In 2019, Mercer Mettl released a survey report based on a study of 200+ organizations, which covers current leadership development practices that organizations follow, the challenges that they face, and potential best practices that can help companies overcome those challenges. This study explains the processes of leadership development programs in organizations, implementation processes, and areas of training focus.
Almost all companies acknowledged the need for developmental training, but few agreed on how to implement them, or on which areas to focus. They concluded that organizations should be intentional about leadership development programs and these programs should be carefully planned and well-executed. The company released the following Seven Leadership Development Program Statistics:
- According to Mercer Mettl, the average time needed to complete a leadership development program is eight months.
- However, 31% of organizations reported that it took more than a year to complete their program.
- 83% of organizations acknowledge the importance of developing leaders at all levels.
- Despite the overwhelming majority that believe leadership development is crucial for businesses, only 5% have actual leadership development training implemented at all levels.
- 30% of organizations have difficulty embracing effective leadership development programs due to a lack of involvement from senior management. In addition, 22% blamed the high cost of programs, 25% said the development program took too long, and 23% attributed it to the non-usage of leadership competency frameworks.
- On a related note, 42% of organizations do not have the leadership competency framework on which leadership development programs can be based.
- The top three reasons most organizations implement leadership development programs are up-skilling/cross-skilling leaders (49%), identifying high potential employees (31%), and creating a succession pipeline (20%).
A 2016 Gallup poll found that only 18% of managers demonstrate a high level of talent for managing others – meaning a shocking 82% of managers aren’t very good at leading people. Gallup estimated that this lack of leadership capability costs U.S. corporations up to $550 billion annually (Forbes 2018 – The Real Crisis in Leadership). That means 82% of them felt like they lack the tools they needed to develop their leadership skills to lead others. They were trained in management but not in leadership.
Deloitte’s 2014 global survey shows that companies are facing leadership gaps at every level. 86 percent of executives rated leadership “urgent” or “important” as the highest-priority issue of all the issues in organizations. These gaps can only be filled through a sustained and systemic commitment to leadership development that recognizes potential leaders earlier. Most companies feel they are not meeting the challenge (figure 1):
- Only 13 percent of companies in our survey rate themselves “excellent” in providing leadership programs at all levels—new leaders, next-generation leaders, and senior leaders.
- 66 percent believe they are “weak” in their ability to develop Millennial leaders, while only 5 percent rated themselves as “excellent”.
- Over half (51 percent) have little confidence in their ability to maintain clear, consistent succession programs.
- Only 8 percent believe they have “excellent” programs to build global skills and experiences.