20 Feb Why Your Company Needs Leadership Training
There is a long-standing debate as to whether leadership can be really taught. No matter if you believe leaders are born or developed, one thing is for certain ~ there are proficiencies that all leaders need to know in order to be effective. True, much of leadership draws from one’s inherent ability to engage and influence others. Yet it is those “skills” that can be taught.
Take coaching, for example. Gallup’s State of the Workplace Report turned the spotlight on a manager who only speaks to staff about performance once a year, during each employee’s annual review. That sort of infrequent assessment can be stressful for everyone. Moreover, it doesn’t always address an employee’s day-to-day work and share helpful guidance, focusing instead on big jobs completed during the year.
In order to better engage employees, Gallup reports that many organizations are moving toward more frequent, ongoing conversations about performance between staff and managers. A coaching model enables managers to speak with team members more often, learn more about their innate skills sets, provide meaningful feedback, and set goals together rather than for them.
But there’s a problem with this model. Truth be told, not many managers know how to have such coaching conversations when they take on a managerial role. For those who might not naturally possess the ability to develop others, the frequent discussions could prove even worse than a task-focused annual review. “Without managers receiving guidance on how to communicate effectively, ongoing performance conversations have the potential to create cultures of micromanagement, further discouraging and frustrating employees,” wrote Gallup.
Fortunately, coaching is a skill that can be learned. So can communication and other leadership skills. The willingness to lead might be innate, but all leaders can benefit from training specifically designed to develop the skills needed to improve team performance and create a positive environment of growth.
Leadership training now viewed as a benefit
Surprisingly, leadership training even at the simplest level is not offered by every organization, but studies show employees prize it. Millennials in particular consider leadership training a job perk and it is becoming a benefit.
A PricewaterHouse Cooper’s (PwC) report on Millennials At Work found younger workers were more interested in learning and development than in other kinds of benefits, even including cash bonuses. They are also interested in moving into leadership positions, and doing so faster than past generations. The report showed 52% of respondents said they’d choose a job that would let them advance through the ranks quickly over one with a higher salary.
With the importance placed on talent, companies of all sizes that want to attract and retain promising employees will have to put thought into their leadership development programs. Whatever form it takes, the organization should make sure they are meeting the needs of its employees and its managers. After all, leadership development isn’t just a perk for the employee; it benefits the company as a whole.