A healthy work culture essentially exists to leverage organizational values to improve a company’s bottom line. But according to Gallup, only 27 percent of employees actually strongly believe in their company’s values. 

How do you get employees to catch the vision and apply all those good intentions to see real results at work? It starts from the top. Leadership is the single most important factor in creating and modeling your organizational values. After all, if employees see that leadership operates under a different set of rules, they’ll automatically assume those that are preached but not practiced aren’t important. 

Why do you need a leadership training program?

Creating a leadership training program goes hand-in-hand with fortifying your organizational values. 

Chances are that most of your cultural values, whether they’re open communication, amazing customer service, employee recognition, or the perfect work-life balance are, at their core, leadership values. They’re habits and strengths that allow employees to make better decisions and lead their colleagues to success. 

Leadership and organizational culture might feel like one of those untrainable factors: You either have it or you don’t, right? But simply relying on employees’ natural leadership skills could mean leaving valuable growth opportunities on the table. You can’t simply expect your employees to know your organizational values from the start. Instead, taking the time to train for leadership and culture helps you:

  • Attract talent. When you have a strong, defined culture at work, you’re better poised to attract candidates that fit with your values and ideals. A healthy culture and strong leadership principles act as a lure for potential employees with the right foundation, 
  • Retain talent. If you have a high employee turnover rate, it might be your leadership and culture. When employees feel disengaged or like they’re only showing up for a paycheck, there’s nothing to keep them from looking for work elsewhere. Keep your top talent by using your organizational culture as the differentiating factor between your company and another opportunity. 
  • Increase engagement and productivity. Get your employees more involved and engaged by investing in leadership and culture training. As you fortify your mission statement and take the time to train employees on healthy values, leadership skills, and expectations, you’re giving them the tools they need to be successful and productive. 
  • Improve well-being. A lack of defined values can result in a toxic work environment. You might find employees that don’t feel like they’re part of the team. They might be less likely to take risks or lack the necessary communication skills. Improve well-being at work by taking the time to define your values, and offer vital leadership training so employees feel supported.
  • Improve the customer experience. As you improve the employee experience, the customer experience will naturally evolve and improve as well. It’s a natural consequence of employees who feel empowered, valued, and supported in their roles. With a clearly defined core mission, employees can make decisions based on a strong culture and what they feel best represents the organization. In return, customers are more satisfied and enjoy a better overall experience when interacting with your employees. It’s a win-win!

Creating a leadership training program

A leadership training program isn’t only for your C-suite and managers; it can benefit any employee. That’s because a solid leadership and culture training program helps teach skills from communication to conflict resolution, motivation, and even change management. 

If you’re still struggling with the idea of investing in a leadership training program, it may help to reframe the “why” behind it. Sure, you want all of the great benefits like engaged employees and increased customer satisfaction, but what about your organizational culture makes it special? Why would someone want to work there? Taking the time to define these factors can help you uncover where to start in outlining your leadership training program. 

Remember, good leadership training helps align employees with your organization’s culture and values. It helps adjust intentions and teaches team members to better leverage their everyday experiences as learning opportunities. 

Leadership training topics

If you’re ready to start outlining your training objectives, here are some of the topics you should think about covering: 

Leadership communication

Whether it’s a manager speaking to an employee, team members talking to each other, or an employee reporting to a leader, every communication should be an opportunity to reinforce your organization’s values. Leadership communication training teaches the importance of listening, using empathy, and utilizing crucial messaging to stay open, honest, and working toward a solution. 

Motivating teams

What keeps your employees going day after day? Taking some time to investigate their motivations might surprise you and lead you to create training that aligns employee motivation with your organization’s goals. That way, your managers know exactly how to keep employees locked in and working together for the greater good. 

Code of conduct

What do you expect from your team members? Setting expectations as part of your leadership and culture training gives you the opportunity to lay a baseline and open up the channels of honest communication. Your expectations on issues like language, dress, ethics, interactions, and standards of behavior should never be obscured, and you shouldn’t leave employees guessing. Instead, your code of conduct is a foundational part of your organizational culture and, as such, should be addressed and strengthened through regular training. 

Difficult conversations

Whenever you’re dealing with different personalities, experience levels, and backgrounds, you’re bound to have some difficult conversations. The difference between an unhealthy and a healthy culture is knowing how to deal with those conversations in a productive way. Your leadership training should help managers and employees alike understand how to listen, react, and respond to tough topics to maintain open communication and find the right solutions. 

Conflict resolution

Knowing how to have difficult conversations should help stop conflict before it starts, but even the best communicator can find themselves embroiled in conflict—where an issue leaves team members in dispute. Conflict resolution as part of leadership training helps reinforce your organization’s culture by detailing how someone at your company should deal with conflict so both parties are satisfied. The way your employees listen and communicate might be unique to your culture, so it’s worth taking the time to cultivate and reinforce through your training program. 

Change management

They say the only constant is change, and that’s especially true in the corporate landscape. It can sometimes seem like a revolving door of reorganization, new hires, leadership changes, and new policies. 

Change management training focuses on offering support through changes while removing barriers to the growth that comes from forward motion. If your organization’s culture centers on a growth mindset, you’ll need to train your employees to lead, support, and grow with it in the healthiest way possible. 

Final thoughts on leadership training

Ideally, everyone in your organization will have the opportunity to experience some level of leadership training. We’d argue that there isn’t a single role that doesn’t benefit from learning to communicate, lead, and engage more effectively. If you’re having trouble getting employees to catch the vision you have for your organization’s culture and mission, leadership training might be the missing link to fill the gap and get everyone on the same level.