In a world where talent and innovation reign supreme, investing in leadership development has become a crucial strategic move for organizations across industries. Research conducted over the past year reveals staggering statistics that highlight the significance of nurturing and empowering leaders. By delving into these findings, we gain valuable insights into the importance of leadership development, as well as the barriers preventing organizations from fully embracing this transformative practice.
The results of these research findings might be surprising to some more cynical individuals, including the 11% of senior executives surveyed by McKinsey & Co. who felt their leadership development initiatives had a clear business impact.1
Leadership coach Susan Aloi, PhD, FACMPE, interim assistant program director and professor for the Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) Population Health program at Thomas Jefferson University, thinks she understands why there might be doubters around the return on investment for assessing leadership competencies and growing them.
“In all of my research over the past 24 months,” Aloi noted during her 2023 MGMA Summit presentation, “I found that 80% of health systems believed … the investment in leadership development is a strategic imperative, [yet] only 20% of them actually invest in leadership development.”
The impact of leadership development
As professionals strive to find fulfillment in their work, it’s no surprise that, as Aloi noted from her research, 25% of employees express a desire to engage in tasks aligned with their strengths — this aspiration has far-reaching implications for employee satisfaction and overall productivity. Additionally, Aloi pointed to the important role of development to fuel higher worker satisfaction: Gallup workforce polling has found that 87% of millennial workers rate development opportunities and professional/career growth as important in their job, and nearly 6 in 10 (59%) rank those opportunities as “extremely important” when applying for jobs.2
And in a continually competitive market for healthcare workers, these types of opportunities can help stave off staff departures in an era when more than 70% of high-retention-risk employees will leave their company to advance their career.3 Employee engagement studies from Deloitte support the rationale for doing more in leadership development, as their findings point to retention rates being 30% to 50% higher in companies with strong learning cultures.4