The Business Case for Career Development Training

What’s the top challenge managers face? How do they become peak performers ready to step into a leadership role? Think the answer is a) Exceeding a production deadline?  B) Boosting productivity? C) Hiring and engaging peak performers?  While all of those are the results of being an effective manager, research firm Bersin & Associates says in a new study…it’s all about a manager’s ability to coach their employees.effective leadership by appealing to feelings

Yet, in its High-Impact Performance Management: Part 1 – Designing a Strategy for Effectiveness (Exec. Summary) research, Bersin says, “Organizations struggle with effective coaching – senior leaders do not do it frequently and managers do not do it well. Many executives find performance management a waste of time and fail to support it.”

HR executives, who have been in the hot seat to show why they’re not a “cost-center” during these tough economic times or a necessary evil delegated to avoiding lawsuits, now have some pretty good stats for how career development drives business results. As many of you readers know, PricewaterhouseCooper did a recent study that showed younger workers prefer career development to bonuses by 3 to 1. This isn’t just feel-good stuff, A PwC survey found.:

 58 percent of millennials—the younger generation of workers—will be loyal to an organization only if they feel fulfilled in their roles.”

The year-long Bersin study of 500 HR executives across industries, company sizes and geography, connects the dots between the role of career development and business performance:

Of those organizations with very frequent executive engagement with performance management, 81 percent had strong business results –and none had below-average business results. Only 35 percent of organizations with infrequent executive engagement had strong business results.

Bersin says organizations have to take a high-level look at what they want to achieve by managing performance, what levers or talent management will move the needle and groom peak performers, how much senior managers should be involved and the how all of this aligns with the company’s business and talent strategy. It seems like a huge task but then again, the data suggests well work the effort:

Seventy-seven percent of organizations in which senior leaders hold their direct reports responsible for their employees achieving their goals meet or exceed their business objectives.”

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