Best Practices when Introducing and Inviting Students to The Leadership Journey
When you are ready to begin The Leadership Journey, you want to do it right. For over 20 years I have implemented successful training programs for supervisors and managers. I have found that getting the most out of training can be accomplished in 5 easy steps.
1. The Training Invitation
Your company can increase ROI by correctly introducing and inviting your supervisors and managers to take part in The Leadership Journey. Students must be invited the right way, shown the benefits, given expectations, and be held accountable to participate and apply what they learn in the workplace.
The perfect invitation to training will show your students that your company values them and their work, and wants to set them up for future success at your company.
Elliot Masie, one of the workplace learning industry’s top researchers says it this way:
I was part of a study that showed that one of the strongest influences on student success and transfer of knowledge to the workplace could be found when a worker’s manager sat down and invited them to take a learning activity and framed it for them in terms of their current or future work assignments. The manager inviting the worker to learn was even more influential than the skill of the trainer or the effectiveness of the instructional design.
This study proved that managers sitting down with their workers, inviting them, and explaining the benefits for both their current role and the future role was more powerful than the ability of the trainer or the approach of the training.
2. Introducing Supervisors and Managers to The Leadership Journey
The invitation must clearly state the reason your company is offering training and the positive impact it will have to the student and company.
Explain to the students the reason your company is offering The Leadership Journey. Was it experiencing pains that the program will solve? Is it growing quickly and as a result promoting quickly? Is the senior leadership team being proactive? Do supervisors have excellent technical skills, but need a little help with leadership and soft skills?
The invitation should spell out to supervisors and managers that the company believes and values them, which is why they are investing time and money on improving their skills. They should understand this is an opportunity for them to develop their skills for their role now and set them up for future advancement.
Students should know that taking The Leadership Journey will make their lives easier. Communication, teamwork, and productivity will improve. There will be less conflict and fewer problems. Relationships will be professional and built on trust. Energy levels and attitudes will rise.
Explaining benefits helps supervisors to take ownership of training, maximizes ROI by increasing their efforts and makes the training more successful.
3. Who Should Give the Invitation to The Leadership Journey?
Before inviting your supervisors and managers, you need to ask yourself:
- Who should be inviting our supervisors and managers?
- Who is the person that will have the most impact on this student?
Supervisors respond best to invitations from whatever colleague they consider a confidant. This personalized invitation will mean the most to the student.
- Executive leadership
- The student’s manager’s boss
- The student’s manager
- A mentor
- HR professional
If possible, a model that works well is to have a graduate of The Leadership Journey invite a current student, especially if the graduate is in a role the student may want to step into soon.
Download sample invitations that our clients have shared with us.
4. Executive Management Support of The Leadership Journey
Upper management should get involved, showing their support of The Leadership Journey, even if they are not doing the inviting. This visible support sets the tone that this training program is important and that upper management supports and believes in this group of supervisors and managers.
Here are the two best options for upper management to encourage training:
- In-person – Show up for the first class, remind the students of the benefits, and share that they expect big things from them because they are the future leaders of this company.
- Electronically – If the leader can’t attend, or if students are doing learning at their own pace or remotely, the leader can still reinforce and support the training by:
- Recording a two-minute video introduction and sending a link to the video via email.
- If video isn’t an option, a short email, before the first course, introducing the program and stating their support is a great option.
Either way upper management shows support (in-person or online), their main task is to remind the students of the benefits and share that they expect big things from them because they are the future leaders of this company.
5. Application and Follow-up After a Course
Much of the learning in The Leadership Journey comes after supervisors take a training course. The curriculum uses action plans, follow-through, and follow-up to hold students accountable and to make sure the training provides a positive impact in your company.
When inviting your supervisors and managers to The Leadership Journey, make sure they understand it may be different than other programs they have attended. This training is straightforward, and students will begin using the practical skills they learn as soon as they return to work.
After participating in a training course, they will be using Personal Action Plans back on the job to apply their new skills to real workplace challenges. Later, they will be held accountable for sharing how they used their new skills when they applied what they learned from The Leadership Journey in the workplace.
The invitation should let your supervisors know from the start that application and follow-up are a part of The Leadership Journey. This helps make sure they are engaging in learning and using their new skills back on the job to improve their productivity, teamwork, and the company.
Your implementation consultant can help you choose the follow-up method that will work best for your situation or you can review the most common follow-up ideas.
The Leadership Journey Begins Now
In The Leadership Journey students learn, apply what they learn, improve as a leader and a teammate, and are held accountable for doing so. And it all begins with a proper introduction and invitation to the training.
Yours in learning,
Do you have questions about inviting students to learning?
An Implementation Consultant would be happy to share best practices and answer any questions you have.
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