There’s an old saying that goes…People don’t leave companies; they leave their managers. Statistics taken from exit interviews support this golden nugget of wisdom. From interviews conducted of employees who voluntarily leave companies, 3 out of every 4 cite their direct supervisor as the primary reason for leaving.
With 75% of employees choosing to leave the company and blaming their direct supervisors as the cause for their decision, you’d think that more companies would be investing in Leadership Development. While most business owners would agree that there is value in all aspects of professional development, taking action on this idea is not given the sense of urgency it deserves. It seems that Leadership Development is often a topic that gets pushed to the “maybe/future” pile of most executive conference tables because companies are often unwilling to invest the TIME, MONEY, and COMMITMENT into something that does not guarantee a return, much less immediate results.
So, why should company leaders make the risky investment in Leadership Development?
It costs more to ignore the problem. A LOT more.
Failure to retain employees is expensive. Employee turnover costs businesses in the United States about $11 BILLION EACH YEAR. Using the logic of numbers and statistics, if we transformed the BAD SUPERVISORS cited on those exit interviews into GOOD SUPERVISORS, that would save about $8.25 BILLION. Additionally, many other problems such as poor hiring, ineffective job training, low job satisfaction, would plummet if more companies invested in Leadership Development.
Employees aren’t just dissatisfied with their boss…they aren’t so sure about the Big Boss either.
80% of employees report being dissatisfied with their current immediate supervisor. But it’s not just “direct superiors” that are the problem. 70% lack confidence in the leadership abilities of upper-management as well. The primary reason for this is the “iceberg” concept. According to Tim Elmore, 10% of the iceberg that sits above the water is leadership skills) and the other 90% that lies below the surface is leadership character. It’s what’s below the surface that threatens the organization’s success.
When director-level leaders ignore problems created by middle managers’ and supervisors’ poor character, employees begin to lose confidence in those who are creating the culture and the corporate mission. Line-level employees are very aware of what is actually happening in the organization. They know which of their co-workers is a slacker, who is stealing, and who is the boss’s favorite. They also know if their direct supervisor is effective or ineffective. If executive leaders really want to make an impact, they should schedule skip-level meetings and take action on what employees share in those conversations.
Poor employee engagement is stunting your company’s growth.
71% of workers polled in the U.S. reported that they were not engaged at work. What does this mean? In simple terms: THEY DO NOT CARE. They perform at the “getting by” level. They do what is necessary to avoid being hassled or getting fired. If they have any good ideas to improve the business, they don’t share them with management. They don’t even complain to management anymore because it’s wasted effort. For these 71%, they see their jobs as a necessary evil they must endure in order to exist. Most companies undervalue the magic of employee engagement.
A company with highly engaged employees has virtually unlimited growth potential. Engaged employees compose strong teams with consistently high performing team players. Engaged employees come up with and share ideas because they are not only encouraged but expected to do so. They don’t just point out problems…they offer solutions! And here’s the truth…employee engagement is a direct reflection of leadership. Without the right leader, engagement will never happen.
Making an investment in Leadership Development might be a risky one. Truly successful programs require investments of time, money, and complete commitment from the top – down. Will the investment pay off? That depends on several key elements. But there is zero chance of your company ever reaching its full potential with weak leaders in place. Even if your company is presently doing well, a strong Leadership Development program will do much to ensure future growth and success. And if your company is stagnant or struggling, enacting the right Leadership Program might just be the missing component needed to achieve business goals.
Bullock Consulting can help your organization construct a Leadership Development program tailored for success. Check out our website http://www.bullockconsulting.net/ to find out how we can help.