Dependable leaders are invaluable to a company’s success. A steadfast leader attracts the best employees, retains them, and builds on their strengths. They make a company, a team, and themselves stronger with the growth they create. The resulting prosperity can be instantaneous. Established leaders have teams and team members that will follow them on any venture to any company. Emerging leaders need room to accelerate but the result is the same; a tenfold return on investment.
This is well-known and well documented, which makes it difficult for small companies to find vital leaders. They’re a scarce resource. The titans of industry scoop them up at every chance. Bigger Companies have more money and more resources to offer, forcing smaller companies to settle for mid-tier talent at great risk to their bottom line. When a small company adds personnel to their team, they always run the risk of it not being a good match. The risk multiplies when hiring for a leadership role which affects the roles of all those around and below it.
We, at CBST adventures, see it all the time at our events. When we remove the normality of the office and throw a team into a unique challenge, it’s painfully obvious how each link contributes to the strength of the chain. Great leaders shine and elevate their team. Weak leaders have nothing to hide behind and are forced to address their flaws. The most impactful thing we get to see is the emergence of new leaders, who finally have the chance to showcase their abilities in a risk-free environment.
Leadership development events are designed to foster the growth of these leaders. Leaders that you already have on your team. Leaders that you know are a good fit, who have the trust of everyone else, and who understand how the company works. Still, we are tasked with answering the impossible question (impossible because of the meteor sized positive impact that it leaves): ‘What is the ROI of a leadership development event?’
Enter Annette Alvarez-Peters. Annette only completed a few semesters of community college before going to work for Costco. She started in the accounting department. She worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and clerk. Costco allowed her to freely switch up roles to help her find the best fit. She moved from accounting to merchandising to telecommunications. After years at Costco, learning and understanding how everything worked, Annette landed the role of buying all beer, liquor, and wine for Costco. ALL of Costco. As an ode to how powerful that is Annette ranked fourth on the Decanter Power List of the most influential people in the International wine industry. Her choices in this role affects which grapes are planted in Italy and what wine is served at your local restaurant.
Costco invests in their employees as leaders. In an industry known for razor-thin margins, Costco takes better care of their employees than any competitor. According to the research done by Todd Rose in his book “The End of Average”:
- In 2014, the typical Costco employee earned just over $20 per hour and health care, compared to the retail industry average of $12.20 per hour and no healthcare.
- Costco pays their employees 75% more than Walmart in wages on top of their employee benefits!
- More than 70% of Costco’s managers started out pushing carts or working behind a register.
- Costco has consistently delivered more profitable returns for investors than Walmart,
“…Costco employees rarely leave the company. One study factored in the hidden cost of employee turnover that comes with hiring and training new employees and found that with these costs considered Costco actually spends less per employee than Walmart while paying them 75% more!”
Instead of investing in PR print ups, Costco invests in its employees and as a result, their values are shared and spread by newspapers, magazine articles, and to every friend and family member of a Costco employee.
Leadership development events show that you are invested in your employees. Office spaces are riddled with restrictions. Tangible restrictions like the separation between floors or offices and intangible restrictions like hierarchy and natural divisions. You can provide your team with the opportunity to shed their preconceptions, help them overcome fears, and allow them to think big by removing employees from the office. It is time to dispel the marketing myth that you control your brand message.
Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what others say it is. Your employees are your brand ambassadors. The happier your employees, the happier your customers.
If you’re ready to make lasting changes for your team let us help. Our client-specific leadership development programs inspire leaders to change the trajectory of their lives and equip them to transform the organizations they lead, through sharpened strategic focus, increased employee engagement, better decision-making, and clear communication. Our clients’ results speak for themselves: higher employee retention, stronger growth in sales and profitability, greater agility to address changing conditions and quicker paths to success for strategic initiatives.
“We went from negative growth and cost-cutting to growing, gaining share and investing! We’re now producing over 1/3 of the company’s profit. It was truly transformational.”
― Rob Reilly, GM, GE Healthcare Service