Frontline leaders are one of the the most under-served leadership populations.
Over 60% of frontline leaders say they have never received any training for their new role.
Various statistics show that a problem very clearly exists, and has now for a long time. Studies from as far back as 2010 show that:
- over 70% of senior management was unhappy with the performance of their frontline managers, and
- over 80% of frontline managers were unhappy with their own performance (McKinsey).
Every new role needs skill development.
Consider any sport or musical instrument or hobby at which you excel. If you got really good at this activity, there is a high probability that some amount of skill development from an expert was involved – a soccer or music or art teacher, for example – who helped you learn the basics so you could take it to the next level.
And just in case your answer to this question was, I taught myself and didn’t need anyone, then it is quite likely you aren’t the best at your trade.
Rafa Nadal has Toni Nadal, Aristotle went to Plato’s Academy, and Steve Vai studied under Joe Satriani.
However, frontline leaders don’t have the luxury of hiring a Toni Nadal, or a Plato, or Steve Vai. So, how do we help them without breaking the bank at the firms where they work?
Frontline Leader Impact is a solution that CCL and the Apollo Education Group created to address the needs of today’s frontline leaders in today’s work environment.
So, What Do Learners Today Want?
We considered how modern learners learn (including, but by no means limited to, the millennials), and we considered the best ways to deliver returns on the leadership investment for their organizations.
- Learning must be personalized for me. And not just because it’s the “me generation;” it’s more because if the learning isn’t personalized and specific to me, it isn’t going to be applicable in my work, and if I don’t apply it, I won’t retain it.
- Learning must be shareable and savable. Learners don’t just want to learn, they want to share what they have learned with their colleagues and friends. They also want their learning to travel with them, after the course, after they go to the next job, and (and you might want to close your ears/eyes for this), even to their next job after that.
- Learning must be social and collaborative. Learners may not be as co-located today as they have been in the past, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t human. Just because they aren’t going to one place to learn together, doesn’t mean they don’t want to form real bonds with their co-learners. Learners want to collaborate and learn from each other.
And What Do Organizations Want from a Learning Investment?
- A reimagined online experience. Organizations don’t want to pay as much for travel, especially for leaders at this level, when budgets are tight.However, they also don’t want your grandfather’s e-learning – if you remember death-by-PowerPoint brought into a SCORM package. We can all agree that stuff doesn’t work.Leadership is different – it’s not transactional. Leadership is a contact sport that needs the learner to learn a skill, practice it, sometimes fail at first, and then try again with support. (CCL calls this the Assess-Challenge-Support model). This can be done online, but only through a very well thought out intersection of technology, learning, and leadership development research.
- A rich instructional model. We know that learners can learn through video in a self-paced environment – just look at the volume of self-help car repair videos on YouTube. But high-quality video is required. When you make learning videos today, you are competing for your learner’s attention against Game of Thrones and House of Cards. Poor quality video just isn’t going to cut it; the interactive activities have to be truly meaningful.
- A guide by their side. We know that learners are busy professionals. Without a very talented online moderator by their side to inspire, engage, and facilitate discussions that bring the concepts that they are learning to life, and connect them to their workplace challenges, it is likely that learners will wander and not make it through their development experience.
- A private and secure place to learn: It’s a competitive world out there and it is important that a cohort of learners from an organization have a safe and secure place to learn from experts as well as from each other. It should also be a safe place to discuss organizational challenges without worrying about the impression that comments taken out of context may affect the marketplace’s view of your organization.
These elements, and much more, are incorporated into the design and delivery of the Frontline Leader Impact course experience that CCL and Apollo have created. Visit Frontline Leader Impact to learn more.