Another key initiative was to create peer coaching relationships among program participants. We paired each participant with another colleague in the program and asked them to meet at least monthly to discuss progress and future ambitions.
These might include leadership growth in professional or personal life, such as taking on lead roles in new projects or initiatives, continuing education in the technology field or mentoring a junior team member.
Peer mentoring sessions led to a different dynamic from day-to-day technical discussions and helped the pairs become accountable for their goals and aspirations.
Effective Leadership Development Is Inclusive and Accessible
When a leadership development program is viewed solely as a resource for existing or aspiring managers, institutions may miss out on a host of significant benefits.
Because our program involved staff members at all levels, the focus shifted toward increasing overall organizational productivity and emotional intelligence. This inspired people to embrace the concept that they could be a leader in any role.
Of note, we designed our leadership development program to be relevant to all LTS employees. We surveyed department staff about topics of interest, asked them to give presentations and invited them to nominate session speakers.
To ensure the program was widely accessible, we conducted leadership activities during afternoon business hours, typically on Fridays, when most people were available.
Boost Morale and Build a Campus Leadership Pipeline
YCP’s leadership development program has proved its value in many ways: It provided regularly scheduled professional development to educate all participants in effective leadership skills.
It created a pool of qualified internal candidates to fill management vacancies. Participants gained confidence in their interactions with peers and community leaders. And the program boosted morale by demonstrating our commitment to — and willingness to invest in — our employees.
The LTS department continues to tailor leadership advancement sessions that inspire both managers and nonmanagers to make positive changes in how they work and interact with colleagues. This model is something that other colleges can adopt and personalize to their environment. YCP’s experiences show that not only can institutions afford to do leadership development, they can’t afford not to!