Training at the C-Level, Inspires Employees at the B-Level
Whether you are the owner of a small business, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, training and commitment to learning is a necessity. In this age of economic turmoil, emerging technology and social media, leaders need to be on top of their game or they will get left in the dust. Annually, nationwide, the CEO turnover ranges from 15 – 20% depending on the industry. To avoid being included in that statistic, here are some training methods and topics executives can use to stay current:
• Go Outside – Most internal HR and training departments aren’t equipped to train upper level executives. For this type of training, it is best to use an external trainer with experience training executives. Another benefit of going outside the company is that the trainee will be offsite and less likely to get pulled into the daily business activities.
• Work with others – Statistics show that executives get more takeaways from training opportunities when they are in groups of other executives. This gives them the opportunity to share experiences, problems they have faced, and proven solutions.
• Simulations – Make sure that the program includes real world, hands on problem solving simulations. When trainees can simulate how proposed solutions will perform, they will stay engaged in the program as well as begin to apply these types of solutions to their own business.
• Technology – All top execs, regardless of their industry, should have at least a basic understanding of current technology. By having this understanding, they will be able to deal with technology vendors, their own IT department and to know whether the latest and greatest is the best choice for their company. Too often executives don’t understand the technology lingo and don’t ask questions for clarification. This leads to purchases of equipment and solutions that are either unnecessary or not a good fit for the business.
• Communication – Good communication skills are important for all employees, but critical for executives. Not only do they need to be able to communicate with others at their level, they need to be able to get their point across to all members of their organization. When employees feel that they can connect with the boss and that their point of view is important, they will work harder for the company. Too often this soft skill is overlooked as a viable area for training, but it is essential for a company to succeed.
• Industry Best Practices – Understanding what other leaders in industry are doing is essential for keeping a company at the forefront. Whether it is an industry conference with breakout sessions, or an industry executive roundtable, these opportunities are invaluable to an executive’s growth.
Once the training is over, make sure and communicate the takeaways and lessons learned with not only the management team, but the entire company. When all employees see that the executives are taking steps to learn and apply this learning to improve the company, these employees will want to do the same.