And what can HR Managers do about it?

When you implement a new leadership training program there is never a guarantee it will work.

A whole range of factors can contribute to the success or failure of a leadership training program. The good news is that the factors which contribute to a failure can often be managed, ensuring your leadership training can generate a return on investment.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, ‘Why Leadership Training Fails’ dug into how leadership training can often be a poor investment. HBR attributed this to an organisation’s structure and culture being a bottleneck for positive learning and training outcomes.

So, where does this leave you as a HR manager?  In this month’s blog, we’ll outline the main reasons why training may produce a poor outcome and provide you with the resources to drive ROI from your training programs.

What causes leadership training to fail?

At Choice Career Services, we’ve spent a lot of time working with HR Managers and we know you’re all too familiar for the reasons training can produce a poor investment. The reasons which we’ve found resonate the most include:

  •  Lack of strategic clarity
  • Leadership not working as a team (I vs We mentality)
  •  ‘It is my way or the highway’ attitude from leaders stifling change discussions
  • Dysfunctional organisation structures impede teamwork
  • Leaders not spending the time identifying and developing talent
  • Employees fear of telling the truth as to what creates organisational dysfunction

We can see how the examples above can even impact Australia’s cricket performance. Currently the Australian test team is struggling to generate results and the selection of the next test team illustrates a perception the problem is a ‘people’ issue. Strong leadership should clearly ask themselves the hard questions if they really want to turn around the cricket team.

How can I maximise the return of leadership training?

What can HR managers do? The typical solution we’ve seen is to spend even MORE on training to compensate for incompetent people!

But, given the typical reasons for leadership training to fail, do we really believe this will improve return on training investment? I doubt it.

Recently, we’ve seen large organisations undertaking major change programs and remaining wholly focused on the people. Obviously, this comes with a significant cost, but will they ever bother to determine if it produces a positive return on investment?

The critical thing organisations are missing is that organisational change starts at the top.

As the HR business partner, you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate to your leadership team how best to generate