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Winning the War for Talent: Retaining Employees in 2022 With Leadership Development Opportunities

ICC December 22, 2021 0 Comments

By: Courtney Beam

Turnover tsunami – a term coined by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to describe the anticipated ups and downs of the job market in 2021. The anticipation alone likely left HR and other business leaders feeling scrambled as they braced for impact, facing tides of challenges resulting from the extreme turnover throughout the year. Now that 2022 is here, is the tsunami almost over or is just getting started? Research tells us that it’s not over, and the war for talent will continue into 2022. ICC released a Workforce Trends Survey last year that indicated one of the top concerns of business leaders moving into 2022 remains talent retention, and trends tell us that employees are leaving for a multitude of reasons – one of which is lack of leadership development solutions.

Leaders can battle turnover by acting quickly to launch leadership development opportunities for employees who have the greatest impact on their workforce (typically front-line managers). If employees are on the verge of leaving, a bad manager will certainly send them running for the door. Equally so, a good manager will improve retention, even in times of severe turnover.

Many HR leaders don’t have time to create and implement  leadership development solutions or programs from scratch for  their leaders. If you’ve ever looked outward for support, you know the options are seemingly endless, and it can be hard to know where to look and who to trust with your development dollars. Do you have any of the following reservations around incorporating development into your retention strategy?

What if my managers don’t have time? For the employees remaining, their time is even more limited. We know that a lot of front-line managers have been left to pick up the extra work until you can rally more troops. Couple that with the knowledge that many managers crave (and need) leadership development opportunities and also don’t have the time. Organizations don’t have the luxury of time to send a group of key employees offsite for development – nor is it effective. Seek out a leadership development solution that offers shorter bursts of learning to maximize your employee’s valuable time.

What if the training is ineffective? Most leaders agree that the need for offering leadership development opportunities is high but are hesitant to waste development dollars on learning that doesn’t lead to improved outcomes for the leaders and organization. This is for good reason – most traditional training methods lack learning retention. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve tells us that most learners will forget more than 50% of what they’ve just learned in the weeks following a learning event. If you want someone to remember what they’ve learned, you must reinforce it. A quality leadership development program should not only focus on delivering new theories but also incorporate content specifically designed to reinforce learning.

Will they apply what they’ve learned? The leaders that are often considered for leadership development opportunities are technically sound, and simply need help applying leadership concepts to their actual job. How do you ensure they apply what they learn? Traditional training doesn’t offer learners the opportunity to practice their new skills under the guidance of a leadership coach (without spending a fortune). There is huge benefit to intentionally weaving leadership development programs and coaching into theory to give leaders the space to practice their new skills, receive feedback and make the learning applicable to them.

Who will hold them accountable? How many times have you attended a professional development class only to come back to work and never talk about it again? Even the most motivated leader may have trouble applying leadership theory to their job, in their department, or with their direct reports. The progress they make will eventually fade if their manager doesn’t support them in the processor isn’t holding them accountable to continue applying what they’ve learned back on the job. Imagine the impact development could have if the participant’s manager was also prompting conversations about leadership and learning.

If you don’t already have something in place, let us be your partner! ICC’s Emerging Leaders Development Program combats the most common leadership development fears. Ideal for busy leaders in a remote or geographically dispersed workforce, this leadership development program is online-based and applies research-backed learning techniques combined with live leadership coaching, built-in learning reinforcement and accountability. This Accelerator™ program also includes tools designed to involve the participant’s manager to increase accountability as they begin to practice and apply the learning. The best part? This leadership development solution can be tailored to your business needs as we have a series of ready-to-launch courses that can be immediately implemented for quick success.

The tsunami likely isn’t over yet and the battle for talent has just begun. In 2022, it will be critical that HR and other business leaders are proactive and act quickly to protect their most valuable asset – their employees. Contact us today to learn more about our online leadership development solution.

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