Building Great Leaders

Clone Wars: Cultivating New Leaders Through Interactive eLearning

Most managers know the feeling all too well: After another night of burning the midnight oil, looking around and wishing that there was simply more of yourself to go around. But perhaps the problem isn’t time, but leadership skills. By investing in leadership training for managers and upwardly-mobile employees, you can help create a stronger circle of leaders in your organization. Hey, cloning is still a few years away. For now, follow the example of top organizations to increase the potential of non-manager employees so there’s more of you to go around.

Expanding the Skills Circle

Managers can sometimes hold their leadership skills a little close: They want to remain in-demand and in-control. But the best leaders understand that passing on those skills to other employees doesn’t put their jobs in jeopardy, but makes them easier. An organization teeming with strong leaders is an organization with clear vision and effective employees.

Giving your employees a chance to lead can also help increase succession efforts to help the best employees stay put. When colleagues feel as though they are being primed for new roles and responsibilities, their job satisfaction increases immensely – all while making your job significantly easier as you train those you trust the most.

Whirlpool’s Blended Learning Program

Appliance giant Whirlpool saw the need for more leaders within the company, so it turned training on its head by introducing a new eLearning program. Previously a strictly face-to-face training facility, the Whirlpool University campus began implementing blended learning as a method to prime leaders for new training and development opportunities.

Now, those employees invited to undergo leadership training first experience a series of online modules, which essentially prep them for live courses. Once the online portion has been completed, they’re invited to the campus for more instructor-led training. The result is the ability to weed out the true leaders from among the general population, while ensuring that those chosen are ready to learn. All in all, the process lasts about a year, proving that Whirlpool is serious about building leadership skills in existing employees.

Holiday Inn’s Management Training Module

Holiday Inn Express had an issue: While most general managers are hired from the general employee population, the job is usually their first leadership role. To better prepare employees to take on those roles, Holiday Inn Express introduced a new series of training modules.

The modules, which are completely online and accessible again and again, lead the employees through a number of scenarios which mimic customer service and leadership conflicts employees could experience as general managers. The employees can choose the outcome and replay the simulations again and again. The module helps gear up potential leaders in the event that they’re promoted to a general management position.

The best organizations know that managers aren’t the only ones whose leadership skills should be cultivated. By identifying key employees and utilizing eLearning as a viable and accessible training tools, you won’t have to clone yourself: Instead, you’ll have an entire organization of leaders.