12 Signs You Need To Evaluate Your Leadership Development Program

From unsatisfactory LMS levels to leaders showing frustration or disengagement, here are twelve answers to the question, “Can you give some signs for when you know it’s time to evaluate and improve your business’s executive development classes?”

  • An Unsatisfactory Level of LMS Engagement:
  • Increased Compliance Violations
  • Lack of Support
  • A Decline in Employee Morale
  • Diminished Interest and Similar Applicants
  • Participants Leave the Company Upon Program Completion
  • When Subordinates Stop at Minimum KPI Goals
  • When Employees Undermine Managers in Meetings
  • When Employees Find It Challenging to Grow
  • Leaders Are Not Reaching Their Goals.
  • Lack of Preparation Among Team Leaders
  • Leaders Showing Disengagement or Frustration

An Unsatisfactory Level of LMS Engagement

In my view, the data speaks for itself. If your leadership development program has low levels of employee engagement, it’s not doing its job. 

Perhaps there is just too much data arriving all at once. Therefore, before experiencing cognitive overload, workers click away. Lack of marketing is also a factor in dismal engagement numbers. 

You are failing to inform team leaders about resources because of a lack of internal promotion. Or the library’s structure prevents them from locating the relevant resources at the precise moment they’re needed.

It is also important to look at how you did on the tests. If your employee training participants aren’t scoring highly, something is wrong with your strategy or they’re just not motivated. This is especially true if many workers cannot pass the test or have trouble with the same questions.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics

Increased Compliance Violations

When a spike in the number of incidents involving noncompliance, workplace accidents, and customer complaints occurs, it can signal issues. 

In addition, it could be the result of your participation in an online course for leadership development. Team leaders need the authority to strictly uphold business policies in order to establish and maintain a unified image for the organization. 

Your company’s image may suffer if your customer service representatives give conflicting information to your clientele. Regarding rules and regulations, everyone must agree. 

For employees to easily double-check compliance with laws and regulations, your leadership online training strategy should also include compliance refreshers. Besides making them accountable, certifications can also prove that they have a thorough understanding of the rules.

Edward Mellett, Co-Founder, Wikijob

Lack of Support

A business development program fails if there is a lack of support for the learners. If the leaders of a program cannot cope with new trainees, the individual faces resistance in the team and their morale also decreases. 

These factors lead to discrimination as well. If the upper management doesn’t talk to the learners about new ideas, the learners cannot get the support they need to apply from training. Thus, leading to an unsuccessful leadership development program. 

However, this failure can convert to success if powerful leaders do not take an active part in different activities with the new learners. Involving senior leaders in learning programs is the best way to provide full support to the learners.

Daniel Close, CEO & Founder, We Buy Houses in Kentucky

A Decline in Employee Morale

One sign that it’s time to evaluate and improve your business’s leadership development program is when you notice a decline in employee morale.

If employees are not feeling supported, motivated, or challenged in their roles, there may be an underlying issue with the leadership development program. And if your team seems disengaged from their work or cannot reach their goals, it might be a sign that the leadership development program needs to be evaluated and improved. 

Regularly surveying employees can help you gain insight into how they feel about the program and whether changes may be necessary. Other signs of an ineffective leadership development program include resistance from participants and a lack of tangible results. 

If there is low engagement, high turnover rates, or a lack of development among participants, it could be a sign that the program needs to be evaluated and improved.

Amira Irfan, Founder & CEO, A Self Guru

Diminished Interest and Similar Applicants

One of the most straightforward but less obvious signs that it’s time to reassess or improve your leadership development program is when you see that the interest from each year or quarter has slowed. 

Along those lines, you can also group the people that have applied into categories of your choosing (e.g., industry, skill set, career experience, etc.) and see whether most are in the same groups.

If that happens, this is a sign for you to expand the scope or specialization of the leadership development program. Mapping this out helps escape the tunnel vision that often comes when identifying leaders and improving parts of the program.

Nicole Ostrowska, Career Expert, Zety

Participants Leave the Company Upon Program Completion

Companies spend time and resources developing and implementing a leadership development program (LDP). Yet, I find many companies do not effectively place leadership talent in the right roles upon completion of an LDP. 

What makes me say this? I see employees who have taken part in LDPs leaving the companies that trained them in pursuit of leadership opportunities.

Companies need to think ahead about what they will do with the talent that has completed the LDP. It is not just the curriculum and learning experiences during the program that need to be considered; it is also the post-completion of the program that is important.

Lindsay Hoag, Founder & CEO, Totally Remote HR

When Subordinates Stop at Minimum KPI Goals

If lower-level employees are becoming allergic to beating KPIs, you must immediately re-evaluate your leadership development programs (LPDs).

Bosses get subordinates to meet KPIs. But genuine leaders motivate their teams to beat KPIs.

The frequency of over-performance accurately reflects the sentimental connection such employees have to their job, and this shows how empowered they feel in the ecosystem their team leaders have installed.

If you notice an increasing deficiency of over-performers in the lower hierarchies of your company, then you have to bring your leaders under the microscope. Particularly, how efficient is the leadership architecture you have in place?

For example, if your sales reps are just getting along with their jobs enough to meet their monthly quota, investigate the LDPs you have in place for your sales leaders.

Lotus Felix, CEO, Lotusbrains Studio

When Employees Undermine Managers in Meetings

Whenever employees directly call out or undermine their managers in meetings, it usually signals to me we need to bolster our company’s leadership development program. 

If employees are actively looking for opportunities to publicly fight with their managers, it’s a clear sign that leadership in that team or department has failed. 

In these instances, it’s crucial to quickly evaluate and make changes to your development program before the issue festers and spreads to other departments.

Alaina Ross, Co-Founder & HR Director, Sleep Family

When Employees Find It Challenging to Grow

Often, companies expand through client acquisition while employees may get left behind because of their inability to step up to the plate. 

When a company grows, it’s crucial to prepare employees to receive and handle such growth to the best of their abilities. If they aren’t able to do this, and you observe that employees are shying away from taking the lead when it’s required, it’s time to equip them with the skills they need through leadership development programs. 

This will not only benefit them in the long term but the company as a whole so it can remain on the path of growth.

Larissa Pickens, Owner, Repeat Replay

Leaders Are Not Reaching Their Goals

It is important to regularly evaluate and improve your business’s leadership development program in order to ensure the program is meeting its goals and the needs of the business. 

One sign that it’s time to evaluate and improve your business’s leadership development program is when there is a decrease in employee engagement and morale. If employees are not responding positively to the program, it is likely that the program needs to be adjusted or improved in order to better meet their needs and the needs of the business. 

Additionally, if employees are not achieving the goals set for them through the program, it may be time to re-evaluate the program and make changes to better suit the needs of the business.

Grace He, People & Culture Director, teambuilding.com

Lack of Preparation Among Team Leaders

To me, managers who cannot deal with workplace issues are a huge warning sign that your leadership development program needs some tweaking. They don’t get enough online training, so they show up for the job unprepared. 

This could result from poor planning, a lack of customization, or many other errors. Make sure that your plan for leadership development considers their existing situation, aspirations, and room for growth. 

Equip them with the tools they need to tackle issues head-on and set an example for others. You should also run polls or surveys to collect their feedback on the challenges they experience on the job.

Timothy Allen, Sr. Corporate Investigator, Corporate Investigation Consulting

Leaders Showing Disengagement or Frustration

When leaders show signs of disengagement, it may be an indicator that there is a breakdown in communication. Without consistent communication, leaders can become frustrated, ultimately feeling a disconnect. 

Asking questions, not only about their day-to-day roles and responsibilities is simply not enough. It’s important to understand what skills they need help with rather than assume they will show up and do the job as expected of them. 

Companies should continue to look for emerging leaders within the organization, providing them with the skills and support to level up to become star leaders.

Michele Delgado, CEO, Hartmetrics