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Can Leadership Development Close the Leadership Gap?

Many businesses are currently experiencing a leadership gap. Demand for effective leadership in our changing environment is growing and the supply of effective leaders is dwindling. As a result many companies that never thought it would be hard to find talent, are suddenly struggling to find and retain qualified employees and leaders.

Most companies are trying to set themselves apart in their compensation packages to attract higher caliber applicants. Many of those same companies are failing to see the conundrum in the leadership gap. That the very same skills they are looking for in candidates and want in their employees, they are unwilling to invest in the development and training necessary to achieve.

Baby boomers are retiring, and we are seeing an influx of millennials enter the workforce. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. And according to Gallup, 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job. Millennials want growth in their jobs and want to take advantage of growth opportunities. Offering leadership development to your employees is a huge draw for the current workforce. It not only raises the bar on your current employees, it also attracts fresh new talent that is eager to learn and grow.

Every organization is looking for the extraordinary leader that can take their success to the next level. But extraordinary leaders are not always born leaders, some were fostered into their role through leadership development. If an organization could invest in leadership development and grow internal leaders into the dream teams they want, why wouldn’t they invest in their own?

An interesting concept is that 83% of employers state it’s crucial to develop leaders at all levels, but only 5% of corporations implement improvements[1]. Only 5%! Candidates and employees may see this unwillingness to invest in them as a direct connection to how much they are valued. Which Impacts retention. We know that recruiting new employees is costly. Why not invest in existing employees through providing leadership development, to increase retention.

There are many perks you can add to your recruiting package that can make you stand out to candidates; ability to work remotely, vacation time, higher pay, etc. But few will compare to the value candidates see in your willingness to invest in your employees through leadership development.

[1] Business Insider, Your vacation is stressing out your millennial coworkers, and social media is only making it worse


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