How Investing in Future Leaders Can Drive Positive ROI for your Organization



    By Larry Fisher, Vice President

    You’re meeting your goals, enjoying steady growth, and your current leadership group is knowledgeable and high-performing. So, why invest in leadership? Where’s the payoff?  

    The truth is, you can’t afford to rely on the status quo. Investing in future leaders is critical to ensure that you’re not only prepared to succeed today, but tomorrow and into the future. It’s a way of developing a pipeline of leadership talent that empowers you to stay innovative, agile, and ready to take advantage of new opportunities and respond quickly to change. In addition, investment in coaching and leadership development offers meaningful financial returns – a MetrixGlobal study found that executive coaching produced an impressive 529% return on investment (ROI).

    What’s more, demand for talent – particularly leadership talent – is intense right now, and many companies are seeing turnover at a senior level, often within 24 months. Leadership development not only has a significant impact on retention, but it’s also critical for ensuring you can deliver on consistency, even when faced with a competitive hiring landscape.

    Below, I look at some of the ways leadership development can offer an impressive ROI, alongside the best ways to build a successful leadership development program.

    What Does a Successful Leadership Development Program Look Like?

    Leadership development programs should consider every level of an organization, from executives, emerging leaders to high-potential individuals, but the first step is to assess your current talent pool and development program to identify blind spots and areas for improvement. This holistic perspective is vital for creating a development program that works for every part of your business. It’s then important to look at the competencies associated with leadership roles inside your organization and assess how they may change based on predicted future growth. For your business, this might mean focusing on development in key areas like diversity, equity and inclusion, managing hybrid workforces, or sales leadership.

    Engagement & Retention

    Developing a leadership program is about more than building a strong pipeline of power; it’s crucial to helping people grow individually. The way we engage with work has evolved. People are much less likely to stay in the same role for several years without the opportunity to collect new experiences or significantly develop their skills. A LinkedIn report found that companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees for an average of 5.4 years – nearly twice as long as their competitors. By helping talented employees to expand their expertise and unlock opportunities, an organization can boost individual engagement and satisfaction and improve retention. This inevitably leads to better individual performance while supporting overall company success.


    Strong leaders = Strong teams = Better results. Effective, engaged, and active leadership can have a huge impact on performance and productivity throughout an organization. Leadership skills at every level are important for shaping company culture, contributing to a positive mindset, and helping a business to overcome unexpected setbacks. By enabling high-potential individuals to develop their leadership skills, you can have a real and meaningful impact on wider company success.

    Hiring & Turnover

    The great leaders you rely on today will transition out of the business or evolve into new roles. You need to ensure you have a crop of capable potential leaders with the skills to step up as opportunities arise. Simply, leadership development and planning are critical for future success. However, not only is an effective leadership development strategy essential for filling leadership spots as they become available, but it can also greatly reduce the costs of sourcing and hiring new senior talent. Even if an external hire is unavoidable, having a reputation in the market for a culture built on developing and promoting talent can help you to more effectively compete for and win great candidates.  

    In practice, your successful leadership development program should help potential leaders to map their unique career paths, grow skills that are vital to business success, and access the tools and expertise they need to succeed. Targeted external expertise and coaching support can also help to shape a leadership development program that delivers the right results for your business.

    At The Ayers Group, we work with organizations across the globe to help them to understand their current talent pool and provide highly-customized coaching and leadership solutions. Find out how we shape future leaders here.

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