When it comes to growing your business, the single greatest impact you can have is to focus on your team’s leadership development. As John C. Maxwell once put it “There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them.”
This is truer now than ever. As the labour market shrinks, developing leaders from within your organization, rather than acquiring external talent, may become a requirement. The good news is that it can end up saving you time and money. Studies show that those who are promoted from within often perform better than new hires.
The leadership gap
Are you currently promoting your employees based on seniority, natural talent, or the completion of a leadership training program?
Most managers and supervisors are promoted as a result of their performance in a non-leadership role or simply because they’ve been with the company for a number of years. Once promoted, they receive little to no formal training on how to lead well. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics found that companies with fewer than 100 employees gave only 12 minutes of manager training every six months. Organizations with 100 – 500 employees provided just 6 minutes.
This process can lead to challenges for your business because leaders set the tone for the rest of your team. Their actions directly impact your company’s culture. Imagine what would happen if employees with natural leadership abilities received training and development the same way new hires do?
Why leadership training is important
Research by Gallup found that great leaders possess some combination of the following five traits:
- Aptitude for motivating others
- Assertiveness to overcome obstacles
- Excellence in building trusting relationships
- Capability to create a culture of accountability
- Ability to make unbiased decisions that benefit the whole
With the right leadership training and development, these employees can become great leaders. Before that can happen, though, organizations need to make leadership development a strategic priority. A case study shows that formalized leadership training can bring an ROI of 29% within the first three months post-training and a final annualized ROI of 415%. This means that not only did the business owners in the study recoup the costs of training, they also made $4.15 for every $1 spent.
Here are 5 tips on how to grow leaders within your organization today.
How to offer leadership development
1. Identify leaders early
It can be easy to identify a natural born leader in a team building scenario, but nothing beats cold, hard data. Ensure all employees take a strengths assessment such as Prevue and Emergenetics to gain a good understanding of your team’s strengths and possible shortcomings. Weave these assessments into your hiring and recruitment efforts to identify leaders and high potential employees before you even hire them.
2. Invest in your leaders
Investing in leadership training and development is a concrete way to show your employees that you value them and that you’re invested in their future. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more engaged and productive, which positively impacts your bottom line. DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast shows that organizations that support leadership development are 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key bottom-line metrics such as financial performance, quality of products and services, and customer satisfaction.
3. Adopt a Kaizen Mindset
Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning “continuous improvement.” The concept refers to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees. The idea is to bake leadership development into the culture of your organization by continuously working on it.
Very rarely will a single course or training program lead to permanent change for an organization. It’s a process that needs to be revisited and improved upon on an ongoing basis. At Intrigue, each employee is enrolled in Leader Building — the process of learning something new each week, applying that knowledge in their work, and sharing what they got out of it with the entire team.
4. Create mentorship opportunities
Once you’ve identified employees with leadership potential, match them up with senior colleagues to mentor them, coach them, and provide them with feedback. A mentor can provide guidance and advice that helps prepare junior employees to become more effective leaders in the future. Building these strong relationships early creates opportunities for open, honest lines of communication throughout the leadership development process.
5. Bring in outside help
To supplement your leadership development strategy, it’s critical to bring in outside help to guide you along the way. An experienced leadership development coach or facilitator will be able to customize a plan that meets your organization’s unique goals. Whether it’s done through a weekly series, a strategic retreat, an annual workshop, or one-on-one training, an outside expert will be able to cater the right solution for your needs.
At Intrigue, we have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to help build your team by offering exceptional Leadership Training & Development opportunities. This training and coaching, combined with Intrigue’s ongoing support, has helped numerous entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Book your private, confidential conversation about the leadership needs of your business by contacting us today.