• Published October 1, 2022
  • 5 Minute Read

Maximize Your Internal Leadership Development

team discussing the benefits of internal leadership development


Every day, you and your colleagues in Human Resources or Learning & Development successfully orchestrate development programs, initiatives, and partnerships. You sift through countless new offerings and ideas that may — or may not — align with your training goals.

But your team is also staffed with skilled people who are steeped in the needs of the business. Internal leadership development can help you retain critical talent, support the business, and upskill your people by using the HR team that you already have in-house.

If you’re not making the most of your internal leadership development capabilities, you’re probably missing out.

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Internal Leadership Development Initiatives

infographic on 4 ways to strengthen your internal leadership development

Supplement Your Internal Leadership Development Efforts With External Support

The most effective Learning & Development approaches include a blend of internal leadership development expertise and external support. As you consider how you will future-proof your organization by scaling leadership development across your organization, consider these 4 strategies to make the most of your HR department’s in-house leadership development training expertise.

1. Do a talent review.

Take a fresh look at your people. Are people being pigeonholed into certain roles or tasks? Could you use data to increase areas of employee engagement and laser-focus your investments in talent? As you start to map out the learning agenda for the next year, next cycle, or new initiative, consider ways to increase commitment, provide access to development for all your talent (not just your high-potentials), to improve retention and secure your leadership pipeline.

This process can be part of employees’ personal development and career planning, as well as a strategy for maximizing the talents of your HR team while upskilling leaders at your organization. The chance to lead a session for new hires, mentor a first-time manager, or develop a blended learning program could be just what someone needs to be re-energized and more engaged in their role.

Elevate the role of your HR team by using 360-degree feedback data for insights about your organization’s talent and the business.

  • Help your people identify their strengths, opportunities, and gaps with our industry-leading suite of leadership assessments so you have the valid, reliable, and actionable data needed for effective, targeted development at all leader levels.

2. Extend your coaching capability.

Coaching continues to be a growing and valuable way to develop talent. Some HR pros have extensive training and experience with coaching; many others don’t. But it often falls to HR to coach a struggling high-potential or a high performer whose abrasive style is causing problems.

HR staff linked to business units also have the opportunity to coach as they work day-to-day with operational team leaders. And these managers may look to you for guidance as they try to have talent conversations with their own employees. Ensuring they understand how to hold feedback conversations will immediately improve your talent development.

Outside coaches remain valuable (and are at times preferable), but creating a robust internal coaching capacity by building coaching skills in-house is a wise move for any HR function. Make sure your leaders know what it takes to coach people, and you can start to build a feedback culture across your organization.

3. Leverage your facilitators.

You probably already have experienced facilitators who know your organization; make sure you are leveraging them as much as possible. They may be in various roles and departments — and might not even be part of the HR team. But as you look at your internal leadership development capacity, don’t overlook the value of talented people who can manage events, facilitate discussions, and lead training sessions.

You can prepare your internal facilitators to deliver leadership insights and training — from brief skill-building sessions through targeted leadership workshops on specific topics, all the way up to a complete and comprehensive program for your leaders at every level.

  • If you’re looking for the latter, you can easily scale up your internal leadership development with CCL Passport™, our integrated licensing solution that gives you unlimited access to our world-renowned content and a comprehensive library of proven and transformative leadership experiences. We provide your team with everything needed to help your leaders develop new skills and rapidly adapt to shifting challenges, and the material is kept perpetually timely and relevant with the latest research findings via quarterly refreshes. With train-the-trainer options, we can prepare your talented internal facilitators to deliver our world-class, research-backed leadership content in “the CCL Way.”

4. Focus on making learning stick.

Learning is a process, so take another look at ways your HR team can support and extend learning into day-to-day work. Our model for successful, sustained learning transfer helps HR leaders map out the elements that factor into sustainable and impactful leadership development efforts, including many that are already in your hands.

Because different types of learning networks help employees apply and integrate new ideas and practices, you’ll want to leverage virtual and social learning tools to increase accountability and foster the internal connections that fuel learning.

Accountability partners, learning partners, mentors, and managers can all play a role. Gamifying your digital learning experiences can also increase engagement and completion rates.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

We understand the challenge of crafting internal leadership development initiatives and can help support your HR team to scale learning across your organization. Take advantage of our offerings such as CCL Passport™, which gives you unlimited access to our world-renowned content and our most comprehensive package of proven, transformative leadership solutions. If you license our content, you can bring our proven research, programs, and tools in-house to leaders at all levels of your organization.

  • Published October 1, 2022
  • 5 Minute Read

Written by

Leading Effectively Staff
Leading Effectively Staff

This article was written by our Leading Effectively staff, who analyze our decades of pioneering, expert research and experiences in the field to share content that will help leaders at every level. Subscribe to our emails to get the latest research-based leadership articles and insights sent straight to your inbox.

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About CCL

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)® is a top-ranked, global, nonprofit provider of leadership development and a pioneer in the field of global leadership research. We know from experience how transformative remarkable leaders really can be.

Over the past 50 years, we’ve worked with organizations of all sizes from around the world, including more than 2/3 of the Fortune 1000. Our hands-on development solutions are evidence-based and steeped in our work with hundreds of thousands of leaders at all levels.