Why Leadership Development is central to HR

This year’s HR Barometer* pointed out that leadership development has become one of the main priorities in HR. No less than 77% of the participating organisations believe in the vitality to develop leaders at every level of the company. In this blog post, we explore the reasons behind this shift in HR priorities.

Talent Management

* The HR barometer is a yearly initiative by Vlerick Business School & Hudson to examine the trends and challenges in HRM in Belgian organisations.

Leadership development matters

In the dynamic landscape of today’s corporate world, where competition is fierce and change is constant, the role of effective leadership has never been more critical. With businesses navigating through unknown challenges, the focus has shifted to leadership development initiatives. However, many organisations still see professional development as some sort of transactional skill-building, and primarily focus on skills like resource organisation, delegation, or time management.

Merely transactional training will inevitably result in transactional leadership. This will make your leaders more vulnerable since they are more likely to struggle in environments that require innovation and empathy, as they tend to be less adaptable. Lack of leadership development also creates more followers than leaders. And while followers play a crucial role, companies will fail to develop & adopt new strategies without strong leaders. Poor leadership leads to poor performance, lack of collaboration and high turnover.

Reasons to focus on leadership development

Let’s have a look at 4 reasons why companies are prioritizing leadership development:


1. Nurturing Talent Pipeline

In an era where talent scarcity is a concern, organisations are recognizing the need to cultivate their own pool of leaders from within. Leadership development programs enable companies to identify and prepare high-potential employees, which creates a steady group of leaders who can guide the organisation towards success. By investing in their employees' growth and development, companies can reduce turnover rates and ensure a sustainable talent pipeline for future leadership roles.

2. Adapting to Rapid Change

Today’s business environment is changing faster than ever before due to technological advancements, globalization, and shifting market trends. In such a rapidly changing landscape, leaders must possess the flexibility to navigate through uncertainty and drive innovation. Leadership development programs equip leaders with the necessary skills to adapt to change, think strategically, and lead their teams effectively even in uncertain times, thereby ensuring the organisation's strength and competitiveness in the long run.

3. Meeting the Demands of the Future Workforce

As millennials and Generation Z increasingly dominate the workforce, their expectations and preferences regarding leadership styles and organisational cultures are reshaping the working enironment. These younger generations prioritize purpose-driven leadership, transparency, and opportunities for growth and development. HR departments must adapt their development strategies to align with the preferences of the future workforce, ensuring that the organisation remains attractive to talent.

4. Driving Organisational Performance and Growth

Ultimately, effective leadership is crucial for organisational performance and growth. Leaders set the tone, direction, and vision for their teams, influencing productivity, innovation, and results. Leadership development programs that focus on developing leaders’ strategic thinking, decision-making abilities, and emotional intelligence can directly impact the organisation's performance and drive sustainable growth.

How to approach leadership development

In conclusion, the prioritization of leadership development within HR reflects the evolving needs and challenges of today’s business environment. By investing in the development of strong, capable leaders, organisations can build engaged teams, drive innovation, and maintain a competitive edge in the market. As businesses continue to navigate through uncertainty and change, effective leadership will remain crucial for success.

However, leadership development takes time and effort. It requires long-term vision and transformational development programs to shape the leadership your organisation needs. Want to know more? Please join one of our Hudson Connect sessions or contact us to discuss how Hudson can help you design an effective approach to leadership development.    

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