In most organizations, leadership coaching and development is reserved for the top one percent -- only those at the senior and executive level get training. But leadership development is for the masses. It needs to scale.
Why? For effective leadership at every level, training needs to extend to every employee Without it, you get ineffective leaders, turnover problems, and disengaged employees. Here’s a look at what happens when leadership development isn’t scalable:
Employees become stagnant
When employees with leadership potential aren’t trained, they stand still -- and that’s bad for the company overall.
A recent study of 665 global organizations conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that half of managers admitted to talent hoarding, or keeping the best employees in their current roles. Among companies surveyed, high-performance organizations were more than twice as likely to prioritize the movement of talent, while low-performance organizations were 2.5 times more likely to say the movement of talent doesn’t matter.
When leadership development doesn’t scale, it’s bad for business. Employees never reach their full potential, middle managers aren’t effective because they lack proper training, and senior leaders’ skills go stale without continuous development.
Employees leave for better opportunities
A lack of leadership development isn’t just bad for company performance, it’s bad for talent management, as well. In fact, 55 percent of U.S. employees surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in November and December 2015 rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work as a very important contributor to their job satisfaction.
Without leadership training opportunities, employees will undoubtedly get bored. They’ll feel like their career won’t move forward with their current employer, and will move on. As it is, only 15 percent of middle managers in Global 1000 companies surveyed by Insigniam believe they will be promoted to the next level of management at their company. Unsurprisingly, 61 percent said they wouldn’t be happy staying in their job for the next five years.
When leadership development isn’t available to all employees, they’ll leave in search of an employer that offers training and a more promising career path.
Poor leadership drives employees away
Without leadership development, employees won’t just leave because they want more training -- they’ll leave because of ineffective leadership.
Leaders aren’t natural and without proper training, they won’t succeed, a 2015 report from Gallup suggests.The study found that just 18 percent of current managers have the talent required for the role. However, those with some, not all, leadership traits can function at a high level if their employer invests in coaching and development, the study found.
And when leadership is poor, employees are bound to leave. The same study found that 50 percent of employees surveyed have left a job to get away from a manager at some point in their career.
Don’t expect lower level managers to learn on the job and use their natural abilities to be effective. Leadership roles require a new set of skills, and leaders at all levels need the right training and development to master them.
Disengaged leaders create disengaged employees
You’ve heard that there’s an engagement problem in the workplace and a large part of it comes down to leadership.
Gallup report found that managers account for at least 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.The study found that employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59 percent more likely to be engaged than those supervised by actively disengaged managers. In other words, when leaders are engaged, so are the employees they manage. Unfortunately, just 35 percent of managers in the Gallup report were engaged at work.
How do you make leaders more engaged? That’s right -- leadership development. Training at every level is what keeps skills sharp and leaders interested and engaged in their work. So extend leadership development to include all employees to keep everyone happy, engaged, and working at their best.
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