The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

October 06, 2017

The Importance of Promoting Leadership and Development in the Workplace


Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” It is true that a great leader strikes the balance between managing and listening. However, there is merit in creating an environment to nurture leadership and the development of employees that does not undermine your management but rather bolster it. A strong leader is one who can empower others. The best way to curb concerns over the leadership pipeline is by investing in development opportunities and training for staff. Eighty-nine percent of companies see leadership as an important or very important issue in 2016; 57% believe leadership is very important – a figure up from 50% in 2015, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016.

Glassdoor’s 50 HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2017 cited rising concerns from millennials in the workplace who believed the opportunity for growth and leadership were lacking at a detrimental level that it affected their desire to stay with a company. In fact, 71% of millennials claimed they were likely to leave their companies in the next two years as they were so unhappy with how their leadership skills were being developed – 17 points higher than amongst those intended to stay beyond 2020. Statistics drawn from Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 quoted a staggering 63% of millennials believed their leadership skills were not being fully developed. This comes as no surprise, given that only seven percent of company and HR leaders stated that their companies had accelerated leadership programs for the millennial cohort. Given that the millennial generation is the future of workforces, more needs to be done to cultivate their leadership qualities; this may bode well to bridge the generational gap that still causes issues in many industries.

Gallup Women in America stated that employees working for a female manager were 1.26 times more likely to “strongly agree” that there is someone at work encouraging their development, than employees working under a male manager. They also found that employees of a female manager were six percentage points more engaged on average, than those working for a male manager. Perhaps this is because female managers are more likely to encourage a sense of leadership in her employees, or it may be because women in positions of power are the product of effective leadership cultivation in the workplace. Whatever one may deduce from these statistics, it cannot be avoided that there needs to be more empowerment in the workplace that allows employees to strive to achieve positions of leadership as well as feel that they are being supported in their career development in order to maintain their engagement with the job and the company.

Glassdoor’s What Makes a Great CEO cites the three factors most strongly correlated to CEO approval on Glassdoor as, employee satisfaction, satisfaction with senior leadership and satisfaction with career opportunities. According to PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey 2016, 49% of CEOs are changing their talent strategy to focus on the leadership pipeline so that they can help attract, retain and engage the staff needed to remain relevant and competitive. A promising figure to prove that actions are in place to improve leadership and development in the workforce, however, the figure to encapsulate the number of CEOs with the desire to make these changes, is undoubtedly larger despite budgetary and other such limitations.

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