Leadership Development – You Reap What You Sow.
By Ashli Komaryk, MBA, ACC, Associate Consultant, Chemistry Consulting Group
Each new addition to your leadership team represents a significant investment.
It’s a bit like gardening, actually. When you add a new plant to your garden you need to water it, make sure it has enough light, and maybe even add some supplemental nutrients or fertilizer for it to thrive.
Leadership Development is a highly effective nutrient to keep your new hire growing, blossoming, and evermore engaged.
Your investment starts with the time spent by an external recruiter or by your internal HR team on recruitment and selection. More time and effort is invested in the hiring process, and hopefully, on a thorough onboarding. Your new hire will need some time to integrate and acclimate as they go through your initial training and orientation, making connections and finding their place. In a supportive environment, they will quickly discover the best way to contribute to the team and to the organization’s success.
Terrific! Now how do you retain this great new member of your team and start generating some return on that initial investment?
What type of Leadership Development Program is right for you?
One size does NOT fit all.
Teams are made up of members with a variety of personality styles, learning preferences and differing types of tasks. Why wouldn’t you want a Leadership Development Program that takes that in to account and is as adaptable as your leaders need to be? Talk to your training provider about customization options. Choosing a rigid, prescriptive training model may risk alienating some participants – so if those were plants in your yard, you’d be aiming your watering hose onto the sidewalk.
Key Elements of your Leadership Development Program
A large part of Leadership revolves around the sophisticated art of persuasion. So, your Leadership Development program should touch on topics such as Emotional Intelligence, communication skills and listening skills.
Equipping your Leaders with the skills to understand diverse personality styles is just as essential.
Consider incorporating a personality assessment tool as part of your program. While there are many options available, DiSC® is one of the most popular and effective tools because of its powerfully simple yet intuitive format.
Debriefing the assessment report generated by DiSC®, provides a leader with deep insights about their personal communication style, needs, behaviours and priorities. This self-awareness is the first step toward understanding those elements in others and thus building better relationships and more productive teams.
In today’s globalized, multicultural workplace it’s more important than ever before to know how to leverage diversity to achieve a competitive advantage.
A quick review of different leadership styles and of the various sources of influence within an organization reminds us that anyone at any level can be a leader. You don’t need a fancy title or a big office to be a leader whom others follow. Those informal leaders set the tone and maintain your organization’s culture. Those charismatic experts up and down the org chart are your top performers, your high-potential contributors and your leadership succession-planning pipeline.
Therefore, to protect your investment in your people and to ensure it yields rich dividends, it makes sense to deliver appropriate Leadership Development programs at several levels of your company – just as you would tend with care to all the elements of your garden so they all grow well and bear fruit!
Leadership Development as a Powerful Motivator
The message you’re sending to your team when you offer to enroll them in a leadership (or other) training program is powerful. You’re telling them things like: “you matter to us”, “you’re worth investing in”, “we want you to stay”, “your contribution is important”, “we want to support you as you develop into the best version of yourself”. Even if you’re seeking Leadership Development as a remedial expedient, the messaging can still be constructive.
In his book entitled Drive, thought leader Daniel Pink discusses the power of intrinsic motivators: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Done properly, delivering Leadership Development training to your team will also serve as a powerful intrinsic motivator, building engagement, empowerment, loyalty and retention (Pink, 2011).
Leadership Development as a Bridge to Retention
The cost of turnover is huge. Some research calculates this cost at an average of six to nine months of the employee’s salary. It can even be as high as 100% to 150% of the departing employee’s salary for highly skilled technical roles (Charaba, 2023). The cost will depend on the role, the loss of productivity, and the amount of time it takes you to find a replacement. If you can curb avoidable turnover, you’re significantly cutting unnecessary costs.
Just as a skilled gardener can detect the early signs of pests or weeds and take action to protect the garden, a skilled leader can detect when team members need added attention or support. A proactive leader will nip issues in the bud before they blossom into major problems that could lead to dysfunctional conflict or resignations.
Cultivating your Garden
At Chemistry, we recognize that your team is a unique constellation of contributors each with their own personality style, learning style, needs and preferences. Our Leadership Development division works with organizational leaders to thoughtfully curate an effective Leadership Development program built to meet the unique needs of your team. Reach out to us today for a conversation about where your team is at and how you want it grow. We’ll plot the course together.
Charaba, C. (2023, February 2). Employee retention: The real cost of losing an employee. PeopleKeep. www.peoplekeep.com/blog/employee-retention-the-real-cost-of-losing-an-employee.
Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive. Canongate Books.