Engagement 1With shifting workplace dynamics and increased on-the-job transparency[1], employees are beginning to demand more and more from their employers. In a nutshell, this means that if organizations can’t keep their workforce engaged, employees will likely quickly move on to their next opportunity.  

 

 

Why Developing Your Leadership Pipeline Needs to be a Priority

With shifting workplace dynamics and increased on-the-job transparency[1], employees are beginning to demand more and more from their employers. In a nutshell, this means that if organizations can’t keep their workforce engaged, employees will likely quickly move on to their next opportunity.

One solution to the perennial engagement challenge is to develop a solid leadership pipeline that will help ensure sustainable performance, growth and motivation – particularly for your best employees.

Deb LaMere - LinkedIn Pic.jpgDeb LaMere, vice president of human resources strategy and engagement at Ceridian, says, “If employees feel like they are being developed and receiving constructive feedback to help them continually improve, they are more likely to remain committed to your organization’s mission and goals. This is particularly true as you work towards developing your leaders of tomorrow.”

Workforce Leadership Trends

The recently released Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report highlights that leadership gaps continue to be a critical problem for organizations. In fact,

  • 86 percent of surveyed HR and business leaders cited leadership as one of their most important challenges;
  • Fewer than 50 percent of C-suite executives feel they are receiving any development at all;
  • And lower down in the organization, only six percent of respondents reported having “excellent” programs in place to develop Millennials.

Whether focused primarily on leadership development or overall career growth for all levels, companies can take several steps to develop an engaged and committed culture of employees. Experts at Deloitte recommend companies start by considering the following factors[2]:

Get executive buy-in – Without leadership support for developing the next generation of leaders, it will be difficult to maintain long-term momentum and commitment for the cause.  A continuous investment in leadership development is critical for success. Having your executives on board will help make this possible.

Understand your leadership priorities – Leaders will help you reach your business goals, so you must first clearly identify your top priorities.  The type of leader you need will be different if you are looking for a strong negotiator versus a relationship-focused leader. Once you’ve determined your business priorities, set up a framework or capability model for developing your leadership succession plan.

Develop leaders at all levels – While preparing your future C-suite leaders is important, it is just as important to think about how you train and develop front-line and mid-level managers. In engagement surveys, these are the leaders who have been found to have the most influence on employee engagement and retention.

“At Ceridian,” LaMere explains, “we have developed a ‘Managers Essential’ training program to help set our mid-level leaders up for success. The course has been well received, and we have found it to be an important part of developing all of the leaders in our organization.”

Encourage effective performance management – Maintaining regular performance conversations and encouraging 360-degree feedback among peers can help ensure that you are not missing opportunities to develop leaders.

Look to your community – Often leadership opportunities exist where you’re not expecting them. Partner with external business organizations, colleges, universities, non-profit organizations and other third-party groups to see where new leadership development opportunities may exist. As a bonus, maintaining a high level of community presence can help you continually recruit the best talent.

As you evaluate your leadership development program, keep these considerations in mind. Even taking small steps towards improving your talent management strategy can pay off when it comes to retaining and developing your leaders of today and tomorrow.

For more information:

  • Take our HR leadership quiz
  • Read our article on harnessing middle managers for engagement success
  • Learn about Ceridian’s Performance Management

[1] A 2015 trend noted by Josh Bersin in his blog post on the topic

[2] http://dupress.com/articles/developing-leaders-perennial-issue-human-capital-trends-2015/?id=us:2el:3dc:dup1130:eng:cons:hct15