What percentage of your team members have actually quit your organization, but remain on the payroll? The percentage is undoubtedly much higher than you think. We live in a world where employees are apathetic and employee engagement is much lower than most surveys indicate.

The drain on productivity, sales and profitability is much larger than most organizations realize. According to this Apollo Technical article on employee retention, it costs an employer an average of 33% of an employee’s yearly salary for their exit.

Many times, when employees leave an organization, they are actually leaving ineffective leaders and toxic cultures. The solution to this problem often lies in strengthening the skills of leaders.

Gallup is an organization that provides analytics and advice to help businesses solve pressing problems. They have been tracking employee engagement in the United States for 15 years. They have found that since they began tracking engagement, the numbers have not changed much.

  • Only 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged.
  • By engaged, Gallup means enthusiastic and committed to their work and workplace.
  • Worldwide the number is actually 13%.

In some ways, we have an epidemic of employee disengagement!

How Leader Development Can Change the Tide

Strengthening the skills of leaders in organizations through

  1. leader development processes,
  2. coaching and recognizing and
  3. promoting strong leaders of people

can be a catalyst in changing the tide.

Most leaders are overburdened, fearful and they lack the leadership skills or support needed to be effective. They do not feel that they have the time to invest in their employees –or even themselves, and they often are not rewarded for employee development and engagement efforts.

Leaders spend the bulk of their time on tactical issues and fighting the fire of the moment. They are often unwilling to share their struggles with superiors for fear of being viewed as ineffective and/or unable to get the job done.

This does not result in innovation. It results in an environment of compliance and checking boxes. Good, innovative ideas remain in the hearts and minds of leaders and the people who report to them.

The answer is development, which involves training, coaching and accountability. It includes motivating, inspiring and recognizing your people.

However, this does not matter if, as leaders, we do not model the way. Employees often watch what leaders do rather than focus on what we say.

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. “

–Andrew Carnegie, Scottish American industrialist and philanthropist, 1835-1919

As a leader, what are your areas of opportunity for professional growth?

  • Determine the areas and begin the process of changing.
  • What do your people really need and want?
  • Have you asked them?
  • If the answer is no, why not?
  • Begin the conversation today!

It could prove to be invaluable to your employees, customers, organization, shareholders and you.

How Investing in Employees’ Growth Can Help your Company

The most noticeable return is employee retention. LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report states that 93% of employees would stay at their job longer if the company offered career development.

Investing in employee development involves more than upskilling employees with technical skills. A focus on soft skills like effective communication, adaptability and more helps to prime employees for the accelerating pace of change in business and industry today.

A robust internal talent pipeline, as opposed to always looking outside for senior level employees, provides many benefits. Employees who’ve been with the company for a while know the culture and how the company operates, reducing ramp-up time, and already have a sense of loyalty.

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