By Barb Ward

What we know: When leaders invest in their employees, it helps build teams that are more engaged and productive in their work, and more committed to the organization.

Still unsure? Consider these statistics:

  • 92% of employees think having access to professional development is very important or important.
  • Employees with professional development opportunities have 34% higher retention.
  • Employees with professional development opportunities are 15% more engaged at work.
  • 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence.
  • Over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.
  • 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment in coaching and more.

Source: The Impact of Professional Development

These facts are particularly important in a time when finding and retaining the best talent for your organization is increasingly difficult, and reskilling or upskilling is becoming a necessity to remain competitive.

So, if your organization is like most—the people within are constantly striving to do better, be better, and innovate better—now may be the perfect time to reassess how you are investing in them to ensure they have the skills and support they need to help them—and you—reach those goals?

Investing in Your Most Powerful Asset

A dual approach to investing in your employees may be your best option. Organizations should strongly consider:

  • Professional Development
  • Professional Coaching

Here’s why:

One of the top three reasons people leave an employer is a direct result of a bad manager. This is troubling because not only is it difficult to hire in this competitive job market, but it is also a time-consuming and costly process for organizations. According to information from The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM, Jan. 2023), on average, it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her. So if you have an employee that makes $60,000 annually, it costs an estimated $30,000 – $45,000 in recruiting and retraining costs to replace them.

What’s more, according to the HBR article, Quiet Quitting Is About Bad Bosses, Not Bad Employees, ineffective frontline managers have three to four times as many team members who are “quiet quitting” compared to their effective counterparts. This is a big deal because quiet quitters, on average, cost companies 34% of salary costs in lost productivity. So, add this to the costs associated with those physically quitting and your organization is quickly in serious financial trouble.

This problem becomes more complex when you add the fact that about 80% of individuals report to a frontline leader, and up to 40% of those leaders are in the first year of a leadership role.

On the flip side, the report says that companies with effective frontline managers have 30% more engaged employees and 15% fewer quiet quitters.

It quickly becomes apparent that investing in professional development to train and retain our greatest asset is indeed a good investment. So, let’s take a look at some of the issues and how they can be adeptly addressed.

Helping Leaders Succeed

Why are so many frontline leaders ineffective?

It is a widely known fact that between 50 – 70% of new leaders fail within 18 months of hire. The reasons vary of course, but some common denominators include:

  • Lack of communication and listening skills that allow them to build trust with their teams and their stakeholders.
  • Failure to learn or assimilate to the organizational culture (assumption that what worked elsewhere will work here too).
  • Overcommitting and making mistakes before understanding the full scope of work, environment, culture, and process.

While this doesn’t encompass all of the possibilities for leadership failure, it does give a jumping-off point for making a difference. It seems that doing better and being better is within reach simply by providing professional development opportunities and coaching to build the skills and effectiveness of frontline managers.

This is where the dual approach comes in.

First, choosing the right professional development program can help leaders:

  • Expand their self-awareness and emotional intelligence skills.
  • Build trusting partnerships to enhance team effectiveness and accelerate collaborative relationships.
  • Deepen communication and listening skills to build trust with teams and stakeholders.

Our Conscious Leader program is crafted to facilitate learning integration and team collaboration over time (typically six to 12 months), because we know from experience that transformational learning takes time.

Using research-based models and experiential learning, we guide you through a variety of teachings and activities that will help you deepen your self-awareness and discover your unique leadership styles to support your organization’s mission, values, and goals. You will experience growth in leadership competencies and interpersonal effectiveness.

Second, organization-sponsored coaching can help leaders proactively build team and workforce culture, support employee performance and engagement, and increase retention. In fact, according to a global survey conducted by The International Coaching Federation:

  • 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence.
  • Over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.
  • 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment in coaching and more.

Organization-sponsored coaching is a partnership between the employer, the leader, and an experienced, neutral Innovative Connections coach. After a discussion between all three to determine goals, meeting frequency, and timeline for the coaching, the coach and the individual begin developing their relationship through a deeper discussion of the goals and challenges, as well as delving into the development or refinement of skills and work approaches that can enable individuals to be more effective in their roles and have a clearer understanding of their career trajectory.

Together, or separately, these give organizations the tools to empower their leaders, and leaders the tools to successfully build their careers, and engage, motivate, and transform their teams.

If any of this sounds like a path you want to walk with your organization, let’s talk. Contact us for a no-obligation, free consultation by clicking this link: Innovative Connections or calling us at 970-279-3330.

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