10 Feb 5 Mistakes Organisations Face by Not Developing Their Leaders
‘Leadership development’; it’s a phrase that entrepreneurs and senior business people probably hear day in, day out. But these two words aren’t just another piece of office jargon or corporate buzzwords – they could be the most important element of building your business.
As this piece from research company Ken Blanchard states, “As the speed of business increases, it’s easy to focus only on the immediate need and pay less attention to the systemic issues that ultimately drive long term success. One of those significant areas is leadership development.”
It’s all too easy to be dragged down into the everyday, and forget to step back and make sure you have effective leadership development programmes in place for your team, but, as this Forbes article states, ‘to become a truly great company, it takes truly great leaders’. With strong leadership providing results like increased employee morale, good staff retention, and sustainable, long term growth, can you really afford to ignore leadership development?
Why is leadership development important?
Some people are born natural leaders, and others develop into a leadership role through mentoring, training and learning to work to their strengths – but if you don’t invest in leadership development, no one in your business will ever rise to their potential.
Leadership development training is almost an intervention in someone’s career – with it, someone could maximise their potential and transform your business; without it, they’re likely to stay at their current level of performance, and never be pushed any further.
What are the consequences of failing to develop leaders?
1. Loss of foothold in the market
Business is competitive, and keeping up with changes in your industry is vital for building long term success. To continually re-evaluate and reinvent yourself to stay in the race is impossible without a culture of innovation, and that cannot be achieved without strong leadership.
Without the inspiration and motivation that comes from strong, transformative leaders, your company will lack self-awareness, strategic direction, and no one will step forward to challenge the status quo – all of which results in you falling behind, fast.
2. Low productivity and performance
A company can only perform well if the people working for it do, and this can be severely impacted by lack of leadership development. Investing in training for your potential leaders means investing in the performance of your company to come; strong leaders are able to motivate the team around them, make clear decisions to speed up productivity, and are able to communicate effectively with their team to maximise their potential.
Having a leader that can identify a common goal and share that with their teams also gives employees something to focus on and strive towards, in order to better themselves for the good of the company.
3. Poor employee wellbeing
Relating to the previous point, a low performing team is most likely one with low levels of wellbeing. Not only does a lack of leadership promote low morale within other team members, but if your company doesn’t offer the leadership development training opportunities that employees want, that can severely affect their engagement – a factor that is increasingly linked to poor staff wellbeing.
Another of the biggest contributors to poor staff wellbeing is stress, and the ability to manage stress should be something that filters down from the leaders within your business. According to HR Magazine, “in order to get the best out of people, managers should be adept at preventing stress…Those bosses who pass on stress by panicking about deadlines and do not provide advice to or consult with staff tend to erode motivation and undermine employee health and wellbeing”.
A good leader should be someone who manages stress well, doesn’t let it show to others and is able to pick up on and manages the stresses of those around them. Without these qualities in your team, employee wellbeing will deteriorate.
4. High turnover of staff
If your employees aren’t happy, chances are, they won’t stay around for too long. One of the most important factors in generating a team that is loyal and committed to your company is by providing them with the development and training opportunities they need to progress. A dead end job is inspiring to no-one, and failing to provide these chances for professional growth will leave employees demotivated, uninspired and ready to look elsewhere. Every penny you don’t spend on leadership development now, you’ll lose on hiring new staff in the future.
5. Failing to become an ‘employer of choice’
Your business will never grow in the future if you can’t hire talented people. All the consequences we’ve mentioned in the article of failing to invest in leadership development will inevitably lead to a negative public view of your company. If your employees feel unhappy and unsatisfied, if you’re not seen as forward thinking and market leaders, and if you’re not performing well, ultimately, talented people won’t want to work for you, and you’ll be unable to recruit the talent you need to push your business forward.
Investing in leadership development is a decision you won’t regret. Ignore it now, and it will become so much more costly for your business in a number of ways in the future.
We design and deliver bespoke leadership development programmes for businesses across the UK. To find out more, get in touch today.
Looking at developing your leaders? wanting to put in place a leadership development programme? then download our FREE white paper – 5 Steps to constructing a high impacting leadership development programme