Leadership development has become a crucial aspect of the modern workforce, but it’s a topic that is often overlooked. According to a study by McShane and Von Glinow (2013), only 30% of U.S. employees are highly engaged, 1/2 are somewhat or not engaged, and 1/5 have low engagement or are actively disengaged. This highlights the importance of effective leadership in the workplace.
However, a study by Sinar et al. (2015) found that 85% of executives are not confident in their leadership pipelines, and only 37% of leaders believe their organization’s development programs are adequate. Furthermore, only 13% of companies believe that they are doing an excellent job developing their leaders. This lack of confidence in leadership development programs is a concern, as it suggests that many organizations are not providing their leaders with the training and resources they need to be effective.
The problem is not limited to just the U.S, around 78% of executives globally expect their organizations to have a skills gap in the future, and rather than dedicate resources to the problem, there has been a net decrease in the percentage of organizations willing to offer leadership training (Souza & Fyfe-Mills, 2018).
Of course, many organizations report that they are not reaching their full potential. This makes sense, considering that many workers feel that they are not reaching their full potential in their current positions. The truth is that leadership development would likely help. According to a study by Everett (2012), 74% of workers believe they are not reaching their full potential in their current position and would appreciate more learning opportunities. Additionally, PwC’s (2018) survey found that 74% of employees say they are ready to learn a new skill to remain employable.
The importance of leadership development is further highlighted by the fact that many employees see it as a top priority. A study by Woolf (2014) found that 68% of employees say that training and development are a company’s most important policy. Additionally, 87% of millennials said professional development was critical (Woolf, 2014).
Despite these statistics, many organizations still do not provide adequate leadership training. A study by Thomson (2015) found that 61% of organizations offer no leadership training to their people, and 65% of new leaders say that they feel unprepared for their leadership role. The lack of leadership training can create a toxic work environment, as nearly half of the workers say they regularly feel the need to conform to entrenched and sometimes toxic organizational norms (Gino, 2020).
Granted, leadership training can take many forms, such as mentoring, coaching, and training programs. However, it is important to note that one size does not fit all when it comes to leadership development. Different individuals have different learning styles and need different types of development to be effective leaders. Some individuals may respond well to classroom training, while others may thrive under a mentorship program. The key is to understand the individual’s learning style and tailor the development program to their needs. This is where one-on-one development programs, such as the ones at GrassFire Industries, LLC, come in handy because they often provide the best of both worlds.
It is also worth mentioning that effective leadership development programs need to be ongoing and not just a one-time event. A weekend seminar just will not be effective in the long term. Leadership development is a continuous process that should be integrated into the organization’s culture. The best leadership development programs are those that provide ongoing support and learning opportunities for leaders throughout their careers. Therefore, a comprehensive approach that includes professional leadership training, along with internal organizational development efforts, would be best.
Effective leadership is essential for an organization’s success, and it is the responsibility of the organization to provide its leaders with the training and resources they need to be effective. The good news is that organizations that invest in leadership development will see not only an improvement in employee engagement and productivity but also a positive impact on their bottom line. However, organizational leaders need to understand that the lack of leadership development is one of the main reasons for low employee engagement and high turnover rates.
Professional leadership development conducted by a leaderologist is essential for an organization’s long-term success, as it allows leaders to adapt to changing business environments and lead their teams effectively. It also helps to promote a culture of learning and development within the organization, which in turn attracts and retains top talent.
Arguably one of the best benefits of professional leadership training is that it can help to reduce the risk of leadership gaps within an organization. The reality is that leaders will inevitably leave an organization, whether through retirement, promotions, or other opportunities. When this happens, it is essential that there is a pipeline of leaders ready to step up and fill the gap. A strong leadership development program will ensure that there are leaders ready to step up and take on new responsibilities, minimizing disruptions to the organization.
In addition, effective leadership development programs can also improve the overall performance of an organization. When leaders are well-trained and equipped to lead their teams, they are better able to make strategic decisions, inspire and motivate their teams, and drive the organization toward its goals. This results in improved productivity, better performance, and ultimately a stronger bottom line.
Professional leadership development is a crucial aspect of the modern workforce, and organizations must make it a priority. If they do not, they risk losing their strategic advantage. The statistics mentioned in this article highlight the importance of effective leadership and the need for organizations to provide their leaders with the training and resources they need to be effective. Organizations that invest in leadership development will see not only an improvement in employee engagement and productivity but also a positive impact on their bottom line. They will also be better equipped to adapt to changing business environments, reduce the risk of leadership gaps and improve the overall performance of the organization.
Everett, C. (2012, June 9). Survey shows employees want more workplace training. The Learning Cafe. https://www.thelearningwave.com/survey-shows-employees-want-more-workplace-training/
Gino, F. (2020). Rebel Talent: Why it Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life. William Morrow and Company.
McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. A. (2013). Organizational behavior: Emerging knowledge. Global Reality (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Irwin.
PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2018). Workforce of the Future: The Competing Forces Shaping 2030. http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/people-organisation/workforce-of-the-future/workforce-of-the-future-the-competing-forces-shaping-2030-pwc.pdf
Sinar, E., Wellins, R., Ray, R., Abel, A., & Neal, S. (2015). Ready-Now Leaders: 25 Findings to Meet Tomorrow’s Business Challenges. Global Leadership Forecast 2014|2015 (MICABERSR19R). Development Dimensions International, Inc.
Souza, D. D., & Fyfe-Mills, C. (2018). The Future of Leadership Development: Preparing for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Journal of Leadership Education, 17(3), 313–325. https://doi.org/10.12806/V17/I3/R2
Thomson, M. (2015). Leadership development: A review of the evidence. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 20(1), 3–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/1355819614524016
Woolf, S. (2014). Employee perceptions of training and development opportunities in the workplace. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 19(2), 72–83.