More Tips on the C-Suite and Employee Development

Yesterday we heard from Andy Lothian, the Chief Executive Officer of Insights Learning and Development on the topic of employee development and the C-Suite. Today, two more tips.

  1. Your Culture Is Quantifiable

A healthy organizational culture and positive working environment isn’t just a fluffy, feel-good concept, but a key to unlocking business success. In The Advantage, author Patrick Lencioni wrote, “The financial cost of having an unhealthy organization is undeniable: wasted resources and time, decreased productivity, increased employee turnover, and customer attrition.” Similarly, The Center of Talent Innovation found that companies with an inclusive culture outperform the competition—capturing 48% market share compared to 33%.
We must never underestimate what is possible when a professional finds one or all of the following in their career: A place where they can be themselves, a role where they excel, and/or a group of people they can relate to. From my experience, when executives realize what’s at stake by not developing their people and their organization’s culture, the budget allocation conversations change in both profound and subtle ways.

  1. Awareness Isn’t Just for You

The goal of learning and development programs isn’t to create an army of narcissists, each with stellar skills, but battling each other. It’s not just about building self-awareness, but building other-awareness. It’s about learning to appreciate others for their authentic selves and build ways to work with them. This is where results, even breakthroughs, happen.
As employees build self-awareness about their own strengths and weaknesses, they also build appreciation for the interpersonal preferences of others. Throughout this process, teams can not only click, but kick into gear and accelerate. Recognizing and appreciating differences also allows managers to more quickly identify competency gaps in themselves and their teams, which, in turn, promotes the skill development initiatives required to fill those gaps. So, encourage your employees to bring their “whole selves” to work and offer opportunities for them to understand their own interpersonal preferences more deeply.
As someone with the honor of holding dual roles as Chief Executive and Head of People of a global learning and development organization, I have the joy of facilitating personal and business breakthroughs for our employees and clients. Through this I’ve learned that investments in employee self-awareness and organizational culture deliver not only happier employees, but better financial results.
It is critical that C-level executives in your organization acknowledge this connection in everything they do. After all, if it is your workforce that unlocks your organization’s potential, your business should focus intently on unlocking its workforce’s potential.
Andy Lothian is the Chief Executive Officer of Insights Learning and Development. Named the 2016 EY Entrepreneur for the Year for Scotland, Lothian is dedicated to the connection between personal development and business development.