Indicators of success for leadership and management development programs

Leadership development is a popular trend in today’s organizations. It is also an expensive investment. For example, estimates show that of the 14 of 52 billion dollars spent on training are spent on leadership development. Despite this cost, high performing organizations consider it a high priority. Leadership development is considered important in the ever-changing business market. This is because through the training programs leaders are able to structure activities that enhance organizational productivity in the highly competitive market. It is thus important that organizations measure the success of these programs. Changed behavior, positive reaction, knowledge retention, positive organizational impact, increased retention, cost savings and profitability, and employee engagement are among indicators of success for leadership and management development programs.

Changed behavior serves as an indicator of success for leadership and management development programs. Before, attending development programs, leaders are usually less effective. However, after attending and completing the training programs, they develop vital skills which considerably improve their leadership behaviors. Since the goal of leadership development programs is to produce leaders who are more effective, they can be termed as successful if program participants change behavior (O’Loughlin, 2013). If after training knowledge acquired is transferred to the job environment. Then behavioral change has occurred signaling a successful development program.

The second success indicator of development programs is the participants’ positive reaction. This includes the reactions and feelings of programs participants in the training. The reaction indicator covers the satisfaction of instructors, trainees, and training methods. If participants liked the development program, then it can be considered successful (O’Loughlin, 2013). If the participants find the training of practical value, then it is considered successful. A positive reaction indicates that the participants found the leadership development program to have utility and value. Third, knowledge retention serves as a success indicator of development programs. Learning results which are assessed immediately after development program show whether the training was a success or not. If participants have retained learned knowledge, then the training was a success (O’Loughlin, 2013). If minimal knowledge was retained then the program may not have been a success as expected.

Positive impact on an organization serves as an indicator of a successful development program. The positive impact comes in various criteria. First, a successful leadership and management program improves employee productivity (O’Loughlin, 2013). After learning new and better leadership and management skills, employees are treated well which improves their productivity. This leads to improved work quality which is another criteria. With improved work quality, operations efficiency is improved. Eventually, customer satisfaction is enhanced. Increased retention is a success indicator of leadership and management development programs (O’Loughlin, 2013). A reduced rate of employee turnover indicates that the training was a success. This is because, during the training, leaders, and managers are equipped with better strategies for dealing with employees.

Cost savings and profitability also serve as success indicators of a development program. Cost savings is associated with improved employee retention which reduces the cost of recruiting and hiring new employees and in the reduced cost of repeat training (O’Loughlin, 2013). Also, cost saving is associated with the reduced cost of hiring a new leader as compared to training one. In terms of profitability, various factors are considered including increased sales volume and return for each spent dollar. Additionally, an engaged workforce serves as a success indicator of development programs (O’Loughlin, 2013). After being equipped with more effective skills, leaders and organizational management are able to promote employee engagement. This creates a working environment that enables every member to give their best and be more committed to the values and goals of their organizations. This leads to too the general success of the whole organization.

Clearly, leadership and management development programs play a crucial role in the success of any organization. Various indicators can be used to show success for leadership and management development programs. In this report, several indicators have been identified including changed behavior, positive reaction, knowledge retention, positive organizational impact, increased retention, cost savings and profitability, and employee engagement. By looking at these indicators, organizations can be able to determine if their development programs are successful or not. This way, they can adapt better strategies that would ensure that the programs are effective for positive impact on organizational productivity.

  1. Methods of evaluating leadership and management and organizational performance.

Evaluating leadership and management and organizational performance is important. It enables organizations to know how they are doing in terms of performance. If the performance is found to be as expected, better approaches are adopted for even better performance. If performance is not as expected, organizations invest in new and better strategies to improve on the performance. Various methods are used in evaluating leadership and management and organizational performance. For this paper, six methods have been identified for evaluating leadership and management and organizational performance. These include feedback method, external auditing, competency on a scale, customer assessment, and business results for evaluating leadership and management performance and balanced scorecard, benchmarking, and management by objectives for evaluating organizational performance.

First feedback method is used in evaluating leadership and management performance. This method involves asking employees about the performance (Ireland et al., 2011). This is mostly done through a face-to-face approach. Employees are asked about the performance of organizational leadership and management. On the other hand, a 360-degree feedback method can also be used. This method involves getting feedback about organizational leadership and management performance from all employees (Ireland et al., 2011). This method is more effective in a system that is more clear and anonymous. Organizations rely on feedback from employees and other managers within their organization to get a more complete view of leadership and management performance (Ireland et al., 2011). This method is however used carefully because some contributors may give negative reviews about a particular leader or manager who they don’t like.

The second method is external auditing. With this method, organizations are able to evaluate the performance of their leadership and management as well as organizational performance (Ireland et al., 2011). This method relies on an external consulting firm which assesses the entire organizational system. The audit team evaluates leadership and management systems as well as other systems in the organization. Sometimes, the team meets with employees where they conduct interviews about organizational leadership and management (Ireland et al., 2011). Eventually, the give their findings of the evaluated performance. This third party evaluation method is considered effective because it is less likely to be biased.

The third method of evaluating organizational leadership and management is competency on a scale (Ireland et al., 2011). This is the most common evaluation method. With the method, the individual performance of organizational leaders and managers in various roles is graded on a scale. Various areas are evaluated. These include work quality, customer service, productivity, and employee satisfaction among others (Ireland et al., 2011). The method consists of a range which moves from outstanding to unsatisfactory. Through this method, several leaders and managers can be evaluated.

The fourth evaluation method is the use of customer assessments. Under this method, customers are asked about the performance of organizational management and about their views on organizational leadership performance (Ireland et al., 2011). The fifth method of evaluating organizational leadership and management performance is looking at business results. Effective leadership and management contribute to high employee morale, and growing profits (Ireland et al., 2011). Therefore, organizations look at the business results to determine the performance of their leadership and management. Good results indicate good performance while poor results indicate poor leadership and management performance.

The following methods are considered most effective in evaluating organizational performance. The first is a balanced scorecard. This method requires evaluation of organizational performance by tracking key measures in financial, learning and growth, internal business process, and customer focus (Hubbard, 2009). Financial focus evaluates organizational profits and effectiveness. Customer focus evaluates customer retention, satisfaction, and attraction. Internal business process focus on evaluates organizational efficiency. On the other hand, learning and growth focus evaluates organizational future.

The second method is benchmarking. It involves the use of standard measurements in an industry which an organization compares with other organizations. Through benchmarking, an organization is able to gain perspective on its performance (Hubbard, 2009). Eventually, an organization can adopt the competitor’s strategy to improve on its performance especially when competitors are performing better. The third method is known as management by objectives (Hubbard, 2009). Under this method, organizational performance is rated against achievement management’s set objectives. This method involves establishing desired goals, setting performance standards, and then comparing attained goals and actual goals to determine the performance (Hubbard, 2009). This method is effective for evaluating management and organizational performance.

In conclusion, organizations evaluate leadership and management, and organizational performance to check if they are performing as desired. The information from the evaluations is useful as it guides senior decision-makers in identifying better strategies of delivering desired results. They use various evaluation methods. To evaluate leadership and management performance, feedback method, external auditing, competency on a scale, customer assessment, and business results are used. On the other hand, balanced scorecard, benchmarking, and management by objectives methods are used for evaluating organizational performance. For effective evaluation, organizations use several methods considering that one method may not produce comprehensive results.

References

Hubbard, G. (2009). Measuring organizational performance: Beyond the triple bottom line            Business Strategy and the Environment, 18 (3), pp. 177-191.

Ireland, R., Cantens, T. & Yasui, T. (2011). An Overview of Performance Measurement in            Customs Administrations: WCO Research Paper, WCO, Brussels, No. 13.

O’Loughlin, K. (2013). Leadership Development Programs and Participant Behavioral      Change. Seminar Research Paper Series. Paper 29, 1-20.

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