A new financial year is here and by now you’ve probably got a pretty clear idea of what you would like to accomplish in the coming twelve months. Targets have been set, budgets allocated, and plans developed. How likely are your plans to be a success? Well, that is in a large part, going to come down to how well the plans are executed by the team which is largely a function of how well the management team communicate, lead and manage in their roles.
As your organisation grows, it doesn’t always need more staff, but it does need better or more skilled staff. This is why investing in developing the leadership skills of all staff, especially ones you see potential in, will pay dividends for years to come. Leadership training encourages staff to
- think for themselves
- be proactive
- learn how to be influential and sell their ideas, and
- create a better team culture.
Who should get leadership training?
The challenge for many organisations is that with their limited training resources the natural inclination is to direct leadership development to top performing and senior management personnel. The ones that will utilise it most, right?
It has been shown time and again that putting all your leadership training eggs in this one basket is potentially harmful for your business. When leadership development is reserved for just your top performers and managers, you run the risk of
- creating an organisational divide between those that are developed and those that are not (bit like the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’)
- talented people are not getting the development they need or deserve to bring out their full potential, and
- as the learning curve and growth potential of your emerging leaders is often greater than those ‘at the top’ who have had more prior training and experience, if you’re not casting a wider training net you may not be getting the optimal return for your leadership and management training efforts.
There’s also research that suggests that organisations have a leadership development criteria that is so narrow that a whole cohort are invariably excluded over and over, even when abilities and/or potential could be equal or greater!
Not only that, when only developing a small number of your team, they can hit a competency ceiling. (Many people know this as the ‘Peter Principle’.) If you’ve overlooked leadership training for other staff, such as young people who may be instrumental in helping you keep up with technology, you could find yourself left high and dry.
Top benefits of investing in leadership development for all employees
The big question is, in real workplace terms, what are the key incentives for an employer to expand leadership development to empower more employees? Here are a few to consider.
- Improved communication and productivity
Time and again we find that leadership training, when provided for all employees, increases team productivity because it enables better communication to take place within the organisation. In fact, we consider it so important that here at Rapport Leadership, it’s the backbone of just about all our management and leadership training.Furthermore, by gaining an understanding of the key principles of communication, the gap between what is said and what is understood is smaller, the ability of employees to collaborate improves, and the rate of errors occurring reduces.Communication skills training as part of the leadership development process also helps employees to give and receive feedback more effectively. Over the last few years with teams working remotely more often, the need for connectedness and effective communication has also been amplified.
- More independent, resilient, and engaged employees
Leadership development helps employees to focus on the what’s important, embrace change, and tackle challenges better. With fewer people ‘going to the office’ these days, it also helps to keep teams connected.By investing in your employees with leadership development, it shows you value them and their future, and fosters engagement and employee loyalty.
- Positive culture and environment
When your team has a greater understanding of key leadership and management principles, there is positive flow on effect to the workplace culture and environment. It also helps create a place of psychological safety, optimism and innovation.Best of all, positivity is infectious and a powerful motivator.
- Protecting your future and succession
If your staff aren’t trained to handle the unexpected, you could be setting yourself up for a struggle. Expectations of employees also have changed in recent times, and it’s no longer just about money. So, providing your employees with the opportunity to flourish and grow as leaders in their own right, no matter the role, is incredibly important if you want to build and retain a thriving team and leadership culture.
The most important thing to remember is that leadership development does take time so is something you can’t afford to put off. If you would like to explore how we can help you strengthen the leadership culture of your business or organisation, and help you build a team of outstanding leaders for the future, contact us today.