The lack of leadership development opportunities can impact your company in different ways. It affects the morale of employees who have concrete plans of moving up the career ladder.
This situation can cause a variety of organizational problems, including high turnover rates, the presence of a skills gap, and lack of role clarity.
All these can affect various processes in your business and the overall productivity of your employees.
Developing Leaders in Your Organization
There are various ways to develop leaders in your organization.
Investing in leadership and business coaching programs for potential leaders is one of the easiest, most cost-efficient strategies for helping qualified employees interested in taking on leadership roles.
With these programs, you can rely on competent and experienced coaches to help unlock the potentials of your employees and guide them as they navigate the path towards leadership.
Your employees can take these programs in the office, with the facilitator visiting your workplace. Your staff can undergo these programs at the coach’s training center.
Allowing your employees to oversee projects, run meetings, and work with mentors are also effective in-office techniques for turning them into leaders.
Combining these strategies for your leadership development program offers so many benefits that it is a technique worth considering.
Blended Learning for Developing Leaders
Blended learning in leadership development programs includes having employees go through a mix of in-person and online learning experiences to hone their leadership skills.
Under this approach, employees are given the opportunity to learn and hone essential leadership skills and attributes through traditional and virtual learning experiences, such as games, simulations, and using microlearning tools in websites and apps.
Participants are also asked to join a virtual classroom and engage in various forms of self-paced learning methods.
What sets blended learning apart from the other modalities is that the participants can do all these alone or with others, in a physical classroom or training room, or a virtual classroom group setting.
Benefits of Using Blended Learning in Leadership Development Programs
Below are the top benefits of using a blended learning approach as you foster your future leaders:
1. Improved Employee Engagement
Since blended learning makes use of different studying and training modalities, employees have more opportunities to participate. There is no excuse for not joining these programs since they have various ways to do so.
Blended learning allows participants to learn from trainers directly in a traditional or virtual classroom. If they need to review or master a new concept or skill, they can do so at any time since they have access to all useful material online.
They can do this at home or during their breaks at the office, whenever they have some free time. Additionally, employees can also meet with their trainer or coach to ask questions and problems face-to-face or virtually.
This flexibility is a huge perk for busy employees since a blended approach allows them to break up their learning and training programs into shorter blocks of time.
This reduces the number of hours they have to spend inside a traditional classroom – time that they may not have since they are too busy completing projects or their daily
If you have numerous branches, blended learning allows employees from other parts of the country or world to participate in your learning development program as well. They can do so as long as they have access to the Internet.
2. Increased Learning Retention
A blended learning approach leads to a more dynamic, effective learning experience. As a result, employees are able to retain information much faster.
Studies show that blended learning improves the learning retention and outcome of students. It improves student’s motivation and is an effective way to achieve learning objectives.
The hands-on and self-learning experiences strengthen whatever your employees learn better than if they had simply practiced online or listened to a lecture.
Additionally, the group learning activities also provide participants some much-needed interaction that encourages them to open their minds to other views. This can also help them retain and apply what they learn in the workplace.
Providing leadership development opportunities is crucial. However, it does not mean that you should blow your entire budget on this specific program.
Using a blended learning approach to your leadership development program can reduce the overall amount you invest in your training lineup.
First, this strategy helps reduce and eliminate the cost of employee travel and other expenses related to learning and training programs. These include airfares, lodging, and meals.
This is a cost that can balloon out of proportion when you want to fly employees from other cities and countries to participate in your leadership development program.
Additionally, it allows you to avoid the cost of renting a venue.
Lastly, training programs can cut into the work time of employees. With the flexible learning sessions and the participants’ reduction in travel time, they can continue being productive.
4. Access to Accurate Results
Exclusive face-to-face training sessions can make it difficult for you and the facilitator to determine if all participants are on the same page or not. This is because some employees tend to absorb the learning materials faster than others.
Blended learning programs do not use only traditional studying and training methods. The use of digital materials and platforms makes it easier for you and the coach to evaluate your employees’ progress.
With videos, e-books, presentations, mini-quizzes, and other tools, you and the coach can track individual progress more effectively.
The recorded data allows you to get and evaluate a more accurate analysis of individual learning. You can then have a leadership development program that is more measurable and predictable.
5. Better Communication
Traditional, face-to-face training by itself usually does not provide participants with the opportunity to communicate honestly and effectively with the facilitator, particularly if they are in a large group.
A coach or facilitator can only entertain a few questions after a session since there is a limited time for each in-classroom learning session.
Since blended learning strategies use online platforms, facilitators and participants can communicate even after the session is over.
Your employees can ask the facilitator or their mentor any questions they have at any time by email or chat. They can also do this by using the platform dashboard or built-in communication tools.
Additionally, you and the facilitator can reach out to the participating employees more efficiently to address questions and issues and assign tasks when necessary.
This benefit can make your leadership development program more effective.
Blended learning programs are powerful tools in your training toolbox. Include these in your leadership development program to support your future leaders.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI), and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.