There are many signs that an organisation needs leadership development. The length of an ideal blog means that I have been challenged to pick my top three and only discuss these. You could of course argue why leadership not management?  This is a topic we cover a lot in our CMI Management and Leadership courses, and it always causes a lot of debate.  However it is my firm belief that it is effective leadership, using management skills, that will enable an organisation to thrive rather than survive.

Employee turnover

Someone once said, “people don’t leave organisations, they leave managers.” In the majority of cases I believe this is the case when people leave because they are unhappy.  It could also be positive – that they leave due to great leaders who have developed them, and they are ready to move on to their next challenge.

If your employee turnover level is increasing and this is unrelated to industry or economy trends more investigation is needed. There could be an issue in the whole business, or perhaps the increase is only in one team.  It does not necessarily mean the leader in that area is “unpleasant” to work for. Perhaps they are struggling to motivate and engage their team or struggling managing a change in the business. They could not be challenging their team enough, and so staff need to find this elsewhere.

Putting in place leadership development to address these challenges and keep employee turnover at an acceptable level will save your business a small fortune in recruitment and retraining costs – see my third point!

Increased conflict

To be clear here, I mean unconstructive conflict that damages teams and organisations. Constructive challenge, with different opinions and ideas, is vital to grow as a successful organisation.

Conflict may be obvious to spot, whether that is an increase in grievances and complaints, arguments within teams or as basic as poor working relationships.  A good leader, who has had the right development in this area, will spot the signs of conflict brewing and deal with it head on (rather than letting it fester and blow out of control). They will also know how to manage the conflict and be sure it is resolved both fairly and constructively for all involved.

Always having to “buy in” new leaders

My final point is when a manager / team leader leaves an organisation do you always have to go externally to replace that person?  If so then it would suggest that you need to look at your succession planning and establish why there is never any one ready, able and willing to take that promotion and step in to that new role.  A development plan for all roles, and discussions with people as to their aspirations can do wonders not only for engagement but save time and money on recruiting replacements. It will of course add to your Employer Brand; as we all know development is one of the key things that attract people to new roles.

Many of our clients have a talent pipeline in place. They are putting team leaders/managers and those aspiring to be a future leader on our CMI programmes every year. This means they have a bank of people ready to take on the challenge when it occurs.

Leadership development courses

If you would like to know more about our CMI Management and Leadership and CMI Coaching and Mentoring courses, then simply click here:  

Alternatively, give us a call on 01536 215240 or email and we would be delighted to tell you more about the courses and the benefits for your team and organisation.