Recently, I saw a great LinkedIn post:
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
The key word is Invest. In fact, many companies spend more in maintenance contracts and computers than they do to maintain their largest investment – their people. And in particular their leaders.
To be fair, there many clubs and organizations that do a brilliant job training and developing their people. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, the same can’t be said across the board. Maybe this sounds familiar… as an owner or manager, you didn’t receive any official training and survived, and you expect your people to do the same. More often that not, intentions are good but hectic day to day activities take precedent and training and development falls to the back burner. You are not alone. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder.com, 58% of managers said they didn’t receive any training when they took on a new leadership role and a SHRM study found that a staggering 93% of managers responded that they needed training on how to coach their employees. Consider that most people in management positions are promoted because they are good at what they do, not because they have exceptional leadership skills. This leaves companies with leaders who are not trained on how to lead!
Here are 5 compelling reasons to make training your leaders (and up and coming leaders) a priority.
When leaders (managers and department heads) are trained on skills such as interviewing, onboarding, setting expectations, coaching and performance management, they select better talent and bring out the best performance in their people. They are also better equipped to assess and solve problems as well as manage change. In economic terms, the average organization forfeits up to 1$million per year in untapped potential due to insufficiently trained leaders and employees.
Increases Employee Engagement
Training your leaders and all employees for that matter sends a very strong message that your company values them and is committed to their personal and professional development. This builds commitment and loyalty and they are more likely to be invested in their work. Trained leaders see the value of professional development and spend time developing their own teams which is a major morale booster. This creates a culture of engagement and we know that engaged employees can do extraordinary things for a business.
Increases Employee Retention
When leaders spend time developing their people, not only do they increase their effectiveness, they develop trust and a strong bond with them. This bond or relationship is the single most important factor in how satisfied an employee is with their job and how long they will stay there. 75% of people voluntarily leaving jobs don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses – their ineffective leaders. By investing in leadership training, you can retain your people and reduce costly recruitment.
Positions You as an Employer of Choice for Millennials
It is said that millennials are the most energized, skilled and capable generation to enter the workforce. According to INC magazine, the number one factor millennials cited when selecting a new job is “sufficient training”. This tops workplace flexibility, salary and perks. 60% of millennials want training to develop their leadership skills and would choose a job that enabled them advance through the ranks quickly over one with a higher salary. In fact, 69% aspire to be leaders within 5 years.
Having this generation of aspiring leaders is great news for our industry. We must be prepared to meet this challenge by having an exceptional training and development program in place to attract and retain these future leaders.
Builds a Talent Pipeline
Maybe one of your key leaders has decided to move on or has been promoted to another location and you have an opening. Are you prepared with a trained protégé ready to move into that position or are you in a panic situation without a backup? This might just be one of the most compelling reasons to ensure that you always have a “manager in training”. And that actually means someone who is actively being trained as a future leader, not just a title for motivation reasons. Identify those employees who have what it takes (potential and attitude) and provide them with leadership training. Not only does this help retain your rising stars but it provides a career path for them. And when the time comes, you will have someone ready to take on a leadership role.