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Why is Leadership Development Important?
When developing effective leaders, many organizations tend to fall short. You may be thinking that a person can't be placed in a leadership role without leadership development. Well, it happens.
A lack of leadership development impacts your organization in many ways. It can result in high turnover, low morale, absenteeism, lost productivity, and more. If this describes individuals in your organization, it may be time to address the leadership development issue. These reasons alone speak directly to the importance of leadership development.
In a recent study, it was revealed that this the lack of leadership development impacts millennials more severely. A whopping 63% of millennials feel that their employers don’t fully develop their leadership skills. As millennials are the future leaders of the organizations around the world, this stat could have serious negative effects. With this in mind, it is even easier to understand the importance of leadership development for your organization.
5 Reasons Why Leadership Development is Important
1. Improves Employee Retention
Managers play a big role in whether an individual decides to stay with an organization or leave. In fact, 32.5% of individuals say they would quit due to a bad boss. Simply tweaking the way a manager does their job can go a long way. This is where the importance of leadership development can be seen.
When an employee feels valued and supported by an effective leader, they are more engaged. Why does that matter? Well, 53.6% of individuals say the loyalty they feel toward their boss and their organization keeps them from walking away. This stat proves that the engagement level of the manager and employee relationships is important for improving employee retention.
2. Promotes High Accountability
Good leaders acknowledge their mistakes and encourage others to learn from them. They make it their duty to keep everyone productive. Finally, they pass on this accountability to create a strong culture of accountability throughout the workplace.
Leadership development creates a higher level of accountability in leaders. Through their development they gain a clear understanding of why a culture of accountability is important to their success.
3. Creates Strategic Problem-Solving
Effective problem-solving is a key trait in every good leader. Strategic problem-solving includes analyzing the problem and the root cause. It also encompasses harnessing the power of an open-minded workplace to find every possible solution.
So, how does this translate from leadership development? CCL found that 86% of organizations with leadership development programs can rapidly respond to adversity in an unpredictable business environment. Meanwhile, only 52% of organizations with less mature leadership development programs could not.
Having a team of leaders with strong problem-solving skills is a competitive advantage. This speaks directly to the importance of leadership development. After implementing the program, you will see a change in your leaders and the performance of your organization.
4. Gives Strong Role Clarity
Role clarity is a factor that isn’t talked about often enough, especially when discussing leadership development. This is surprising considering role clarity is a basic need for an individual in the workplace.
Role clarity is defined by individuals who know their exact role in the organization. They also know how their role fits into the big picture. It is especially important to have role clarity for leadership roles at it ties back to accountability. It also reduces confusion by eliminating job overlap and allows the leader to effectively manage and delegate.
Leaders should know the role of every member of their team to be productive. With leadership development programs, leaders learn how to identify these roles to keep team members on track. These programs can be implemented effectively as long as managers continue providing autonomy to their team.
5. Mends Skills Gap
When discussing leadership development, it's important to address the separation between what employers want and what individuals can actually do. The desire to mend this skills gap has become more popular as organizations realize how serious the issue is.
ATD found that many individuals, especially recent graduates, lack critical soft skills needed to lead successful careers. ATD found the largest gaps in the following skills:
- communication/interpersonal skills
- management skills
- problem-solving skills
- leadership skills
Simply by dedicating time for individuals to focus on their skills, the gap can shrink. The best way to do this is by implementing a leadership development program as a platform for these individuals to learn.
How to Implement Leadership Development
One of the most effective ways to implement leadership development efforts for your organization is by introducing coaching and mentoring. These programs all you to effectively develop your leaders while addressing the importance of leadership development to the participants.
While coaching and mentoring are both development programs, they are very different. Depending on your leadership development goal, you’ll want to choose the best one for your needs.
For more information, this blog explains the difference between coaching and mentoring.
- Coaching focuses on the confidence of leaders. It empowers them and allows them to gain a new perspective on everyday responsibilities. Through the coaching relationships, the managers are encouraged to think freely. They also learn new techniques that don’t discourage individuals from asking questions.
When it comes to leadership development, coaching is key. Especially if you want to develop a high-potential individual with no previous management experience.
- Mentoring is a great way to develop your leaders. If you decide to implement a mentoring program into your leadership development efforts, reverse mentoring may be the most effective. Reverse mentoring programs swap the role of the mentor and mentee. This reverse mentoring relationship can close the knowledge gap, bring generations together, and empower the mentee as an emerging leader.
A mentoring program like reverse mentoring is effective as it provides a trial run for upcoming leaders. It also creates a bond between individuals that may come in handy later. Especially when the work environment becomes stressful while they are in a place of power.
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