Many companies provide training and development opportunities for their employees, and some even make training mandatory for top talent. However, they often cannot afford to put everyone through an intensive leadership development program. Additionally, when employees take ownership for their development, their engagement and their results increase dramatically.
We have found that companies can provide high quality, self-directed, cost-effective leadership development programs for their employees through well-planned Employee Resource Group (ERG) initiatives.
Over the past 10 years, Tiara International has worked with several ERG’s globally. We recently completed the second year of an employee-led program for a GOLD, an ERG for the Latino employees at NiSource Inc. During the final session, the program participants expressed these sentiments:
This 10-month self0directed career development program was offered to any GOLD ERG member. In the kick-off meeting, each participant created their own individual development plan for their own career. Through a series of monthly meetings, the Tiara leadership consultants helped design the curriculum in a way for the volunteer committee to lead and execute the monthly meetings for their groups. This provided leadership opportunities for the volunteers who also participated in the program
Monthly topics included:
- Developing your personal leadership brand
- Leveraging your strengths
- Conducting informational interviews
- Learning the business functions from intern panels of leaders and experts
- Training on organization-specific human resource tools
- Giving and receiving feedback in critical conversations.
All of these topics were led by internal resources whenever possible.
The program has been a huge success, and the program leaders themselves have found incredible growth and recognition for their role in orchestrating and running the program. The individuals in the program are motivated to be in it, and they are taking personal responsibility for owning their careers. This is the ultimate win-win: engaged, committed, motivated employees.