1. Adopt a blended, coaching based model. Coaching works at every level when it comes to leadership training, but at the frontline level it is remarkably effective. New leaders are sponges, learn quickly, and coaching sessions are the most effective way to land new concepts and practice new skills.
2. Focus on core capabilities. We’ve identified the skills and knowledge that really make an immediate difference for frontline leaders. Our core competency framework enables FASTLEAD to deliver on the most important basic leadership skills for frontline leaders.
3. Make it available on their terms. frontline leaders are usually very busy, and cannot afford to be away from the workplace for days at a time. In our design, we make sure that training sessions are short, sharp, regular, and don’t require these leaders to be away from their teams for long. And we’ve been very flexible about when these sessions occur (early mornings are popular!).
4. Provide the right support in between sessions. FASTLEAD is designed to be available to participants 24x7. Podcasts, forums, workbooks, extra learning materials, built in support materials for participants’ managers – support in FASTLEAD is there for participants when they need it and where they need it.
5. Small groups work best. Our research shows that frontline leaders prefer group coaching to one on one coaching. This is because in our coaching pods they feel supported, can share each others’ challenges, and work together outside the pods. And in small groups, it’s OK to hold each other accountable for behaviours, homework, and change.
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After 27 years of developing frontline leaders, and two years of detailed research into their needs and learning styles, the FASTLEAD team identified five key factors that contribute to making frontline leadership programs effective. They are: