By, Cari Desiderio
Who is the stand out boss in your life? If you have been so blessed with that great leader. For me it was my boss in 2009, Jim. Jim had an interesting perspective on a lot of things in life and remains a bit of a life coach to this day. He also had an interesting perspective on developing team members. A perspective that was game changing for me, which I benefited from. It went like this. Hire people that you can invest in and build up, who are apt and able to take on projects. And give them work. Don’t fear they will be a threat (if you do that you probably ought not to be a leader). Rather give them opportunity. Exposure. Coaching. Jim essentially was following the 70/20/10 leadership development model. In my time with that company I was sponsored to get my SPHR at no cost. I was trained on change management through a great college program. I was stretched to the point of fearing I might break (that was the point – challenge you until you really grow). And within four months Jim got me promoted. When a new role opened, he didn’t suggest the company go to the outside because he was preparing me to take on the role. Without his preparation I am sure I would have failed.
And luckily I’ve been so blessed with other strong leaders. I humbly hope I can follow the same model as I have the responsibility of shepherding of my own. Why? Two important reasons why.
Important Reason Number One: When we develop our team members we engage our team members. This leads to money in the company’s pocket in the form of more work and great output and innovations. Because I knew that Jim was my advocate and my coach and committed to my promotion, I was all in. All in because I was being cared for and developed. Contributing admittedly a bit more than I may have in some other jobs. Because I had a great leader who knew he would be stronger, if I was stronger. Wow. I know that the field of training and development is a bit more complex than this and I spent two years studying it. But frankly in a nutshell this is the heart of it. Leaders who enjoy developing and teaching and promoting their people, lead companies that win.
Important Reason Number Two: When we develop our team members we reduce our turnover and quite simply don’t need to keep hiring as many people from the outside. This is pretty simple one to quantify. Recent survey results pointed to the fact that 40% of employees who receive poor training (this doesn’t even get into the more advanced development side of things) will leave their company within one year of employment. Another statistic projects that 1 out of 4 employees expect to leave their job within a year. Common reasons cited are concerns around job stability, pay cuts and cuts in training and investment. And I suppose we might factor in the millennial generation which is a generation that leaves jobs every three years or less and development and engagement are key drivers for them. Considering the millennial generation will be almost half the workforce in a few years, this ship is not going to stop sailing. The average cost per hire can be computed many ways but a common rough estimate is $2500 per hire (raw cost not factoring in tribal knowledge lost or the impact on team).
One idea to promote more promotions within is to actually connect your talent acquisition and talent development teams. Create a funnel of ready candidates (the results of your 9-box, or whatever talent management and succession tool you use). Make sure your recruiters all have this list. And, measure it! Set stretch targets. If your current internal job fill percentage is 15%, make it 20% for next year, 25% the year after, and keep going. A really healthy goal is to grow to as high as a 50% target. Because if development is really happening, this will happen organically eventually!
Simply put, it is good business to coach, develop, train and care about our employees. I just got off the phone this week with a dear business friend who once worked for me. He is celebrating his new HR Director job that he more than earned. Hats off to him for developing rapid fire to earn a seat with a big company and a great job. Having him on my team when I was his boss years back, only made me stronger because he delivered unbelievable results and together we turned around a somewhat broken HR department. I could not have delivered at the level I did without the team I hired at the time. And truth is that hiring the best and promoting the best is a big win win for all. The company – wins in the form of business results. The manager who develops – wins because their team IS their reputation. The employee being developed – wins in the form of career acceleration and achievement. So go out there and invest a little more time in your team – let’s win TOGETHER!