Business owners invest in many different products and services for their companies: computers, insurance, utilities, office space, advertising, onboarding, training, taxes, 401k matches, disability, health benefits, phones, printers, equipment, office supplies, shipping services… the list goes on and on.
But if you’re not investing in team-building and leadership development within your existing workforce, you’re missing a huge opportunity for the company’s long-term growth and prosperity.
The workforce is currently experiencing a massive shift during pandemic recovery. Companies are struggling to fill open positions and keep their employees.
But although people are quick to point their fingers at COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, the truth is, employers had been struggling to retain employees before the pandemic hit.
Gallup reported that millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 1996, are notorious job-hoppers, more so than previous generations have ever been. This trend may have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, but it isn’t new.
Gallup’s report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, revealed that 60% of millennials are actively open to seeking different job opportunities, compared to 45% of non-millennials. On average, millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $30.5 billion annually.
As millennials replace older generations in the workforce and post-COVID recovery efforts shine a spotlight on employees fed up with being underpaid and underappreciated, retention rates are likely to continue being a struggle for many companies.
One easy solution – investing in existing employees to make sure they want to stick around.
5 Benefits of Leadership Development and Team Building
The benefits go far beyond simply retaining employees. By investing in your team, you can have a major impact on your bottom line, and the future of your company.
Taking the time to properly invest in team-building and leadership development exercises help to:
1. Increase Employee Engagement
Retaining your employees isn’t enough. If your employees don’t enjoy their work, your business isn’t operating at peak efficiency.
Gallup’s study revealed that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, which means 7 out of 10 millennial employees don’t feel passionate about their job. An alarming 16% of millennials are actively disengaged at work, which can have detrimental consequences for the company. The others are nonengaged, meaning they are clocking in for the paycheck and that’s it.
Engaged employees bring a myriad of benefits, including:
- Healthier work culture: Engaged employees are happy at work. They’re more likely to be proactive and help others, and they’re less likely to experience workplace burnout.
- Accountability: When employees are engaged, they take pride in their work. They want to do a good job, and if they make a mistake, they will work hard to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.
- No micromanaging: Engaged employees are usually self-sufficient. They don’t need to be constantly monitored, which then frees up a supervisor’s time for more important tasks.
- Confidence: Actively engaged employees are open to learning and self-improvement. They become more confident at work, which often has an impact on their confidence outside of work, too. Success both inside and outside of the workplace is a recipe for a happier life.
- Word-of-mouth praise: Happy employees often talk about how much they love their job. Their glowing recommendations can help attract talented professionals to your business.
- Bottom line: An engaged employee who is passionate about the job will have a higher productivity rate than someone who’s just there to collect a paycheck, or worse – someone who resents being there in the first place.
2. Develop Trusting Relationships
Teamwork is a critical component of most jobs. Rarely does an employee act as a lone wolf and not impact other people’s responsibilities and deadlines.
If your team is going to operate at maximum efficiency, they need to trust one another to step up and fulfill their duties. That level of trust takes a while to develop in the day-to-day activities of the job.
However, setting aside designated times and activities for team building can drastically accelerate and deepen the trust among employees so they’re working like an efficient, well-oiled machine in no time.
3. Reduce Workplace Clashes and Improve Conflict Resolution
Strengthening relationships between team members has the added benefit of minimizing conflicts. Not only are employees less likely to have major clashes, but they are also better equipped with the skills to resolve issues.
Team building helps employees better understand their network of resources and feel comfortable trusting and confiding in each other. If there is a problem that workers can’t resolve on their own, they’re more likely to seek help from a supervisor or human resources.
4. Develop Leadership Skills
Your company needs dedicated and competent leaders to sustain long-term growth. Instead of seeking outside talent for leadership positions, you can invest in cultivating leaders from within.
Employees tend to have more trust in leaders who started at the bottom and rose through the ranks with hard work and dedication, more so than they trust an outsider who comes in without knowing any of the workers or company policies.
Allowing your current workforce to stay and grow sends a positive message to those who are interested in advancing. It’s a great way to encourage steward leaders who guide with faith over fear.
5. Invest in Long-Term Professional Growth
High turnover rates hemorrhage money, time, and resources away from your company. It is not a sustainable growth model. Over time, these types of companies end up with nonengaged or actively disengaged employees, few qualified leaders, and a lot of wasted expenses and resources trying to fill open positions, only to lose those workers soon thereafter.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost to replace a salaried employee is 6 to 9 months’ salary.
But that waste isn’t necessary if you’re taking the time to invest in your current team, improve their skills and teamwork, and develop leadership within your ranks. These measures are setting your business up for success in the long run.
Take the Steps Toward Building the Team You Want for Success
Team-building activities are one of the most effective ways to encourage your employees to socialize, get to know each other, have fun, trust one another, and develop collaboration, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills.
The benefits are well worth the cost to invest in a more efficient, happier team of highly engaged employees.
Are you ready to get started? Sign up for our Full Sail Leadership workshop and invest in your team’s future.