Leadership development isn’t just something that’s nice to have—it’s essential to the success of your company.
Strong, well-trained leaders motivate employees to do their best work and hold them accountable when they don’t.
They unite the team under a common vision and manage change effectively to ensure your company is able to adapt to the demands of the future. Your company’s leaders directly impact your bottom line, for better or for worse.
Unfortunately, leadership development is too often viewed as a secondary priority.
A lack of strong leadership has serious consequences that ultimately affect your company’s bottom line. Here are three of the most common problems that result from a lack of leadership development.
1. High Turnover
Employees who don’t feel they have upward mobility are more likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.
Another significant factor in turnover is employees’ dissatisfaction with their direct supervisor, which can also result from a lack of leadership development. If you notice your top performers doing any of these five things, they’re probably already searching for their next move.
In 2013, despite the nearly 8 percent unemployment rate, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed more than 2 million Americans quit their jobs each month.
Leadership training that helps your best employees develop new skills and plan a future career path can improve retention rates.
2. Low Morale
When your employees don’t feel you’re willing to invest in them, they’re less willing to invest in you.
If they are repeatedly denied opportunities to learn new skills, they’ll become easily discouraged. By contrast, ongoing training keeps employees sharp and helps them stay inspired. Studies have shown that mastery—becoming proficient at something you enjoy—is one of three key factors that contribute to high levels of motivation.
3. Lack of Collaboration
Effective managers coordinate tasks within their departments, promoting an encouraging atmosphere for idea sharing and cooperation.
Poor management inhibits collaboration and causes employees to focus inwardly on their own roles or departments at the expense of your company’s larger goals.
Many leaders are promoted because they are high achievers, but this doesn’t always mean they’re the best team players. They may take on more work themselves instead of holding team members accountable, or they may be unwilling to listen to the ideas of others.
These bad habits can hinder your company’s ability to work together to achieve long-term goals.
The Importance of Leadership Development
Ineffective leaders tend to pass bad habits onto their direct reports, which can impact the quality of your leadership pipeline. Over time, the cycle of negative consequences continues, eroding the fabric of your team and ultimately eating away at profit margins.
Fortunately, investing in training and development now can reverse the downward spiral.
That includes training high-potential employees in the skills and characteristics they need to become future leaders, as well as providing ongoing development opportunities for your top executives.