The report proposes to discuss leadership and management development as a vital professional practice for improving organizational performance. Leadership and management are two different but intertwined concepts in the operationalization of organizations, and, they are all meant for improving or maintaining performance. According to Harvard Business (2018), leadership seems to be more oriented toward organizational goals, while management deals mostly with tasks, roles, and duties in an organization. Leadership development refers to enhancing the capacity of employees to perform better in leadership roles within an organization. On the other hand, management development is how managers improve their skills to manage operations better. Most organizations today carry out employee development programs aimed at increasing their output, which is much needed in steering any business towards achieving set goals. On the contrary, there are organizations that choose to avoid engaging employees in any programs meant for sharpening their skills or enhancing their organizational capabilities. while others choose to avoid any programs aimed at sharpening employees’ skills. Therefore, organizations seem to have reserved views about employees’ enhancement- with some seeing it as a liability, and others viewing it as an asset.
The overall objectives of this report are:
- To identify and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of leadership and management development.
- To present some of the main reasons, according to research, why leadership and management development can improve organizational performance.
Advantages of Leadership and Management Development
Leadership and Management Development Creates Skilled and Empowered Employees
Leadership and management are not all about undertaking day-long evaluations of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track an organization’s progress. Leadership and management involve taking a self-note of how well leaders and managers lead or manage (Harvard Business, 2018). These might seem pretty obvious functions of a leader or a manager. Still, most organizations lack a clear framework that has the “how well do I do it” question, making managerial work difficult. Additionally, this slows organizational performance and reduces profitability. Through leadership and management development, top employees in the organization get equipped with the most relevant, and up-to-date skills needed to perform their duties efficiently.
Leadership and managerial skills such as budgeting, planning, quality control, and staffing could be easily imparted to managers. However, how well these functions are undertaken is what makes a manager a leader. Therefore, updating skills, and continually enhancing them, is a perfect way of doing away with ‘hero-leadership’, and creating a harmonious and productive working environment. Therefore, through leadership and management development, organizations can foster better working environments where leaders and managers possess all skills needed to enhance employees’ performance and the organization.
Leadership and Management Development Encourages Innovation
Improving leadership and management skills creates room for innovation within an organization. Whether in the development of a new product line, new ways of measuring efficiency, expanding the market share, or hiring new employees, it helps make employees a source of new ideas because their skills are sharpened periodically through development initiatives. According to the Harvard School of Business (2018), innovative leaders and managers act as the agents of innovation in their organizations by encouraging and inciting creativity and productivity among employees. Through creative learning techniques, organizations can quickly meet both their short-term and long-term goal on time and efficiently. Well-equipped leaders and managers always encourage their employees to look beyond their company, industry, line of product, and outside their roles for ideas that have worked for others. Innovative ways of owning such ideas and making them work in their organization or positions is an excellent skill for engaging staff members. This co-creation of ideas sparks creativity, and in a way, incorporates all employees in decision making. This results in improved staff morale and a higher sense of belonging to the industry they work for.
In the modern-day business world, leadership and management development equips leaders with the most relevant skills to encourage employees to think creatively because it is the only breakthrough to organizational success. Through leadership and management development, it becomes easier to motivate employees to come up with better ways of solving problems. Through creative thinking, businesses are able to grow, at the same time, promote a sense of care for the organization. Further, leaders gain the skills needed to remain welcoming to staff members’ ideas and rethink competitions to achieve sales targets. Therefore, leadership and management development encourage innovation among employees which in most cases, acts as a breakthrough to organizational success.
Leadership and Management Development May Result in New Leadership Structures
Businesses are compelled to evolve in the continuously changing and competitive business world. Leadership development encourages employees to notice opportunities, seize them, and adapt faster in case changes are initiated by internal and external forces. Due to the increase in business value chains, and high-end digitization, modern leadership, and management development models can alter existing leadership structures for the organization’s benefit (Harvard Business, 2018). Considering both start-ups and established giant organizations globally, employee training to enhance their skills and maintain their relevance in the continually evolving leadership structures is a crucial ingredient of success. For instance, today, managers take on more responsibilities and delegate more downstream to juniors than in a traditional business structure where the ‘hero-leader’ narrative was much embraced in organizations (Harvard Business, 2017). Similarly, modern-day leaders invest time and resources in communicating vision and goals to employees and focusing on leading in larger projects to ensure client acquisition remains at its peak. Therefore, most leaders today invest in developing their employees due to the organizations’ value attached to employees’ satisfaction and development, and the need to change organizational structures correctly to fit in the evolving business world.
Disadvantages of Leadership and Management Development
An effective leadership and management development program can benefit an organization exceptionally. According to Havard Business (2018), with periodically scheduled events and seminars meant for sharpening employees’ skills, organizations move closer to achieving their set goals. However, with the wrong employees’ training programs, or approaches, organizations can suffer severe repercussions ranging from inflated bills to wasted time that could have otherwise been used in productive activities such as client acquisition. Below are some of the disadvantages of leadership and management development.
Leadership and Management Development Can Take Time to Pay Off
Leadership and management development programs can take longer to show benefits or pay off the investment made (Bocciardi et al. 2017). According to Harvard Business (2018), only a few companies record benefits upon implementing employees development programs within two years. According to the research, the average time taken by leadership and management development to pay off is five years- which is relatively long (Harvard Business, 2018). Sometimes, these plans fail to register benefits completely due to irrelevance because the business world keeps changing. For instance, the Covid-19 pandemic changed how businesses operate with remote working being embraced all over the world. Therefore, leadership and management development programs take a long to show benefits, and sometimes, they may fail to record any services.
Leadership and Management Development May Fail to Connect
Embracing an all-inclusive leadership training approach may seem cost-effective but can fail terribly in the long run. According to Hoffman and Tadelis (2021), all-inclusive development hardly considers employees’ strengths and weaknesses, making it hard to equip them with any relevant skills. For instance, leadership and management development coaching is expensive when undertaken for a long duration. Therefore, many all-inclusive development programs may only be carried out in a day, eight hours, and expectations are set about behavioral change. This, even for the most experienced trainers, is a bit difficult to achieve because the method fails to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the employee.
Leadership and Management Development is Costly and Time-Consuming
Putting together leadership and management development materials, contracting the best trainers, and scheduling training sessions is costly and time-consuming. According to Bocciardi et al., (2017), the cost of travel, facilities, fee, and time spent during training costs most American organizations millions of dollars that may never be recovered. For instance, in 2019, the average leadership and management development cost for large companies in the United States was estimated to reach $17.7 Million (Harvard Business, 2018). Though practice makes perfect, when trained employees begin to develop deviant behaviors, the overall results are failed business plans, low turnover, and the below-average productivity of workers. Therefore, leadership and management development are costly ventures that can easily drag a business to failure, with 100% chances of rejuvenating.
Reasons Why Leadership and Management Can Improve Organizational Performance
It Attracts and Retains Customers and Increases Organizations’ Ability to Adapt
Development programs make it easier for organizations to be more productive, hence claiming a more significant market share, because they can attract the right talents with ease. According to Hoffman and Tadelis (2021, p. 1), “employee retention is at 20% more for organizations that embrace leadership and management development.” With a proper alignment at the top, leaders and managers efficiently impart juniors’ positive behaviors, thus fostering a solid organizational culture that can propel the organization to success.
When leaders inspire, mentor, and guide employees, this creates a long-lasting impact on customers’ quality of service. In the long run, this results in a big market of loyal and satisfied clients hence improving sales. Further, through leadership and development programs, organizations offer seniors an opportunity to familiarize themselves with trends and relevant skills needed for businesses to survive the changing markets. This reduces organizations’ rigidity by allowing a more considerable margin of flexibility through innovation to remain active and relevant. Therefore, through leadership and management training, organizational performance is improved through quality service to clients and attracting the right talent, leading to higher profit margins.
Leadership and management development are vital components of organizations seeking success in the ever-evolving business world. This kind of employees enhancement, both at the top and lower levels helps ensure that leaders can communicate vision and goals to junior employees in an effective manner. Additionally, it ensures that managers have the most up-to-date skills needed for planning delegating, budgeting, and productively supervising juniors. Some of the significant advantages of leadership and management development include creating skilled and empowered employees team, enhancing innovation, and the opportunity to develop new leadership structures to increase the agility of adapting. Though beneficial, leadership and management development have disadvantages such as high costs in finance and time, sometimes employees fail to connect with programs, and often, they fail or take too long to pay off.
Bocciardi, F., Caputo, A., Fregonese, C., Langher, V. and Sartori, R. (2017) ‘Career adaptability as a strategic competence for career development’, European Journal of Training and Development. Web.
Harvard Business (2018) The 2018 state of leadership development report. Web.
Hoffman, M. and Tadelis, S. (2021) ‘People management skills, employee attrition, and manager rewards: An empirical analysis’, Journal of Political Economy, 129(1). Web.