As a leadership and change consultant, I believe “The Great Resignation” is shorthand for the collective sigh (or perhaps the cry) that emanates from management and human resources offices across the country as they watch key employees leave the fold.
As studies attempt to answer the “why”, leaders are more immediately thinking about their approach to talent management and developing strategies to retain their top talent.
Another idea also emerges: people who have always been considered top talent may actually stand in the way of new talent, quirky talent, creative talent, quiet talent, or diverse talent. Companies that revise their talent management strategy to better understand the traits, skills, and capabilities needed to achieve business goals are often better able to identify people who meet key criteria and prioritize them for career opportunities. development.
[ Also read What defines a high-performing IT team? 5 CIOs speak out. ]
Not surprisingly, when you look at talent in a new way, different employees rise to the top, especially within IT, where creativity and job performance are of critical importance. Leaders need to look beyond traditional top performers and invest in “who’s next.”
4 reasons to invest in leadership training
Here are four takeaways from conversations with leaders across multiple industries:
1. Leadership is not born, it is nurtured
In other words, it’s dishonest to use phrases like “She’s a born leader.” Leadership is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Investing in people early not only gives them a vote of confidence, but can also help them improve their performance and increase your pool of top performers over the long term.
2. Leadership training induces loyalty
We are in one of the most competitive talent markets that most of us will ever encounter. Therefore, if you don’t recognize and invest in the talents you currently have on staff, someone else will snatch them away.
If you don’t recognize and invest in the talents you currently have on staff, someone else will rip them away.
Investing in your people demonstrates several key things: you appreciate them, you care about their well-being, you care about their careers, and you’re willing to do more than just talk. In turn, they will thank you and your organization for their loyalty. In fact, in a recent Gallup study, only 24% of workers strongly agreed that their organization cares about their well-being. These employees are 69% less likely than all other workers to look for a new job and 71% less likely to report burnout.
3. Leadership training can align your employees with your brand promise
Leadership training is an opportunity to remind people of company values, what you believe in, and the kinds of behaviors you expect of them, both internally and externally. That’s the brand promise – and it’s not just the responsibility of your marketing team. As the heart and soul of your organization, your employees are the ones who deliver on your brand promise. Helping them understand what you expect from leaders and trusting them to do so will go a long way to encouraging them to be internal brand advocates and external brand ambassadors.
4. Leadership training can demonstrate equity and inclusion
Ensuring everyone is included in leadership training avoids any perception that you are playing favorites when selecting trainees. Those who want to continue on the path of leadership will eventually self-select, as will those who don’t. If you view training as an equal opportunity for all, you will undoubtedly discover individuals with unique, diverse, and perhaps non-traditional leadership potential.
For any IT organization, these four reasons alone may not be enough to bring out new leaders. You also need to create leadership opportunities, whether in the form of a job description or an expanded assignment. Identify traits you value in your leaders and provide opportunities to develop them. Look for employees who might be ready to take on more responsibility, as well as those who can handle the heat.
The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll develop the bench strength you’ll need to be confident and ready for your organization’s next challenge.
[ Discover how priorities are changing. Get the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report: Maintaining momentum on digital transformation. ]