needs of those that you wish to train for leadership positions. Let’s dive into the steps you need to take to create an effective leadership development plan.

Assess and identify talent

Identifying talent is the first and the most crucial step when creating a leadership development plan. Some companies have a formal leadership development program where they assess and select talent for a specific skill or position. 

However, for companies that do not have a formal program, it’s important to create a leadership assessment for employees by using a variety of methods, which can include reviews, interviews, emails, and face-to-face feedback. The key is to create a list of skills that you are expecting to see in a good leader and to consider performance capacity, present performance, and potential. 

Align career vision with your business needs

Once you have assessed your employee’s performance and potential, you should have a talent pool to work with. However, it’s important that those you consider have the same direction and career vision. Discuss future and career paths with the employees you’re considering for leadership development and try to align their career vision and path with your business path.

Create a list of leadership development goals and skills

You must create a list of goals and skills required for each individual or position. But be careful, these goals must be achievable and they should correlate with the key business objectives. Once you have determined the goals for each individual, define a timeline for every goal, and rank their importance from most valuable to less valuable. 

By identifying key leadership skills needed for future roles, you will have the foundation of the developmental plan. Developing those skills will ensure that your key employees are ready for the challenges they will most likely face. 

Identify which methods of development you will use

You can separate leadership development plans for each role. Some companies prefer to do so. By separating leadership development plans for different roles, you can make sure plans are more tailored and personal. 

Many different methods can be used for leadership development and some of them include volunteering, mentorships, formal training, task forces, shadowing, or working groups and committees. 

Executing Your Leadership Development Plan

Companies should never lose sight of employees and the next generations of leaders who want to be ready to successfully meet the challenges ahead. Investing in future leaders is smart, and the best way to handle this is by creating a leadership development plan. 

However, it’s no secret that executing a leadership development plan is challenging. You’re going to need the right tools if you want a smooth process. The good news is that you can plan, organize, manage, and execute a development plan with Instagantt, an online Gantt chart software for project management that helps teams all around the world plan, coordinate, schedule, and execute their projects, beginning to end. You can rely on Instagantt to create professional-looking Gantt charts in minutes, which you can then easily modify to account for new challenges and opportunities while executing your leadership development plans for your employees. 

Leadership Development Plan

Leadership Development Plan Template

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