Developing and retaining leaders within your organization starts with recognizing potential. And fostering this potential can make way for a company that thrives. In order to help aspiring leaders achieve their goals, businesses can apply leadership development programming to their strategic direction.

Recognizing Potential

According to a recent Gallup poll, about a third of employees reported leaving a job for career advancement or promotional opportunities. In other words, they’re leaving their current position to seek new challenges and responsibility elsewhere. And they are doing this because they are not fully engaged or recognized for the contributions they make.

So, why can’t your organization offer these opportunities and prevent this unnecessary turnover?

You can. And doing so starts with understanding the importance of identifying top talent and providing them with leadership opportunities. By putting certain programming in place that identifies and recognizes talent and hones interest in leadership while developing leadership competency, businesses give emerging leaders direction and encourage them to stay. Managers can communicate with employees about their goals and move these aspiring leaders through a fine-tuned talent pipeline.

Developing Your Talent Pipeline

Once a manager talks about goals with an emerging leader, they can use established techniques to invest in that individual’s leadership development. This can include anything from role-based or stretch assignments, scenario planning, and all types of leadership skills training. The options for leadership development are numerous and a curriculum or plan designed for certain growth areas in the company or particular functions can reap a positive return on investment. And positive ROI is much better than the cost of turnover. The cost of replacing a high performing employee can be upwards of 6 – 9 months of that person’s salary. For higher paying or executive positions, the cost can be as much as two times the annual compensation.

The competency and experiential nature of this type of training is typically embedded in job descriptions and/or performance evaluation.  Culling through these documents can be the start of designing a program that is culturally sound and meaningful.  Keep in mind that designing even the simplest  leadership program takes time and intention. Your organization will need to discover needs, ask for input and feedback, and assess results with a pilot group before confidently moving forward. However, committing to this process shows intentionality about leadership development. And that intention will encourage employees to stay and grow.


Experiencing Results

By making leadership development a clear part of your strategy, you will reap positive results over time. While outcomes will differ for every organization, there are some common trends that you might notice including:

Employee Engagement: Individuals are often more engaged at work when they’re aware of available opportunities. Their outlook will improve if management is investing in them.

Employee Retention: Since about a third of employees leave their jobs for promotional opportunities, the opposite is likely true if the opportunity is right in front of them. Investing in leadership development programming supports your organization’s ability to retain top talent and limits the cost of turnover in key positions.

Innovation: Employees show more focus and drive when given role-based work and strategic leadership assignments. Innovation, improved workflow and processes are benefits that can be seen.

Strategic Communication: Organizations grow when employees and managers can communicate clearly and effectively, striving for a common goal. This communication improves exponentially when your team develops leaders that have gone through similar leadership development experiences.

These are only some of the benefits that your organization can experience when investing in its future leaders. Employees are the center of your company; it pays to intentionally create their career path.  No matter your company’s specific approach to leadership development, the key is to have the systems firmly in place. This way, managers and employees can follow a trajectory that works.

If you’re interested in improving your company’s strategic direction surrounding leadership development, the team at InfoWorks can help. Our experts provide People & Strategy consulting services for a variety of industries. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, we are here to drive your organization forward. Contact us today to get started.

We look forward to hearing what initiatives you’re working on and how we can help you accelerate success. Let’s talk.