Nine out of 10 HR professionals are dissatisfied with the amount of training and development their organization’s managers and supervisors receive. And while they want to provide more opportunities to develop their company’s leaders, a recent survey of over 240 HR professionals conducted by the Rapid Learning Institute suggests that the biggest barrier they face is lack of organizational commitment to employee development.
When asked why more managerial training isn’t offered, a third of HR pros said it was because their organization didn’t provide enough resources. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that managers and supervisors don’t have the time to attend more training. And another 12% said that training isn’t supported by the company’s leadership.
Taken together, these three factors point to a serious lack of organizational commitment to developing current and future leaders. If training and development were a priority for the company, managers would make time for it. But if the top brass signals that training is a nice-to-have but not a must-have, front-line managers will find reasons not to do it.
Perhaps HR is more sensitive to the need for leadership training because they’re the ones who have to deal with the fallout from poorly trained managers: turnover, absenteeism, recruitment problems, low productivity, low engagement and, of course, lawsuits.
If 90% of HR managers think their organizations need to do more to develop effective leaders, a good place for them to start might be to highlight and quantify the consequences of poor leadership. For example, how does your organization stack up to others in terms of its reputation as a great place to work? How many good employees have left because of bad bosses? How many stellar candidates have decided they’d rather work for another company with a reputation for high-quality management? How many current employees are willing to tell their friends and associates that your company is a great place to work? How much business has been lost because employees have been demotivated by bad managers?
Bottom line: If a company isn’t committed to leadership development, and if it doesn’t routinely demonstrate that commitment to its managers, then it is missing a significant opportunity. And it’s up to HR to show the C-suite what it costs to have poorly trained managers.
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