Leadership Development Simulations – Where to Focus
Staying on top of the changes to business means staying on top of what skills are needed. This can be challenging for many companies. From the upper level of management retiring to the constant changes in technology, staying competitive is a full-time job.
Getting people ready for leadership roles requires a lot of planning and training. Everyone learns differently and some skills are difficult to teach. But training needs to happen, more so now than ever. Business is changing and that means your employees must, as well.
Virtual Leadership Development
There really isn’t much to say here except to keep it engaging. In an effort to be efficient, I’m simply going to link to an article I recenty wrote for TrainingIndustry.com – 5 Ideas to Keep Leadership Development Hands-on, Applied and Engaging. This article covers a lot and includes how to use various types of business simulations within leadership development. Hope this helps.
Assessment and Refocus
As technology becomes a bigger part of how a company functions and the retirement of many of the senior leaders, things are looking much different. This means leadership will start to look a lot different. There may be younger people moving into management positions over more senior staff.
There will be an adjustment period when a new manager moves in to take over. Rather than choosing people to train for management positions will come down to skills and aptitude, rather than years of service. This can cause resentment and discord.
New technology will change the objectives, or at least the way they are reached. People need to think differently about their positions and adjust to the new methods.
Communication and Knowledge
It’s vital that all sectors and departments are in communication. Without, silos form and it cuts people off. These silos increase the chances of mistakes, resentment and cost the company money. Openness and transparency are more important than ever.
New technology is also changing, with digital transformation, everyone has access to all information. But communication between people is still a skill lacking in many organizations. People skills, listening skills and empathy are needed to help everyone feel they are part of the team and are heard.
While strong leaders are needed, there also needs to be an even playing field where people share ideas and are rewarded for sharing. The diversity of businesses is also growing and hearing from everyone opens up dialog.
People from different backgrounds, age brackets and social standing see things differently. It’s important to embrace your diversity and hear all opinions and ideas.
Mentoring isn’t anything new. But with a large section of the senior management set to retire, companies need to harness that knowledge before it’s gone. They can mentor an individual, help develop and design training and development programs and share knowledge and experiences that you won’t get anywhere else.
There are comfort and trust with mentoring for the mentor and mentee. People absorb information and retain it from someone they admire trust and rely on. They are an open dialog, with the learner able to ask questions, shadow the mentor and watch them in action.
Mentoring can be an entire team, with one or two people or even as a virtual mentoring program where there is a group of mentors that can share and contribute.
Embracing Technology for Training and Development
There is an increase in accidental promotions and managers. People hit retirement age and leave, people are choosing to work outside of the confines of the office and there is a bigger need for time away from work. Maternity leave, self-improvement courses or sabbaticals or just people who want fewer hours at the office.
Training new managers on the fly can be stressful and lead to mistakes, failure and people leaving under the stress of it all. This is difficult for employees, for the financial aspect and staff morale. Using business simulation programs can change that.
Training simulations are making great improvements in training and development by allowing people to experience the position before they are put into it. They can be designed to replicate your business and all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that someone will need to face.
It’s a safe way to train new managers and develop their skills as there is no risk. The mistakes are recorded and they can see the results without fallout of any kind.
People learn faster when they are allowed to jump into the job and start work. But this ‘sink or swim’ attitude is no longer valid in business. Why risk failure, financial losses and ruined careers when you don’t have to.
Gaming is something most people are very familiar with anyhow, so using it for training makes it much easier. It’s fun for people and they are more willing to get engaged, take chances and they will retain much more information.
Making decisions is a major part of leadership and often, they need to be made quickly. Being allowed to make the decision and see the outcome is very beneficial. The trainee can try several different methods for a variety of results. All learning experiences.
These are invaluable skills to take into their leadership role and apply when the time comes. On-the-job training has never been so successful. People are more motivated, competitive and confident when they take a simulation training course.
One Step Ahead
Start training early and keep it consistent. As things in the business change, you must be able to adapt quickly and seamlessly. Your competition will be doing so, and you need to vigilant.
Technology is taking over the business and we need to embrace it. Training and development through the advancements of technology mean you can make adjustments to the program to fit your needs.
If you need to train younger people for management and leadership, then use the tools they understand. Millennials have grown up playing games and using technology.
They are the ones who will mostly be moving into these vacancies left by baby boomers. Generation X have their own lives, children and they are not eager to put more time in at work. The millennials are. But they lack soft skills.
Using the knowledge and leaders you have on hand to develop a great simulation training program will help you keep up with your competitors and ensure you don’t lose a lot of turn-around time with training.