Training and Development

From Perception to Performance: Leadership Development as a Catalyst for Closing The Double Value Gap

Published on
January 25, 2024
Micah McAllister
Karen Benz
Director of Coaching
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The Double Value Gap encompasses two pivotal but often overlooked facets: the Feel Valued Gap and the Create Value Gap. Business success depends on addressing these two key factors—ensuring that employees feel valued and empowering them to create value. Closing these two gaps involves addressing the emotional aspect of feeling valued and the practical aspect of contributing value.

Perceived employee value refers to how employees perceive or understand their own worth, significance, and contributions within an organization. It involves the subjective assessment of employees regarding the appreciation, recognition, and importance they believe their work holds in the eyes of the company, colleagues, and superiors. This perception is often influenced by factors such as acknowledgment, feedback, opportunities for growth, and the overall work environment. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to their work. Their individual contributions translate into tangible outcomes that propel the company forward.

The ramifications of the Double Value Gap extend far beyond workplace sentiments. Employee dissatisfaction correlates with higher turnover rates and reduced productivity, directly impacting profitability. Likewise, when employees are unable to connect their efforts to the company's objectives, it hampers growth and stifles the organization's competitive edge.

Double Value Gap: Identifies two critical gaps in organizations:Feel Valued Gap: Focused on perceived employee value and engagement.Create Value Gap: Concentrated on delivering tangible value to the company.
Double Value Gap: Identifies two critical gaps in organizations:
Feel Valued Gap: Focused on perceived employee value and engagement.
Create Value Gap: Concentrated on delivering tangible value to the company.

Enhancing managerial impact, elevating leadership skills, and fostering adaptability are strategic necessities for business growth. Managers, crucial to organizational success, serve as force multipliers with the right tools to navigate and bridge gaps effectively. A significant challenge for learning leaders is choosing programs for optimal results. Leadership development is presented as a solution to the Double Value Gap, addressing both the Feel Valued Gap and the Create Value Gap by enhancing employee perception, positively impacting company outcomes. Leadership programs go beyond boosting confidence (perception), also equipping employees with skills to create measurable value. This positions leadership development as a catalyst for positive change, bridging gaps between perception and organizational success.

When adopting transformative leadership, consider key features for a robust Learning and Development (L&D) platform. The platform should enhance employee perception through targeted skill development, boost confidence, and equip employees with tools for improved performance, creating measurable value. A user-friendly platform enables learning managers to administer, monitor performance, and showcase ROI to stakeholders. Focusing on leadership development effectively bridges these gaps, creating a win-win situation by simultaneously elevating performance and enhancing employee perception.

Close the double value gap through changing mindset to lift performance.
Business success relies on two important things: making sure employees feel appreciated and giving them the ability to add value. To achieve this success, it's essential to focus on both the emotional side of making employees feel valued and the practical side of enabling them to contribute effectively.

To delve deeper into this topic, we've divided this article into sections, making it easier to know what to consider when searching for a leadership development solution.

How do leadership development programs contribute to boosting employee perception and development? 
How does the Double Value Gap impact your bottom line?
What features should your leadership development platform have to boost employee value and output?

Closing the Double Value Gap

Elevating organizational success through holistic leadership development

How do leadership development programs contribute to boosting employee engagement and development? While employee recognition programs and open communication channels are important, they might not be enough for a few reasons. Firstly, everyone has different needs, and a one-size-fits-all approach might not cater to individual motivations. Secondly, sustaining engagement requires ongoing support, development opportunities, and a positive work environment, not just occasional recognition. Thirdly, communication channels need to be responsive and two-way to be effective. Additionally, employees look for a sense of purpose, growth, and alignment with the company's values, which go beyond recognition and communication.

Leadership development programs enhance employee engagement, elevate their perceived value, foster professional growth, and empower them to contribute value.
Leadership development programs enhance employee engagement, elevate their perceived value, foster professional growth, and empower them to contribute value.

Now, why is leadership development crucial? It leads to outcomes such as:

Empathy and Recognition
Effective leadership programs prioritize empathy and emphasize acknowledging employee contributions. By fostering empathy, managers create a culture where employees feel genuinely valued and appreciated.

Communication and Support
Leadership training in effective communication promotes an environment where employees feel genuinely heard and supported. This proactive approach ensures that employee voices are not just heard but acknowledged and valued, closing the Feel Valued Gap effectively.

Goal Alignment and Clarity
Leadership development promotes clarity in communicating organizational goals and objectives. When managers effectively articulate these objectives, employees understand how their contributions align with the company's vision, bridging the Create Value Gap.

Empowerment and Development
Trained leaders empower employees by providing opportunities for skill development and growth. This not only enhances their value but also aligns their development with the organization's needs, closing the gap between individual capabilities and company objectives.

Enforces Adaptability and Resilience
Leadership programs equip managers with the skills to navigate change seamlessly. In times of transformation, adaptable leaders guide their teams effectively, fostering resilience and promoting innovation to address evolving challenges.

Promotes a Culture of Innovation
Leaders who encourage a culture of innovation foster an environment where employees are encouraged to contribute new ideas and solutions. This directly addresses the Create Value Gap by leveraging the innovative potential of the workforce.

Coaching and Mentoring
Leadership development emphasizes coaching and mentoring skills among managers. This personalized guidance enhances individual performance, addressing gaps and nurturing talent, thus contributing to overall company value.

Tangible Recognition Through Growth Opportunities
Leaders who undergo training comprehend the significance of acknowledging and rewarding outstanding performance. By equipping employees with tools to seize growth opportunities and recognizing their achievements, they contribute to both employee perception and organizational value.

How does Double Value Gap affect your bottom line?

Leadership development yields a substantial business impact, demonstrating an average return of $7 for every $1 invested. This investment is proven to be indispensable, as 88% of companies report observing elevated employee performance scores. The data underscores the significance of prioritizing leadership development, showcasing not only its financial benefits but also its positive influence on overall workforce effectiveness. Addressing these gaps simultaneously is crucial for organizations aiming to foster a positive work culture, retain talent, boost productivity, encourage innovation, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Here are areas that may be affecting your company’s success and impacting the bottom-line results. 

Employee Retention and Engagement

Feel Valued Gap: When employees don't feel appreciated or valued, it can lead to reduced engagement, higher turnover rates, and difficulty in retaining talented individuals.
Create Value Gap: If the company doesn't effectively communicate its value expectations or fails to provide avenues for employees to contribute meaningfully, it may cause disengagement and decreased productivity.

Productivity and Performance

Feel Valued Gap: Discontent among employees affects motivation and morale, leading to decreased productivity and suboptimal performance.
Create Value Gap: When employees don't clearly understand how their work contributes to the company's objectives or when their contributions aren't acknowledged, it can hamper their motivation to perform at their best.

Innovation and Problem-Solving

Feel Valued Gap: Employees who don't feel valued might not feel incentivized to contribute innovative ideas or engage in proactive problem-solving.
Create Value Gap: Lack of acknowledgment or avenues for innovation can hinder employees from proposing new solutions or driving meaningful change within the company.

Talent Acquisition and Reputation

Feel Valued Gap: Negative word-of-mouth regarding employee satisfaction can affect the company's reputation, making it challenging to attract top talent.
Create Value Gap: If the company isn't perceived as a place where employees can make meaningful contributions, it might struggle to attract skilled professionals who seek environments where their contributions are valued.

Enabling managers with bespoke coaching and training programs form the bedrock of this transformational journey. Investing in their leadership skills goes beyond conventional models, delving into adaptive leadership, empathetic management, and the agility to navigate change seamlessly. For optimal improvement in employee value and productivity through a robust leadership development program, ensure the platform incorporates essential features to empower managers and foster a thriving workplace. Additionally, consider tools that streamline administrative processes of L&D programs for employers.

What features should your leadership development platform have to boost employee value and output?

An effective leadership development platform should equip employees with the necessary tools and skills to enhance their performance, creating measurable value for the company. Additionally, the platform should be user-friendly for learning managers, allowing them to administer and monitor manager performance over time. It should also facilitate the presentation of the program's value to stakeholders in a way that clearly demonstrates the return on investment (ROI) of the learning initiatives. By focusing on these features, a leadership development platform can contribute to bridging the gaps between employee perception and organizational success, ultimately ensuring a positive impact on both individual performance and the bottom line.

To close the Double Value Gap, here are core features your leadership development platform should offer:

1.  Comprehensive training, coaching, and programs that create lasting impact.
Comprehensive training, coaching, and programs for lasting impact in transformative leadership development.
Leadership programs help managers learn how to inspire and lead well. They are important for closing the Double Value Gap by improving leadership skills and creating a workplace where employees feel valued, adding real value to the company.

Transformative leadership development programs empower managers with the skills to inspire, motivate, and lead effectively. These programs play a crucial role in closing the Double Value Gap by enhancing leadership abilities and fostering a culture where employees feel valued, contributing tangible value to the company.

When a company invests in an employee to undergo a leadership development program, the typical perception is one of value and recognition. This directly supports closing the Feel Value Gap. Employees often interpret this investment as a sign that the company acknowledges their potential for growth and is committed to enhancing their skills and leadership abilities. This gesture fosters a sense of appreciation and can boost morale, engagement, and loyalty. Additionally, employees may view the investment as a strategic move by the company to empower them for greater responsibilities, signaling confidence in their professional development. Overall, the perception is positive, creating a collaborative and supportive work environment.

Essential features your L&D platform must offer:

  • Flexible development approach with various session types: coaching, group training, surveys, and debriefs.
  • Programs in alignment with company goals.
  • Tools to benchmark employees and measure managers progress overtime.
  • Learning plans for managers at all different levels such as tailored content for new managers, promising potential leaders, and senior level executives.
  • Customization option for organizations to adapt their own plans.
  • Interactive modules designed for adaptive leadership.
  • Real-world scenario simulations promoting empathetic management.
  • Continuous learning paths for agility in navigating change.
  • E-Learning reinforcement that supports content and tools, aiding in transforming skills development into actual competencies for driving performance.
  • BONUS: AI-powered e-learning content integrated into all programs to deepen individual and group learning, focusing on specific areas. This empowers managers to ask questions and receive on-demand answers.
2. Personalized training and 1:1 coaching sessions that help skill development.
Customizable training and coaching sessions that help skill development:
Personalized learning plans and one-on-one leadership coaching sessions contribute to closing the Double Value Gap by addressing both the personal and professional development needs of individuals. This tailored approach ensures that employees not only feel valued through personalized support but also acquire the specific skills needed to contribute effectively, aligning their growth with organizational objectives.

Personalized training and one-on-one coaching demonstrates to employees that they are valued in several ways. Firstly, the individualized attention and tailored guidance acknowledge the unique strengths and potential of each employee. This focused investment in their professional development communicates that the company recognizes and appreciates their specific contributions. Secondly, the confidentiality of these coaching sessions fosters a trusting relationship, assuring employees that their concerns and career aspirations are treated with importance and respect. The commitment to personalized coaching reflects a genuine interest in the employee's growth and success, reinforcing a sense of value within the organizational context. Overall, the effort and resources invested in providing personalized coaching underscore the company's recognition of each employee's worth and potential.

Features that extend beyond a one-size-fits-all approach:

  • Personalized coaching sessions for individualized skill development, such as dedicated coaches with experience guiding new managers, transforming high-potentials, and senior executives.
  • Confidential support on difficult topics and data-driven action planning.
  • Dynamic training content focused on fostering adaptability.
  • Regular assessments to measure progress in leadership and adaptability.
3. 360-degree assessment tools: 
360° assessment tools are used to gain a comprehensive understanding of a manager's strengths and areas for improvement.
360° assessment tools are used to gain a comprehensive understanding of a manager's strengths and areas for improvement, enabling targeted development in key areas crucial for bridging value gaps. This approach addresses both employee satisfaction and value creation effectively.

Building on the initial two points, it's essential to craft a personalized plan for each manager to effectively address the Feel Value Gap. One  way to do this is through a comprehensive, scientifically validated 360 assessment that learning leaders administer to participants. A generic, one-size-fits-all strategy may seem appealing, but it lacks practicality due to the inherent diversity in individuals' needs. People are inherently complex, and the success of each team member relies on unique leadership approaches. Results from a 360 will give you specific focus areas for each individual. A uniform leadership style is not suitable for everyone, emphasizing the importance of tailored plans to bridge the Feel Value Gap successfully.

360° assessments benefit various stakeholders within an organization. Organizations use the critical insights derived from 360 feedback to identify potential leaders, address talent gaps, and improve overall organizational performance. Individual employees benefit by receiving timely and unbiased feedback, enabling them to enhance their skills, improve performance, and advance toward leadership roles. Mid-level and frontline managers benefit from coaching, helping them prioritize ongoing employee development, provide timely feedback, and ensure team productivity. Organizational leaders, in turn, use 360 assessments to gain self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, facilitating professional development, effective team leadership, and a positive influence on workplace culture. In essence, the comprehensive nature of 360 assessments contributes to the growth and success of individuals and the organization as a whole.

A thorough 360° assessment will involve measuring a manager's behavior against industry best practices observed in other high-performing managers. As well as collecting feedback from direct reports, peers, and managers facilitates goal-setting and establishes metrics for improvement. By highlighting a manager's strengths and growth opportunities in terms of competencies and skills, the assessment aims to enhance self-awareness, confidence, effectiveness, and accountability. This comprehensive approach offers insights into both the manager's strengths and areas that need improvement, enabling targeted development in specific areas. This targeted development is crucial for addressing individual employee needs which fosters more value creation within the organization. The effectiveness of 360-degree assessments depends on their accuracy. Employees often experience survey fatigue, making it essential to choose a tool that efficiently collects necessary data within a short time frame, ideally less than ten minutes.

What should be included in a 360° review?

  • Actionable insights for targeted improvement plans.
  • Integration with development resources linked to assessment outcomes.
  • Don’t Forget: Remember while surveys are useful, users can get tired of them. So, your tool should be able to quickly gather insights without taking up too much of the respondents' attention, ensuring the results are reliable.
4. Training & coaching modules that focus on managerial adaptability.
Track the success of your L&D investment and manager training programs with insight dashboards. This data show how the program contributes to your organization's goals, highlighting the return on investment (ROI) by focusing on behaviors that impact the business.

In an era where change is the only constant, empowering managers to be adaptable and agile becomes paramount. They are the catalysts who steer their teams through turbulent waters, fostering resilience and innovation in the face of evolving challenges. Your learning programs should specifically focus on adaptive leadership, empowering managers to navigate change and lead their teams through evolving challenges. This adaptability directly impacts the manager's ability to create value for the company.

The best coaching programs for managerial flexibility should include: 

  • Agile leadership workshops fostering quick decision-making.
  • Change management simulations to enhance agility.
  • Group training and coaching sessions to foster communication for large team dynamics.
4. Dashboards to measure employee engagement and business impact.
Communicate Learning and Development (L&D) outcomes using language that aligns with C-suite executives, thereby bridging the gap between L&D and top-level management.
Communicate Learning and Development (L&D) outcomes using language that aligns with C-suite executives, thereby bridging the gap between L&D and top-level management.

Leadership development models often integrate metrics that measure the impact of engagement on organizational success. Through these models, managers gain insights into how to enhance engagement, directly influencing value creation.

  • Tools for measuring program impact from manager growth to business results.
  • Integration with leading indicators of learning success: engagement and satisfaction.
  • Success metrics aligned with company goals.
  • Bonus: Visual dashboards that easily showcase the impact of learning programs within your organization, illustrating the return on investment (ROI) through the development of behaviors linked to business impact.
  • Even better: Dashboards with customizable metrics that can be aligned with your company's OKRs, KPIs, or goals. This provides the C-suite with specific reports on investment, and facilitating ongoing support for Learning and Development (L&D) programs.

Leadership development closes The Double Value Gap

In summary, leadership development plays a crucial role in addressing various challenges by providing specific strategies, frameworks, and insights to effectively closing the Double Value Gap.

Our approach to the Double Value Gap is practical, not just theoretical. It involves aligning managerial skills with the organization's values, implementing strategies to enhance employee perception, and leveraging individual talents to drive organizational growth.

At our core, we specialize in assisting businesses in narrowing the Double Value Gap through targeted interventions with high-impact managers. Our approach involves a dual focus on transforming mindset and performance. We guide managers towards cultivating agile and adaptable mindsets, fostering a sense of value and empowerment. Simultaneously, we drive improvements in performance, elevating leadership skills to create tangible value for the organization. Recognizing managers as force multipliers, we understand that supporting their success translates into increased adaptability and a readiness to embrace change. By doing so, we contribute to fortifying your organization for the challenges of today and ensuring its future-proof status amidst the accelerating pace of change on the horizon.

If you work in Human Resources or Learning and Development, you play a vital role in shaping this transformative narrative. Empowering managers to inspire, adapt, and bridge these value gaps sets the stage for a workplace where success is not just an aspiration but an everyday reality.

We’re here to help you act now! New Level Work is here to assist businesses in closing the double value gap by focusing on high-impact managers, fostering agility, adaptability, and a sense of value. Elevate leadership skills, create value, and make success an everyday reality in your workplace. Start today by requesting a free demo.

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The future of work has arrived. It's time to thrive.