Six Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of a Leadership Development Program
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Much has been written about the importance of measuring the impact of
leadership development programs or systems. Over the years I've been looking for
practical, meaningful, and effective metrics. Here's what I've settled on for
now, and although I'm not completely satisfied with any single measure, a
combination of these should give you a pretty good dashboard.
1. Company performance. The ultimate measure, nothing else really matters. In
most cases, consistent great company performance can usually be attributed to
great leadership. And of course, lousy leadership is usually the root cause of
2. External perception of leadership. External perception can be measured by
awards, such as CEO Magazine "Best Companies for Leaders" and hundreds of
individual leadership awards (CEO of the Year, CIO of the year, CFO of the Year,
3. Internal perception of leadership. Internal perception can be measured in
two ways. First, if you're using 360 leadership assessments, you can maintain an
aggregate score of a single "overall effectiveness" question, or run a report
that aggregates the average score for all questions. Second, you can pull
questions out of your annual employee survey pertaining to leadership and look
for year over year improvement. You can also compare your leaders to other
companies if you're using questions provided by a third party vendor, such as
Gallop or the Leadership Practices Inventory.
4. Succession planning measures. Keep tract of the number of key positions
filled by internal candidates or the number of "ready now" candidates for each
key positions (bench strength). Individual Development Plan (IDP) progress or
completion. Track the completion of development activity for key leaders and
succession candidate pools.
5. Leadership development training measures. Use the basic Kirkpatrick
measures, satisfaction, knowledge, behavior change, and business results. Easier
said than done for the last one, but it works in some cases. For example, you
would expect a decrease in turnover and improvement in sales after the
implementation of a successful sales manger hiring or coaching program.
6. Finally, the easiest measure and perhaps the one that has the biggest
impact on your funding and career opportunities: ask your key stakeholders.
Regular meetings with your top executives and other key stakeholders will ensure
you're efforts are hitting the mark. These meetings are a great way to
continuously assess current and future needs, communicate your accomplishments,
and check for satisfaction
For more on leadership and leadership development, visit my blog at:
About the Author
I've been a practitioner in the field of leadership development for over 20
years. I'm currently the Manager of Leadership and Management Development at a
leading provider of payroll and human resource services outsourcing.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-02-03 22:08:17 in Employee Articles