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Inspire, Respect, Reward: re-framing leadership assessment and development

Jack Wiley (Kenexa, USA)
Francis Lake (Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), UK)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to describe how a major financial services organisation used the results of an independent research project to alter its approach to leadership assessment and development.


The research project involved collecting employee opinion data from roughly equal samples of employees from 22 countries worldwide (total n = 47, 236). Subsequent linkage research analyses involved employee opinions being correlated with measures of customer satisfaction and financial performance for up to 187 organisations worldwide.


Findings revealed that what employees most want from the top leaders of their organisations is to be inspired, respected and rewarded. Organisations whose leadership teams scored higher on measures of inspiring, respecting and rewarding employees also achieved higher employee engagement, customer satisfaction and financial performance.

Practical implications

These findings spurred the development of a new direction for leadership development and assessment for Lloyds Banking Group, a major financial services organisation based in the United Kingdom.


This research answers a fundamental question from a sample of employees from 22 countries worldwide: what do employees most want from the top leaders of their organisations? Using performance data from up to 187 organisations worldwide this research also demonstrates that organisations whose top leaders provide employees with what they most want achieve superior organisational performance. Knowing this allows organisations to review and revise a wide variety of talent management approaches, including leadership assessment, development and reward systems. It also informs the design of employee survey instruments to ensure coverage of topics with known links to organisational success.



The authors wish to acknowledge the help of researchers Rena Rasch and Haiyan Zhang as well as the various contributions of Louise Raisbeck in the preparation of this manuscript.


Wiley, J. and Lake, F. (2014), "Inspire, Respect, Reward: re-framing leadership assessment and development", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 221-226.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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