All Employees Benefit—and Yours Will, Too!
A common misconception and problem at many companies is the thought that leadership training should be targeted towards leaders, or at worst, at employees who are one step away from a leadership role within the organization. It’s an understandable mistake to make, but it does indicate that there is a lack of understanding of what “leadership” means, and how important it is in the workplace for every single employee. We’re going to take a look at what leadership training is (or should be), how it can benefit every employee, and how readjusting the understanding of good leadership throughout the organization can have a very powerful impact on the company moving forward.
What is Leadership Training?
The first thing to set straight would be to point out what leadership training shouldn’t be about, ie, simply ensuring that someone can lead. Instead, leadership training should start with an understanding and development of the qualities that make a good leader. When we focus on each of these individual qualities, benefits arise from each of them, and it is those benefits combined with those qualities that start someone on a path to leadership. Those qualities are arguably an endless list, but some of the key traits are:
- Strong work ethic
- Problem Solving
Show us a leader who doesn’t have those and many other positive traits, and you’re not showing us a good leader.
How Does Leadership Training Benefit All Employees
This question may already have answers forming in your mind as we briefly explored what leadership training should be. As you move down the list of qualities above, it becomes very apparent that these traits would be highly desirable for every employee to nurture and excel in, so the answer to this question is already becoming apparent.
- PRODUCTIVITY: Having employees who start showing a stronger work ethic, dedication, and discipline to their job will clearly have a positive effect on their productivity.
- RETENTION: Creating an environment of motivated and inspired employees means you will have happier employees, which has positive effects on many levels of an organization – job satisfaction leads to better job retention, which in turn leads to more time focusing on the employees in an organization than attempting to attract new talent. However, if new talent is needed due to company growth, the environment of inspired, motivated employees will only help attract the best talent when you do need to hire.
- INNOVATION: Employees with a more creative vision and better problem-solving skills will lead to greater innovation in the company and creating new mindsets on how various parts of the company can be improved. New ideas and an ever-evolving work landscape also keeps employees’ minds fresh, and again, adds to the job satisfaction mentioned above.
- LEADERSHIP: It shouldn’t be overlooked, of course, that leadership training and the nurturing of these qualities does produce future leaders, and having all employees understanding these qualities makes selecting new management and leaders all the more simplified
What are the Benefits to The Company?
As we have stated, having employees being more productive, happier, and more innovative will have an enormous impact in any organization. But above and beyond this, employees having an understanding of the qualities of leadership will help them to be more understanding and proactive when it comes to their interactions with their managers, being more empathetic to company-wide strategies, and understanding what it takes to succeed as a company.
- DECISION-MAKING: Going through such leadership training, employees will become better decision-makers, and the positive impact this has on the day-to-day operation of an organization can’t be overstated. If you think of the average company, dealing with bad decisions from employees can be immensely costly both in terms of the time it takes to deal with such errors, as well as the financial impact of these decisions. Having employees who have had, and who understand leadership training, means that the vision and discipline they were taught will more often than not lead to correct decisions being made without the need for constant micro-management.
- A NEW STRUCTURE: While most companies will continue to have their pyramid-like structure of executives and management, something very important happens to the base of that structure when all employees are given leadership training. Group projects being undertaken by just a few team members will now have leadership driving them without needing a manager to be taking part. This leadership and initiative, along with all the other traits we have mentioned, means that the base of an organization becomes a well-oiled machine that operates, when necessary, independently from the executive and management above, freeing up more time for that branch to tackle more executive tasks and actions.
- FUTURE-PROOF: Nobody can predict the future, and most companies have had enough experience to “expect the unexpected”, but few take action to mitigate the unexpected. How many times has leadership suddenly quit, retired, or moved on, and an organization has to race to find a replacement? Obviously, this happens more often than we’d like, and the rush for a replacement means either bringing someone in who doesn’t understand the company or product, or rapidly promoting someone without the necessary leadership skills. Having all of your employees go through and understand leadership training means that this second option becomes a much less stressful task. In fact, the only stress becomes which of your employees to promote – not a bad problem to have!
Leadership training for all employees is a big investment, but without investment within your own organization and investment in your own people, failure will always be staring you down. It’s also not an overnight investment, but one that will take time to reap the benefits, and with good implementation and careful planning, such an investment will lay the groundwork for a stable and prosperous organization for many years to come.