Leadership Skills Training: 2024 L&D Topics

Whilst many aspects of working and personal development, the most in-demand leadership skills training topics have remained fairly stable for several years. This shows that the ‘classic’ training topics are here for a reason. The difference in 2024 is not which topics are being delivered as leadership training, but rather how they are being delivered, and how senior leadership are measuring these results.

Coaching Skills

Over 65% of employees said that not having access to personal development opportunities was a good enough reason to start looking for a new employer. Therefore, ensuring that current leaders are able to coach and give their team new challenges is increasingly important.

The study also found that 21% of employees in the UK said that they did not have any access to personal development opportunities at all. Given that the link between retention and employee development is so strong, it is perhaps unsurprising that coaching skills remains the number one leadership skill that organisations are training their leaders in.

Leading Change

Sometimes the only guarantee is change. According to LeadX, leading change was ranked as the second most important leadership skill for the second year in a row. In part, this figure is likely due to changing patterns of working and less certain economic conditions. However, it also represents the impact that an overexposure to change can have on teams.

Overall, a staggering 43% of employees said that their organisation in ill-equipped to manage change (Oak Engage) highlighting the need for this training to remain an organisational priority. However, change also has a profound impact on employee wellbeing and performance. 73% of employees reported feeling moderate to high levels of stress as a result of organisational change (Gartner, 2023). Furthermore, employees experiencing change related stress perform 5% worse than the average employee.

Giving Feedback

Also returning to the top ten most in-demand leadership skills is giving feedback. A huge 37% of managers said that they experienced some level of discomfort when giving feedback to team members, whilst 69% said that they had some level of discomfort in giving feedback to employees in general.

Similarly to the importance placed on effective coaching skills for managers, employees need effective feedback to feel like they are improving, and to support their career development. Furthermore, managers that found themselves to be uncomfortable giving feedback were found to give either little to no feedback whatsoever, or to give abstract or vague feedback, both of which are difficult and frustrating for employees to action.

What do these results mean for leadership skills training?

For organisations, the fact that these topics have been at the top of the desirable skills list for several years is illuminating. It highlights that we have a solid understanding of the essential skills managers need to be successful in their jobs. However, the statistics showing how lacking managers perceive themselves to be in this area suggest that L&D specialists need to change the way they are delivering the training of these skills.

At Fieri, we are data and results driven with our people development services. Each of our programmes is measurable, and shows a significant improvement in managerial effectiveness and confidence.

For more information about any of our courses, please get in contact with our team at info@fierileadership.com, or visit our website for more information.

References:

Change management and communication strategy | gartner. Available at: https://www.gartner.com/en/corporate-communications/insights/change-communication (Accessed: 05 March 2024).

Leadership development benchmark report (2024) LEADx. Available at: https://leadx.org/the-leadx-leadership-development-benchmark-report/ (Accessed: 05 March 2024).

Lisa Baker, S.E. (2023) 1 in 4 UK employees still don’t have access to personal development opportunities despite its importance for retention, Employer News. Available at: https://employernews.co.uk/news/1-in-4-uk-employees-still-dont-have-access-to-personal-development-opportunities-despite-its-importance-for-retention/ (Accessed: 05 March 2024).

Oak Engage’s change report. Available at: https://www.oak.com/media/c5llwb4v/oak-change-report-digital.pdf (Accessed: 05 March 2024).