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Creating a Culture of Leadership Involved Training

Have you ever taken a training course, just to have your leader tell you, “That’s not the way we actually do things…” afterward? Having leadership’s buy-in on training initiatives is imperative for creating lasting outcomes and moving the needle on KPIs. But how do you get them on board? Here are a few ideas:


1. Involve leaders in training design

Engaging leaders in the design process ensures the content is relevant and practical for their team. It also provides a feeling of ownership over the program, which makes leaders more likely to speak positively of the training. Start by inviting them to the initial analysis, then ensure they are reviewers during the approval cycles. Once the program is rolled out, set up feedback sessions between each cohort and iterate based on their suggestions. Your leaders are the eyes and ears of their team and can provide valuable insight into how the initiative is being received.


2. Have a leadership kickoff

One of the most effective ways to engage managers and other leaders in training is to prove the training aligns with the goals of their department. Before rolling out the training, invite managers, team leads, and other leadership to a leadership-only kickoff. Give them an overview of the material and do a deep dive into how this initiative will impact their team.

If time allows, roll out the full training to your leaders after the kickoff, then have a follow-up session for them to ask questions before the training is given to the remainder of the workforce. This allows leaders to understand the content and be available as an expert for their team.


3. Give the leaders a role in facilitation

If your training includes instructor-led content, having the leaders play an active role in the facilitation not only further positions them as an expert for their team, but also encourages active participation from the leader themselves. They’re more likely to invest time in learning the material if they feel they’ll be looked to as an expert and facilitator. Be sure to give plenty of preparation time and support so they feel confident when presenting.


4. Provide manager-led reinforcement activities

Managers have a lot on their plates, and training is typically not at the forefront of their minds. Providing your management team with pre-planned, easy to use activities gives them a way to reinforce the key concepts without adding to their workload. These can be as simple as discussion topics for their team meetings, pre-scripted email tips to send out, short video or microlearning activities to share, or role-play scenarios to use in 1:1s.


5. Share post-training feedback and KPIs

Proving the impact of the training initiative will go a long way in earning trust for future programs. Set up post-training sessions with management and be prepared to share statistics on how the training impacted their team, the department, and the organization as a whole. Don’t just share the positive – be sure to discuss lessons learned, or ways you plan to improve training in the future. This will show your willingness to listen to feedback and adjust to get the best impact for their team.



By giving leaders an active role in your next training initiative, you’re not only more likely to see positive results, but also gain credibility as a trusted advisor. The active participation of leaders not only enhances the quality of training, but also inspires employees to commit to their own development, driving overall organizational success.

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