The success of your organization is ultimately dependent on the team you’ve built and its ability to help you reach your business goals. However, many employers fall short when it comes to developing strong leaders and preparing them to not only be part of a team, but also lead it.
When employees don’t receive proper training through leadership development, it leaves them unprepared to confidently step into those management roles. And before you know it, you could see low morale among the team, decreased productivity, and other issues that may arise as a result.
That’s why it’s essential to understand the importance of leadership development and to build a program within your organization to cultivate the next generation of leaders. Getting started now will set you up for success well into the future.
Through leadership development, you can provide the necessary mentorship and guidance to improve the skills and abilities of your existing team members. This gives them the confidence to step into leadership roles without hesitation, ensuring they make a smooth transition into a higher-level management position. After all, the better they feel about taking on more responsibility and leading a team, the better performance can be expected.
To give you a clear understanding of its value, here are some key statistics to consider:
Even though 83% of organizations see the importance of developing leaders at every level within a company, only 5% have actually implemented leadership development at all levels. Should you make a move to do this within your organization, you’ll be further ahead of others in your field.
Only 10% of people are natural leaders. However, another 20% show potential due to possessing certain qualities and basic managerial talent. With a program in place, their skills and abilities can be honed, helping them to become strong, confident leaders.
69% of millennials reported feeling a lack of leadership development, which is unacceptable considering they are the future of our organizations. The next generations need to be prepared to step into these roles as they become available.
Curious why leadership development is so vital for organizations of all types? There are five key reasons that explain how crucial it can be to a company’s long-term success. Here’s what you should know to build a sustainable workforce:
1. It Will Create Strong and Confident Leaders
Through leadership development, organizations can train younger employees so they’ll be poised to take over leadership roles as older generations retire. With more baby boomers and Gen Xers leaving the workforce, millennials will be stepping up to the plate. However, you don’t want just anyone stepping into these high-level positions. You need someone who is self-assured, capable, and can easily transition to a management position.
As a result, you’ll want to prepare the younger generations on your team for taking on such a big responsibility. When they feel good about leading a team, as well as inspiring and motivating them, they’ll feel more at home in these kinds of roles. Plus, other employees will be more inclined to take them seriously and will be happy to work under them. It’s all about cultivating a positive atmosphere where everyone can work together with little issue - And a good leader ensures everything goes smoothly.
2. It Will Attract New Talent to Your Organization
These days, many job hunters are looking for more than just a paycheck. They want a job that will become a life-long career, something they can see themselves doing well into the future. Unfortunately, not all organizations provide that. If you want to build a team that will be with you for the long haul, you need to cultivate an environment that supports their growth and professional development.
People will be more inclined to take a job with an organization with programs that will prepare them for future roles. If someone sees opportunities to climb the ladder, it makes your organization more intriguing as they’ll know there’s potential to level up in the field. Plus, it shows your dedication to your employees if you’re willing to invest in their success and yours.
It’s also worth noting that it’s a sure-fire way to keep employees happy. And when people enjoy the job they go to every day, they’re going to have a better performance rate, and they’ll be more likely to stay with your company for many years to come. That’s a major benefit.
3. Employee Turnover Rate May Decrease
It’s much easier to retain the employees you already have than to go on the hunt for new people to fill an available position. There’s always a learning curve when bringing new people into your organization, as they have to learn the ropes and adjust to company culture. That’s why it’s smart to create an environment where people have the opportunity to grow and move up the ladder, onto bigger and better experiences. It helps them see a future with your organization, ultimately decreasing employee turnover rates over time.
However, it’s not enough to just have upper-level management roles available to them. You need to prepare them to take over these positions by offering leadership development. Offering a resource like this shows you care about your employees. It creates a loyal relationship. People are more inclined to stay in an environment where they feel respected and valued. So, you can identify employees who demonstrate the qualities of a great leader and bring them into a development program so you can nurture the next generation of leaders in your organization.
4. Helps Close the Skills Gap in Leadership Roles
When choosing the employees who will fill leadership roles within an organization, there are certain qualities to be on the lookout for. For example, a great leader will take the initiative, have critical thinking skills, and be eager to expand their knowledge and grow within their role. However, there’s sometimes a gap between the skills an employee possesses and embraces and what you want from them as an employer. That’s where leadership development comes into play, especially since the skillsets employers look for are constantly evolving.
By offering educational opportunities or mentoring from higher-level management, you give employees the chance to develop the leadership qualities you desire them to have. Plus, they’re able to improve their existing skills. This essentially gives them a head-start so they’ll be poised to effortlessly step into these leadership roles when the job is presented to them. It’ll close the skills gap and ensure they have what it takes to lead a successful career within your organization.
5. Improve Business Performance Overall
According to research, every year a company delays implementing some sort of leadership development, it costs them 7% of their total annual sales. That’s because they’re not giving current and future leaders a chance to grow. And these days, no one can afford to do anything that will hurt their company’s bottom line. Revenue is crucial to keeping the doors open, paying for employees’ salaries, and other expenses. So, it would be smart to invest in cultivating strong leaders today.
Besides impacting your organization financially, you can expect your team to perform better when they’ve had appropriate training. Leadership training better prepares employees to address issues head-on instead of letting them fester, ultimately becoming more significant problems. It also teaches them to keep everyone on track, working towards a common goal to grow the business, no matter what department they’re in. It’s a sure-fire way to boost motivation and productivity.
Now that you see the value in leadership development and what it can do for an organization, it’s time to begin building a training program that will deliver results. But how do you teach people leadership skills? How do you give them the hands-on experience to develop, hone, and apply skills?
Here are some tips to help you find the best leadership development model for your organization:
Know What Kind of Leaders You Need: First, get clear on what you expect from the leaders on your team. What qualities do you want them to possess? What skills should they have? What kind of tasks will they need to be capable of to perform their role effectively? Define what your organization’s leaders will look like so you can develop an appropriate training program.
Consider the Career Goals of Your Employees: Besides your organization’s goals, you also want to factor in what your employees would like to get out of a program of this nature. They’ll be more inclined to take these trainings seriously when they see it’ll help them achieve their vision for the future of their career. Give them the chance to grow in the areas where they want to improve to make their goals reality.
Determine the Best Teaching Methods: This is a great time to get employee feedback, as everyone learns differently, and there are so many ways to teach leadership. For instance, a mentorship with senior employees is a fantastic option, as they’ll have the experience and knowledge necessary to provide training. You can also send employees to conferences or retreats, have them volunteer locally, or offer online training.
Offer an Incentive to Develop Skills: When employees are offered some sort of incentive to develop their leadership skills, they’ll be more excited to participate in programs like this. Let them know what they’ll receive by working on their personal and professional development. Show them what opportunities will be available to them once they’ve stepped into that role of a strong, confident leader who is ready and able to manage a team.
By following these tips, it ensures your leadership development program is successful. Not only that but it will be tailored to the needs of both your organization and its team, allowing everyone to benefit from jumping on board and taking these trainings seriously. In the end, you’ll be grateful you moved forward.
Once you have a leadership development program in place, it would be wise to continually look for ways to improve the training you offer. First and foremost, talk to your employees to get their feedback on your program. Ask them if they feel it’s substantial enough or if anything is missing. This will allow you to make changes as you go, always improving the program for the next batch of employees.
You’ll want to ensure you’re providing guidance on honing all the essential leadership skills. Teach them how to resolve conflicts so they can easily address issues that pop up at a moment’s notice. Help them become better listeners, which is crucial for building relationships and problem-solving. Offer advice on motivating and inspiring a team since they’ll be the ones keeping everyone in line. And help them become truly confident in a leadership role, so they never doubt themselves on the job.
Other important qualities to focus on include:
The ability to delegate
The future of leadership is about more than just being a leader. It’s about being a good person at the end of the day. That will help you build a phenomenal program everyone will want to participate in.
As the older generations retire, the millennials and Gen Z will be the ones to take over. Don’t leave them unprepared to take on leadership roles within your organization. Through one-on-one mentoring, hands-on training, online workshops, and coaching, your organization can successfully build the next generation of leaders. After all, high-performing employees are essential to your business, and if you want to keep them around long-term, you need to help them develop and perfect their skills.