Why Leadership Development Is So Crucial

Author, Academic Director
Concordia University
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No matter how independent and self-directing your staff is, poor managerial skills will hold them, and your company back. At every level of your company, it’s crucial to have good leaders who know how to direct employees, find areas of improvement, implement effective policies and maintain a strong rapport. Neglecting this aspect of your employee relationships will mean neglecting your employee morale, performance and productivity.

But leadership doesn’t come from just anywhere, and consistently bringing in outside hires for leadership will negatively affect the loyalty of your management and your lower level staff. Instead, your business plan should include developing a robust leadership development program. Think of your employees as potential management hires, figure out what skills they lack to be successful, and provide them with training to develop those skills.

Leadership development programs show employees you care

Oftentimes, companies view employees by the tasks they complete and how well they complete them, and fail to look at the bigger picture. Your employee doesn’t see herself as someone trying to gain experience in one task for the convenience of your business. She views herself as someone attempting to build a career, and if she feels that her current position is stagnating, not giving her new skills and not helping her improve her place on the ladder, she won’t develop a loyalty to you and she may not stick around.

By providing her with leadership development skills, you’re showing her that she can be considered for promotion and you are willing to invest time and money into training her for upward momentum in her career. This is true for all your employees. You can even conduct this training and other business meetinmgs over Team Snap Viewing them as potential management material rather than permanent entry-level employees will remind you to help them develop skills, give them regular training, and keep your business growing. On the other hand, employees who aren’t gaining enough from you will leave for better jobs elsewhere that will give them a shot at promotions. According to an Insigniam poll, only 15 percent of surveyed middle managers felt they would ever be considered for a promotion, and 61 percent felt they didn’t want to stay at their job for the next five years.

Bad managers make employees leave

According to a 2015 Gallup report, only 18 percent of managers have all the skills required for the position. The same study also found that 50 percent of employees have left a job before due to bad leadership. Companies that fail to recognize weaknesses in their leaders and don’t provide managers with adequate training to round out their skills risk alienating existing employees who find working under a poor leader stressful.

In addition, poor leadership produces employees who aren’t just frustrated, but also ultimately disinterested in their job, worsening their job performance and productivity levels and slowing down the entire business. If there’s a department or team in your office that’s underperforming, your instinct should be to look not at the employees but at the manager.

But managers too can’t be blamed for a lack of skills if your company doesn’t try to develop them. This is why it’s critical to provide mass leadership development for all your employees, from the CEO down to the entry level worker.

What makes a good leader

Your leadership development program should work on helping employees in the following areas: motivational skills, problem solving, the ability to think objectively, relationship building, and accountability. A good manager will make their team want to work, address issues without hesitation, analyze situations without picking a side or playing favorites, form a connection to their team and remain capable of holding up standards for employees to meet.

In addition, your program should focus on building up strengths, not pointing out weaknesses, which can also demoralize employees and fail to adequately train managers all around. In addition, you should focus on translating learned skills into actions in your business. Leadership development skills should be put to use, not just discussed in theory.

Your business thrives when all your employees are learning valuable skills. Your managerial team thrives when you support them with constant training and development. Don’t neglect this critical category by trying to work around it with outside hires. Invest in your team, and they will return the favor by improving your company’s bottom line.


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