• Apr 02 2018

How Your Leadership Development Partner Can Prove ROI

A shift is underway: Leadership development professionals are being asked to prove their learning initiative’s business and financial impact. This leaves little room for leadership development companies that don’t deliver proven value.

Below are five steps every leadership development company needs to take to ensure maximum ROI for your organization.

1. Assess Your Needs

Your leadership development partner should assess your organization’s strategic needs before offering their programs as a solution. This is critical because every organization has unique challenges.

It’s common for companies to interview stakeholders, business leaders, and HR professionals to develop a robust understanding of their partner’s organizations.

Some of the most common issues modern organizations face include:

  • Delivering sustained growth
  • Achieving a seamless merger
  • Improving innovation
  • Improving operations
  • Building world-class teams
  • Improving HIPO initiatives
  • Developing effective strategies
  • Delivering digital transformation
  • Improving succession initiatives

2. Set Measurable Goals

It’s imperative that a leadership development company helps you set measurable goals that align to your organization’s strategy. Your partner should have processes in places that measure the business impact of their programs. Common metrics include:

  • Increased quality
  • Increased speed
  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased customer satisfaction / loyalty
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased employee retention
  • Improved supplier relationships
  • Reduced risks

Your leadership development partner should also forecast the financial impact of your initiative. ExecOnline uses data from our 10,000+ alumni to identify the impact of a program for our corporate partners.

3. Define the Right Leaders for Your Initiative

Every employee can benefit from leadership development; however, depending on your organization’s goals, different functions or leadership levels might generate greater impact. If you’ve already identified a leader population, your leadership development company should forecast its potential business impact to ensure your selection will meet your goals. Otherwise, your leadership development partner should work with you to identify leaders to enroll in their programs.

4. Map Programs to Your Strategy

Once armed with measurable goals and a leader population, your leadership development partner must map their programs to your business strategy. At ExecOnline, we map our programs to specific goals. For example, an organization that wants to deliver sustained growth might enroll its leaders in a three-program learning initiative over a 12- or 18-month period. Programs in the initiative might focus on helping leaders develop strategies, sustained innovation, and business agility.

5. Analyze Your Goals

The true measure of a successful leadership development initiative is whether it achieves your goals. Your partner should analyze the success of your program based of the goals they helped you identify. This enables you to access whether the learning initiative was a success and to provide stakeholders with data they demand. ExecOnline found that on average each participant in our programs delivers $179,000 in financial impact and that organizations see 76X ROI.

After you’ve completed your learning initiative and assessed your goals, your partner should help you identify additional business needs and restart the process. This is critical because businesses’ needs rapidly change. It’s estimated that an organization’s business strategy will change 5 times in a 3-year period.

By utilizing these five steps, your leadership development partner will deliver impactful business and financial programs that address your stakeholders’ demands.


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