Running Your Business

Why Your Company Needs Leadership Development Opportunities

  • Once upon a time, leadership development opportunities were not a benefit discussed in regard to job retention
  • Today, millennial professionals and members of Generation Z consider leadership development as important as any other workplace perk
  • Companies must carefully consider the types of opportunities to offer, as well as how to deliver them
Posted by February 8, 2019

Once upon a time, when baby boomers and members of Generation X first hit the workforce, leadership development opportunities were not top-of-mind recruitment tools. Today, millennials and those in Generation Z (individuals born between 1982 and 1995) have upped the ante. In fact, inquiring about benefits packages, company perks and opportunities to develop leadership skills are now at the foreground of the hiring process.

What’s more, leadership development opportunities aren’t just good for employees, they address weaknesses in a company, increase productivity as well as innovation, improve quality standards and reduce employee turnover. Leadership development training has become a win-win for everyone.

A study commissioned by Bridge, a software company focused on employee development, found that 84 percent of millennials would stay loyal to a company that provided training and development for their future. Additionally, a Training Magazine survey found 60 percent of leaders could identify their own development needs.

How Can Your Organization Provide Enough Development Opportunities?

In the past, employers might have forsaken leadership training in the name of money, citing a lack of resources and the risk of lost productivity while workers are in classes or off the job site. Today, companies spend upward of $14 billion annually on leadership development opportunities because the importance is understood. But creating and fostering the right training programs are key to both business and employee success.

A 2017 LinkedIn survey on learning and development found that the No. 1 thing companies needed the most help with was teaching employees the ability to coach well. In fact, developing leaders, honing technical skills and training employees in a cohesive way were the top objectives globally.

Providing developmental opportunities can potentially improve a company’s bottom line, thereby enhancing retention, creating more studious and engaged employees with better morale and even improving its corporate reputation and recruitment process. With this knowledge, it’s now important that organizations work diligently with staff to integrate a successful training strategy.

Training can (and should) be related to some of the following objectives:

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Technical skills
  • Public speaking/presentation
  • Soft skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Management styles
  • Deal-making/negotiation/sales

Training opportunities can be delivered through a combination of on- and off-site workshops and classes. In addition, this information can be shared via on-the-job training, mentoring, individual or off-time study, viewing TED Talks on leadership, hosting lunch and learns, attending conferences and participating in industry-wide events.

What Leadership Development Opportunities Will Work Best at Your Organization?

For the best outcomes, companies should identify what types of training would lead to the most successful changes for both the bottom line and employee growth. On top of that, having a way to measure the success of any training programs implemented can be useful in deciding which training and development topics—and course of study—provide the most value for all involved.

In the one to five years following each training opportunity, try using metrics to get an idea of how much sales, cost savings or client loads increased, as well as assess participants’ promotions and career development (or exits). Detailed feedback surveys asking for employees’ thoughts around the improvements or changes made can also be incredibly useful.

Investing in leadership training to enrich your colleagues’ skills, elevate their performance and enrich your company culture can be attained through effective leadership programs. Give ample thought to what type of leadership development training could make the difference for your company—and who’d administer it.

Looking for other useful ways to support and engage your fellow employees? Take some time to explore United Concordia Dental’s Employer Toolkit for helpful resources and inspiration.

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