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Leaders want development that aligns with business goals

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Executive education and leadership development seem to be taking a backseat to other issues in the minds of senior leaders

Leaders want to see executive education and leadership development align better with their firm’s business goals, according to research from the FT and IE Corporate Learning Alliance.

The Corporate Pulse Survey polled 1,000 executives from Europe, the Middle East, Japan and China, and found that 41% wanted their business goals and executive education to more strategically align. A similar number (37%) desired better long-term planning of programmes.

Where senior professionals had measured the outcomes of past corporate learning programmes, they said they had tried to measure the impact on employee satisfaction (72%), customer satisfaction (72%), employee engagement (72%) and/or revenue, profit and margins (68%).

However, only 37% reported seeing a tangible impact on employee engagement. Similarly only 34% saw benefits in terms of customer satisfaction. Revenue, profit, and margins, and employee satisfaction both returned figures of 32%.

The report also found that executive education and leadership development seemed to be taking a backseat to other issues in the minds of senior leaders. Senior professionals’ top three priorities for 2017 were found to be in-market growth (33%), strategy development and execution (31%), financial management (26%) and cyber security (26%). Executive education and leadership development (24%) came in at sixth on the priority list. However, 22% saw this area as a challenge they had to address in the next three years.

VanDyck Silveira, FT and IE Corporate Learning Alliance CEO, said that there were options for employers who wanted to improve. “It would appear senior professionals agree there’s room for improvement when it comes to executive education and leadership development,” he said. “This research further highlights the place of corporate executive education and leadership development, along with today’s key issues in this area across a large proportion of the globe.”

He highlighted the positive impact of successful programmes. “Over 80% of senior professionals believe that executive education or leadership development has improved their skills, is vital to achieving business goals, and is more important than ever,” he said. “In addition, 58% of them believe that executive education and leadership development are the key to holding on to their best employees.”