No time for Leadership Development? Is it worth the risk?

Read Time: 2 minutes

Tamara Morton | February 9th, 2022


As a busy professional in a modern world, how many times have you caught yourself putting off a continuous improvement project because there is just not enough time in the day?

We all often do it with minor tasks like skipping breakfast, making the bed or workouts but as the pressure mounts, it's easy for that habit to creep into the workplace. Unfortunately, skipping important tasks in the workplace like leadership development will have far dire outcomes than a mid-morning sugar low caused by missing breakfast.  Failing to develop leaders in the workplace is considered to be the root cause of many business failures as culture, morale and capability are left unchecked in a rudderless environment.

If we continue to ignore leadership development in the workplace, then what's the potential risk, what could it cost us over time?

Poor workplace culture

While it is widely acknowledged that workplace culture is everyone's responsibility, leaders have the most significant impact on an organisations culture.

An organisations culture is demonstrated in a range of overt and covert attitudes, actions, and procedures. If left unchecked or influenced by negative conditions, it may manifest in:

  • Poor employee and team interactions;
  • Reduced customer service levels;
  • Diminished employee initiative and creativity;
  • Decreased information flow and communication; and
  • Reduced employee engagement and increased absenteeism.

Employee turnover

According to the Gartner survey data collected in Q2 (April-June) of 2021 around 22.5% of Australian employees are actively seeking other employment and 53.2% were passively seeking.

In Newcastle, deBa’s home base, there are currently 1,982 jobs available within the region with a starting salary of at least $80,000.00 demonstrating that there is a lot of opportunities available in today’s employment market.

Gartner reporting also found that the top 3 factors for employee turnover are;

  • work-life balance,
  • manager quality and
  • respect.

For a business, the resignation of an employee translates to lost time in recruiting, productivity reductions during onboarding and training, and the lost tacit knowledge exiting with the employee. Not to mention the financial impact to the business with turnover cost estimates ranging from 50% to 200% of the employee's salary package.

Performance mis-management

Most people don't wake up each morning intending to be bad at their job, so when an employee walks out of a “performance management” meeting after learning of all the things they are doing wrong, it's understandable that they aren't brimming with motivation.

Too many organisations use their performance management system as a means of disciplining employees or worse, managing them out of the business. The truth is that many performance management systems do not promote quality leadership, instead they are time-consuming administrative burdens that waste valuable effort that should be redirected into actual leadership.

An organisation that truly invests in leadership development provides managers with appropriate tools and mentorship to enable them to grow and improve as leaders. Integrating a common language and habit throughout the organisation of positive leadership development enables a continuous improvement culture to flourish.

The implications of skipping leadership development in the workplace are significant. At best, the organisation will lose a few good people however in the end, the organisation will likely implode with poor culture.

On the flip side, a focus on leadership development will result in an engaged workforce scaling upwards with success.

If you are looking for stunning simplicity in your leadership development program, check out this video from deBa.

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