Rule number one of any development program – set goals. Preferably specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound ones (SMART goals, if you want to save yourself a mouthful). Nowhere is this more true than in developing your leaders.
By setting measurable goals, HR departments can ensure that their employees are making progress and developing the skills they need to be successful leaders.
Here are seven examples of leadership development goals that companies can set for their people:
1. Improve communication skills
We all know that communication is key. Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively in order to inspire and motivate their team members.
How do we get SMART goals for something as intangible as communication? It might sound difficult – you can’t exactly grade your leaders’ communication skills.
Except, in fact, you sort of can. Try asking junior employees to submit anonymous quarterly assessments of their managers and their performance in a number of areas, including communication. While it’s not a perfectly objective metric, it can be a useful reference point for managers to work from.
2. Develop problem-solving skills
Leaders must be able to identify and solve problems quickly and effectively. Critical thinking is a really overlooked skill – partly because it isn’t always obvious how to train it (luckily, we know a great short-form learning platform with hundreds of videos on that exact subject!).
Leaders can train their problem-solving skills through exercises and case studies. SMART goals can be set based on their performance in these exercises.
3. Enhance team-building abilities
If you want to create a really strong company culture, your leaders need to be able to build and lead high-performing teams. You can train leaders to improve their team-building skills through exercises and key communication tips.
There are a number of SMART goals you could use to measure team-building skills. Probably the most objective would be to ask employees to grade their team cohesion and how much of a team culture they feel exists. This is a good starting point for managers to work from when building their teams.
4. Increase emotional intelligence
Leaders must be able to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. HR departments can set goals for employees to increase their emotional intelligence by taking courses or attending workshops.
This might be one of the hardest skills to measure or set SMART goals for. In fact, it may be best to bend the rules with this one – in reality the best way to measure people’s emotional intelligence may be intuition. Another way you could measure it would be through tracking people’s performance in this skill on the 5Mins platform.
5. Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) awareness
Employees increasingly rank diversity and inclusion as a highly important factor when choosing where to work. One of the best ways to ensure your workplace culture that pays attention to this is to start with your leaders. In fact, we should go further than that – DEI is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
There are a number of ways to set SMART DEI targets for your leaders. The obvious ones lie in recruitment numbers. But you can measure leaders in their willingness to run programs and workshops with their teams, and how they are graded by team members from minority groups.
The 5Mins leadership development platform is designed to help your leaders reach their development goals fast.
Interested to see how? Let's have a chat.