Leadership Development Strategies: The Top Priority for HR Leaders

For the second year in a row, a report by The Hackett Group has identified Leadership Development Strategies as its top priority. The responses from over 375 HR executives across the world, found that 65% are prioritising the development of “effective leaders for a changing business and workplace.”

HR leaders clearly see the importance of this objective.

Importance of good leadership in organisations

To achieve this leadership development goal will take committing resources but also sustaining their focus on the objective.

Team working on Leadership development strategies

The opportunity and its impact is substantial. The Hacket Group’s functional HR benchmarking results show that those organisations that perform in the top quartile in both business value and operational excellence – spend 27% more on organisational and leadership development.

Their finding:

  • The people skills of leaders make a difference amid volatile markets and disrupted

Creating a culture of leadership excellence

Where else will good leadership make a difference?

  • Good working relationships combined with good management brings a focus on achieving results, which in turn translates into business success. Both are heavily dependent on good leadership.

  • Continuity in the workforce relies on good managers. Bad managers have a disproportional effect on people leaving the organisation, with all of the related fallout from this, like replacement costs, loss in productivity, loss of unique and productive know-how, reputational damage in the war for talent, etc.

  • Good leaders are effective in explaining the WHYs behind decisions and the changes required for the business and operations to stay relevant.

  • Good leaders make or break high-performing teams. Growing and maturing teams take a special skill from leaders and is worth its weight in gold. Really effective teams are few and far between. Incompetent team leadership is part of the reason for the scarcity of really effective teams.

  • Good leaders know the importance of the organisation’s culture and values in its competitive positioning. They play a vital role in creating an organization’s culture; i.e. belonging, psychological safety, values, etc. This is largely dependent on leaders demonstrating and setting the example, but also creating the social space in which these values can thrive.

  • Good leaders create clarity and alignment with company goals.

With this kind of impact on an organization’s excellence, it would simply be unthinkable to skimp on leadership support and training.

Workplace with a culture of leadership excellence

Impact of effective leaders on business success

In summary, it’s crucial for HR leaders to prioritise the development of effective leadership in organisations. Both anecdotal evidence and research show that good leadership impacts every part of an organization, from its culture to its financial success. 

The Hackett Group’s report highlights that HR executives unanimously recognize the importance of nurturing leadership talent. To ensure ongoing success in today’s business world, organizations need to invest resources and stay focused on this goal. This is achieved through ongoing feedback and engagement in leadership development programmes, which emphasize the need for continuous improvement and adaptation to changing business environments.

Good leadership not only leads to business success but also ensures a stable workforce, high performance, and a positive organizational culture. Neglecting leadership development can lead to problems like increased turnover, lower productivity, and damage to reputation.

Looking ahead, what actions will you take in the next six months to develop and enable your leaders to be the best leaders they can be?

Just think about the difference it can make. To the business, the senior managers, the employees, teamwork, the culture…etc.

This investment doesn’t just benefit the business—it also improves the well-being of senior managers, employees, teamwork, and overall organizational culture. Furthermore, investing in leadership development results in improved employee retention, enhanced organizational resilience, and better succession planning.

is not just wise, it’s essential for unlocking your organization’s full potential.


Business Wire. (2024) “Hackett: HR Organizations Feeling Increased Pressure in the Face of Global Uncertainty”. Available from: <https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240229387661/en/Hackett-HR-Organizations-Feeling-Increased-Pressure-in-the-Face-of-Global-Uncertainty>. [Accessed March 2024].

Human Resources Director. (2024) “What’s the top priority for HR leaders in 2024?”. Available from: <https://www.hcamag.com/us/news/general/whats-the-top-priority-for-hr-leaders-in-2024/479667>. [Accessed March 2024].

The Hackett Group. (2024) “2024 HR Agenda: Key Issues to Address and Critical Actions to Succeed”. Available from: <https://www.thehackettgroup.com/insights/2024-hr-key-issues-2401/>. [Accessed March 2024].