More often than not, one of the most important aspects of effective leadership gets neglected. Quarter after quarter, and fiscal year after fiscal year, time and resources are budgeted in ways that, while certainly contribute to revenue growth, don’t cultivate value where it counts in the long run—with people.
Simply put, management development, as a component of successful leadership continuity, needs your urgent attention. What's currently in its place? That new, expensive piece of equipment, the painful software migration, the costly expansion.
But there’s a much higher price that companies pay by not investing in the ability for ambitious employees to shape their careers within your organization: poor talent retention. A Harvard Business Review (HBR) article cites the following:
“Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits. We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps. Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility. But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.” - Monika Hamori, Jie Cao and Burak Koyuncu.
Obstacles for Growth.
The potential for early exits aside, business leaders typically put off managerial leadership training for two main reasons:
1) Focus is on the present.
So many leaders are constantly overwhelmed by the essential day-to-day operations. As a result, their managers naturally tend to circumstances that are determined by the same sense of immediacy. And in trying to do more with less, investing in better management becomes less urgent regardless of its potential for enormous return on investment (click on the link below to receive a whitepaper detailing how to calculate ROI for management training).
2) There's Not Enough Time.
There never seems to be enough of it for those who are counting on the clock to cut them a little slack. But this is a common misconception since there's always time for important activities. The difference between the things that get done and the things that don’t is one of perceived urgency. Thus, simply believing that management development is necessary isn’t enough. Leaders have the responsibility to understand its priority and also recognize its value in retaining talent and defining company culture.
The Value of Management Training.
Value is regularly misunderstood to mean cost. The price of an apple, for instance, has a diminished value until it's consumed—especially when compared to another favored snack. But its value significantly increases when it’s the last item available to eat when on-the-go. Students of economics will understand this as opportunity cost—or the price of one investment weighed against another.
Below is a list of concepts that underscore the significance of management development as the right choice (for right now) against other investment alternatives.
1) Genuine interest begets genuine results.
Aside from it being a leader's responsibility to develop their personnel, better management training is something leaders ought to take a genuine interest in. Want an insider tip? Training has a greater impact on employees when directives are sponsored by leadership teams and not perceived as a compliance-driven mandate.
2) Building loyalty bolsters productivity.
As a follow on from the first point, taking the same approach in your employees’ future fosters loyalty. And employees reciprocate this by being more engaged in their work.
3) Accomplishment and support goes a long way.
As an earlier blog post showed, the next generation of managers want training, mentoring and coaching. And by becoming more versatile and valuable throughout an organization, they gain value themselves.
In closing, leaders who determine that people are worth urgently investing in can benefit substantially in areas ranging from productivity and loyalty to return on investment and long-term talent. Take charge of this opportunity and see your people grow NOW!
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