Leader Development Goals Today
New research reveals why organizations are investing in development now. Use the results to help achieve your leader development goals.
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Six Leader Development Goals Driving Corporate Investment
Today’s six major goals of leadership development: retention, engagement, wellbeing, leadership competency, pipeline and inclusion. These are the dominant themes from our recent research and from other talent management studies.
IMPACT Group’s Fit for Purpose Leadership Study comprises responses from 100+ CHROs and other talent leaders on their leader development goals. The study revealed that 52% say the top reason their organization would invest in leadership development is for employee retention, engagement and wellbeing.
1. Retention Goal
McKinsey conducted a 2022 global survey of 13,000+ employees and learned that the top three reasons employees leave a job is “lack of career development and advancement” (41%), “inadequate total compensation” (36%) and “uncaring and uninspiring leaders” (34%).
As the McKinsey study indicates, development promotes retention in two ways. Those who receive training and development opportunities are more likely to stay. Second, those who get coached on leadership development learn how to be better leaders, which creates higher retention. That’s because leaders who are more emotionally intelligent, caring and inspiring are the kind of leaders few employees want to leave.
2. Engagement Goal
Being selected for a leadership development program can be the start of increased engagement. The leader knows the employer has identified her potential and is making an investment in her future with the company. As the program unfolds, the program facilitator or coach will encourage the leaders’ engagement. Likewise, a more engaged leader is likely to have a more engaged team.
3. Wellbeing Goal
Leadership development programs – particularly those that include coaching – can promote wellbeing. Coaching programs can help leaders manage stress. As an example, a coach may help the leader identify their locus of control – what they can and cannot control. The coach may encourage the leader to take time for self-care and point out behaviors that may detract from the leaders’ wellbeing. And when leaders take care of their wellbeing, employees may be more likely to follow.
4. Leadership Competency Goal
According to IMPACT Group’s study, 51% of organizations report they would most likely invest in leadership development to improve leadership competencies. That may seem like the obvious answer. But it bears mentioning that only 33% say they would invest to address derailing behaviors. The takeaway: leadership development investment is more likely to be focused on high potentials and high performers, not necessarily those with poor leadership skills.
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We’re interested in 1-on-1 coaching for leaders/high potentials (below exec level) to prepare them for larger roles and real-world issues.
5. Pipeline Goal
Organizations invest in leadership development to prepare future leaders. According to IMPACT Group’s study, 67% said their organization is “interested in 1-on-1 coaching for leaders and high potentials below the executive level to prepare them for larger roles and real-world issues.”
6. Inclusion Goal
Leadership development opportunities – including coaching – used to be reserved for the executive ranks and likely executive successors, who for years were mostly white males. IMPACT Group’s 2022 study asked which populations are most likely to be offered external development coaching opportunities within the next 12 to 18 months. While 47% said their organization had such coaching programs already for executives and their successors, 36% said women and 33% said diverse populations will likely be offered coaching.
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