Updated: Jun 28
There's this old trope in business:
CFO - “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO - “ What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
Maybe we should ask, what happens if we do invest in our people?
Jason Lippert, the CEO of Lippert joined us on the Leadership Launchpad Project podcast to talk about how investing in his people led to incredible impact on their people, families, communities and the business results that came from it.
How do they invest in their people?
Lippert has approximately 15,000 employees and they have graduated 3,000 through the Dream Achievers Program and 2,500 through their Leadership Action Plans Program with plans to roll the Leadership Action Plans to every employee. They employ 30 full time coaches who specialize in personal development & leadership.
Their Dream Achievers Program is focused on their people's personal development. They ask employees what their top dream is; then they coach them on achieving that dream. It can be anything from buying their first home, to going on an archaeological dig.
Many executives would say that this is outside of business and it wouldn't fall into training programs that they would consider, but it delivers business results.
The turnover of the 3,000 employees who have gone through the Dream Achiever program is 8% versus the manufacturing industry average of 39.9%. That reduction in turnover is 32% (960 people/year) and with the average cost of replacing an employee being 6-9 months, that means Lippert is saving the equivalent of 480-720 people's annual salaries.
But what about a longer term view? During the interview, Jason mentioned that they have leaned into the leadership & personal development of their people for the last 10 years. Over this time, the share price has gone from ~$25/share to ~$122/share.
This isn't an anomaly, the London Business School conducted this study where they found that high-trust companies outperform their peers by 2.1% to 3.5% in stock returns each year over a 26 year period.
If that wasn't enough proof, Lippert posted a company record of net sales of $5.2 Billion in 2022.
It's time to change that old trope, instead of asking "What happens if we don’t [invest in our people], and they stay?", we should be asking:
"What world becomes possible with investing in our people?"