As many anticipate an escalating demand for leadership development in the near future, employers are right to turn their focus to millennials — the majority of today’s labor force.

Forbes recently cited “personal and professional development” as a chief motivating factor for this group, and increased mentorship opportunities as a likely trend for 2017 among those organizations willing to make a concerted effort to retain millennials. And the timing couldn’t be better, as a 2016 survey by Deloitte found that 63 percent of millennial participants did not feel their leadership skills were being fully developed.

This may sound daunting considering the challenges today’s C-Suiters are already tasked with overcoming. From driving bottom line results to developing brand loyalty in an increasingly noisy landscape, the successful decision-makers of tomorrow will have to consider new approaches to leadership to get and stay ahead.

Organizational excellence (OE) is an integration of high performance and successful change management, which results from a manager’s capacity to acknowledge, attend to and realign the beliefs that underlie an organization’s central principles, as well as the results they yield. The concept is getting a lot of attention, and has a track record for being quite effective.

The benefits of OE are vast, and include:

1.Becoming an employer of choice

We all know that higher employee engagement can boost both productivity and the bottom line, but many organizations are still falling short. A 2013 State of the American Workplace report states that less than 30 percent of employees are engaged in their work. These figures have remained stagnant since the year 2000. Employee health and wellness is one of the key pillars of OE models. To attract today’s top talent, companies must adopt fully-integrated programs that place employees' physical and emotional health at their core.

2. Increasing value

Some of the first hard evidence in favor of OE was conducted by Dr. Vinod Singhal of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr. Kevin Hendricks of the College of William and Mary. Their five-year study into more than 600 quality award-winning companies showed that managers averaged significantly larger increases in several measures of financial and other performance than a control group of similar firms. 

Further, OE programs provide a significant return-on-investment. Another study by the Center for Economics and Business Research found that every $1 spent on a quality management system (such as an OE model) returned $6 in revenue, $16 in cost reduction and $3 in profit, and that 93 percent of organizations agreed that quality management was a significant driver of success.

3. Fostering long-term success

Another key pillar to organizational wellness is culture. Peter Drucker, American economist and author of “The Effective Executive” once wrote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Still, a company’s culture is about more than nap rooms and wearable devices; culture is about what a company stands for and how it treats its workers.

Culture has a direct effect on employee retention, which negatively impacts potential for success. A study by Columbia University shows that the likelihood of turnover at an organization with rich company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4 percent. Organizations that have successfully implemented OE models continue to improve their performance each year, due largely to the culture of excellence that has developed.