Leaders play a vital role within any organisation. Not only do they support those working within their teams, but they also provide guidance and direction to help achieve organisational goals.
Whether working in HR, leadership and development, or other functions within the business, leaders frequently navigate a range of responsibilities crucial to the success of people, teams, and the organisation. Leaders are essential when it comes to inspiring and motivating their teams, not to mention creating an environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, communication, and trust.
Of course, these elements combined can profoundly impact an organisation, which is just one of the many reasons why leadership retention is essential.
In this blog, we share why leadership retention is important, explore current research on leadership retention, and outline how executive coaching can enhance retention in the workplace.
Why Is Leadership Retention Important?
Aside from the above, leadership retention brings about continuity, enhances team morale, contributes to succession planning, and reduces business expenditure. How? Find out below.
Continuity: Leadership retention provides stability and continuity when it comes to decision-making and strategic direction. This supports long-term goals and can prevent disruption within organisations and teams that can often occur when turnover is high.
Team morale: When leaders stay in their roles for a significant time, they build trust and rapport with their teams. This creates a positive work environment, fosters loyalty, and boosts team morale and motivation. Employees are more likely to feel supported and engaged, increasing productivity and satisfaction.
Succession planning: Retaining leaders enables organisations to develop and implement effective succession plans. By identifying and supporting future leaders from within, companies can ensure a smooth leadership transition when a current leader retires, resigns, or moves on to another role.
Cost savings: The recruitment and onboarding process for new leaders can be time-consuming and expensive. By retaining existing leaders, organisations avoid the costs associated with recruitment and training and increase the time and finances they have to spend supporting those identified as future leaders. Additionally, retaining experienced leaders can lead to improved decision-making and operational efficiencies.
What Does Current Research Show About Employee Retention?
According to research, employee retention efforts are paramount, and within the next five years, retention will be at the top of many HR department's agendas.
However, current research shows that employee turnover has increased by 7.7% since 2019 in the United Kingdom. This figure could be set to rise, as additional studies highlight that approximately half of workers in the United Kingdom are looking for a new job.
But why are leaders looking for new roles? Various factors contribute, such as:
Reduced flexibility. Leaders want flexibility, such as the ability to continue working remotely or on a hybrid basis. With many organisations requesting that employees return to the office, it may be no surprise that leaders are looking to take their skills elsewhere. In fact, People Management shares that four in five UK business leaders believe that flexibility is crucial to future success. Although the Flexible Working Bill is set to offer greater flexibility when it comes to where and when we work and will enable us to ask for flexible working opportunities, CIPD research shows that 6% of employees resigned, and 12% left the sector they worked in due to limited flexibility.
Lack of career advancement and progression. Regardless of the industry we work in or the leadership role we fulfil, a lack of career advancement and progression significantly impacts whether we remain in our current position or look to take our skills elsewhere. Guild's American Worker Survey confirms this, sharing that 41% of American workers resigned due to a lack of career advancement opportunities. Here in the United Kingdom, it's estimated that 33% of employees are considering leaving their current company in favour of an organisation enabling them to progress in their career.
Life-work balance. Though still important, especially given the current economic state, more than two-thirds of employees in the UK favour life-work balance over pay and benefits when considering whether they continue working for an organisation. Although life-work balance is important for everyone, regardless of hierarchy, those in C-Suite roles, such as executives, face constant pressure and demands in the workplace, which can lead to stress, burnout, poor sleep quality, and a lack of balance.
Workplace culture. Workplace culture plays a crucial role in whether leaders seek new roles. A toxic or dysfunctional workplace culture can lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness amongst leaders, prompting them to look for opportunities in organisations with a healthier and more positive environment.
Leadership. Leadership also plays a significant role in a leader's decision to seek new roles. If leaders lack confidence in their current organisation's leadership, or if they feel that their skills and expertise are not being valued or utilised effectively, they may be more inclined to explore new opportunities elsewhere.
How Can Executive Coaching Enhance Leadership Retention?
A lack of flexibility and career advancement opportunities paired with poor workplace culture, minimal life-work balance, and lacklustre leadership all play a part in employee retention and turnover.
As you read this, you may wonder how exactly executive coaching can improve leadership retention and support organisations in mitigating the above factors' impact. You may question whether executive coaching supports career advancement, leadership capabilities, life-work balance, and workplace culture.
Fortunately, at The Leadership Coaches, we've first-hand insight into just how effective executive coaching can be for these.
As experts within executive coaching, we know that not only can leadership coaching support leaders (those considering resigning from their roles), but it can also support those in C-Suite roles, such as decision-makers and stakeholders, when it comes to understanding different perspectives and considering how their leadership has a trickle effect in the broader organisation.
Ready to find out more about enhancing leadership retention with executive coaching? We share our thoughts below.
Executive Coaching Supports Skills Development
Through executive coaching, leaders can develop and improve their skills in various areas, such as communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and decision-making. This equips them with the necessary tools to effectively lead their teams and overcome challenges, reducing the likelihood of burnout, dissatisfaction, and high turnover rates.
To share an example, leadership coach Nicky recently provided executive coaching to a high performer with leadership potential. Keen to transform their skills, the leader began a series of executive coaching sessions. By the end of coaching, the leader had noticed a change in their confidence. They also explored how to manage a team, prevent burnout, and reduce imposter syndrome.
Executive Coaching Enhances Career Advancement and Progression
With executive coaching supporting skills development, many leaders find that they are able to advance their careers and spend time reflecting on how they can progress in their role within the current company.
Leadership coaching helps leaders ascertain where changes may be needed to ensure they can make positive changes to their professional goals.
For example, CEO Zoé recently worked with an upcoming leader identified as a prospect for a director role. With the support of executive coaching, the leader was able to focus on various aspects, such as challenges, to progress in her career. By the end of coaching, the leader felt in a prime position for a promotion.
Executive Coaching Enhances Self-Awareness
Executive coaching supports leaders in gaining a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership styles.
This increased self-awareness enables leaders to align their actions and behaviours with their values, making them more authentic and effective in their roles.
When leaders feel congruent with their values and leadership approach, they are more likely to stay motivated and committed to their organisation.
Executive Coaching Supports Stress Management
Stress is a significant factor in burnout and turnover amongst leaders. However, working with an executive coach can help leaders develop strategies for reducing stress in the workplace and maintaining a life-work balance.
In addition, executive coaching can provide leaders with insight into how to manage their workload, prioritise tasks, and delegate responsibilities. By learning to manage stress effectively, leaders are more likely to stay motivated and engaged in their roles.
Executive Coaching Provides Feedback and Accountability
For those within C-Suite roles, executive coaching can be beneficial when it comes to learning what they can do or what may need to change within the organisation to increase employee retention.
In this instance, executive coaching provides leaders with regular feedback and a system of accountability, which enables them to understand how their actions and factors within the organisation impact their teams.
By working with an executive coach, leaders can identify areas for improvement and set goals to address them. This ongoing support and accountability promote continuous growth and development, which can increase leadership satisfaction and retention.
Executive Coaching Aids Succession Planning
Like feedback and accountability, those at the top of the organisation often benefit from coaching as it supports them in succession planning by providing a safe space to discuss their thoughts and consider the future.
Through executive coaching, leaders can identify and develop the next generation of leaders within their organisation. By mentoring and coaching potential successors, leaders can ensure a smooth transition and continuity in leadership.
This proactive approach to succession planning increases the likelihood of retaining talented individuals and reduces the risk of leadership turnover.
Executive Coaching Can Transform Workplace Culture
In addition to the above, executive coaching can support workplace culture transformation. Working with a coach enables leaders to consider how people perceive them and how this could impact turnover and retention.
If a leader is viewed as someone who is unapproachable or someone who isn't seen as an advocate for diversity, workplace well-being, or belonging, employee retention may be lower due to employees wanting to work within an organisation that aligns with their values.
With the support of an executive coach, leaders can review how to transform workplace culture. This could include working on personal skills like communication and emotional intelligence. But it could also include developing a growth mindset, promoting diversity and inclusion, or overcoming biases.
As leaders address these factors with an executive coach, they can start to make positive changes in their leadership style and behaviour that can have a ripple effect throughout the organisation.
By modelling inclusive behaviours, promoting diversity, and creating a culture of belonging, leaders can help foster an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and engaged. This, in turn, can lead to higher retention rates, increased productivity, and a more positive work culture.
How Can Executive Coaching with The Leadership Coaches Benefit Me or My People?
At The Leadership Coaches, we're seen as experts in executive coaching. Backed by a team of credible executive coaches with a wealth of experience working with leaders, we're confident that we can support you and your leaders in enhancing employee retention.
We know there's no one fit for all. For this reason, our executive coaching services are entirely bespoke to your and your people's needs.
Our one-to-one coaching gives leaders the time and space to reflect on their performance within their role. It enables them to determine what works well and what may need improving. In doing so, leaders can begin to recognise what needs to change to perform at their best.
In addition, one-to-one leadership coaching can:
help leaders explore their current leadership practices.
support leaders in gaining insight into the impact their leadership currently has.
assist leaders in experimenting with new behaviours and strategies.
aid leaders in implementing changes and reviewing how well they work.
help leaders manage and maintain change.
Executive coaching also contributes to higher satisfaction levels within the workplace and enhances productive working relationships.
Contact Us Today
If you have identified reduced leadership retention in your organisation, contact us today to uncover how executive coaching can support you and your people.
In doing so, we'll listen to your needs and give you the chance to have coaching chemistry sessions with several of our coaches before commencing executive coaching.