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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
A look at current trends and data
Article Type: Research and results From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 10, Issue 3
Krauthammer study shows managers still struggling to meet employee expectations
Krauthammer Observatory is an annual survey exploring management behavior in Europe. In the survey, employees are asked about the behavior they seek and get from their managers. The results of the recent fourth study show that managers are still struggling to meet employee expectations.
The following two core practices rank top of the wish list, confirming a four-year pattern:
Help with solving a problem. In total 95 percent of employees want their managers to “analyze their task problems together with them and help them to look at it in a new light.” Yet only around half of managers (45 percent) take this approach, according to the employees surveyed. Many simply present their own analysis for the employee’s agreement (34 percent) or, in rarer cases, even dictate or demand a solution.
Admit your mistake. A total of 92 percent of the employees want their managers to “admit their mistakes spontaneously” but only 48 percent of managers tend to do this. A significant minority dismisses the importance of the mistake (28 percent), while the rest admit a mistake has been made without taking responsibility, or even blame others.
Confirming a further pattern, the report finds that around a third of managers (36 percent) are in general behaving in a penalizing or disqualifying way. Furthermore, only around four out of ten employees (39 percent) are firmly committed to remaining in their organization over the next 12 months.
For more information
The report is available online at: www.krauthammer.com
Leaders not prepared for challenges of the future
According to the results of a worldwide survey of mid-level leaders, released by talent management organization, Development Dimensions International Ltd (DDI), only 11 percent of mid-level leaders believe they are well-prepared to tackle the challenges they will face over the next two years. DDI’s Mid-level Leadership Survey involved 1,200 mid-level leaders across nine countries and within 12 industry sectors.
The most significant challenges mid-level leaders face include leading change, executing work priorities and making tough decisions. While only 11 percent feel well prepared, another 40 percent feel that they are somewhat prepared for these challenges. Of all the skills cited in the survey as needed to carry mid-level managers through the next three to five years, leadership skills were most frequently noted (45 percent), above technical expertise (31 percent) and financial/business acumen (24 percent). Of the 45 percent of respondents who felt that leadership skills were the most critical component of success, it is the younger managers who are most likely to feel unprepared, as they have little previous experience of recession and economic volatility.
Managers engaged despite increased stress levels
More than 60 percent of mid-level leaders say that the level of work stress has somewhat or significantly increased over the last 18 months. Top factors leading to stress are increased personal workload and increased pressure to succeed. In addition, more than half of respondents (52 percent) feel a high level of stagnancy, with little room for promotion in the current economic climate.
The good news is that although many leaders feel increased stress and stagnancy within their job, they are still highly committed to their role, indicative that business managers want, at least, to rise to the challenge of an increasingly agile and ambiguous market. More than 85 percent said their commitment level was higher now or the same compared with 24 months ago and 75 percent said they rarely or never wish they had not been promoted. In the survey, the biggest drivers of engagement were seen as the ability to make decisions, trust and teamwork.
For more information
Business innovation and smart recruiting top the HR agenda
Innovation is going to be an essential objective for the majority of businesses in 2011, and having exceptional people onboard will be vital in bringing about business success. This is according to part one of the Future Fit Recruitment Report, by Alexander Mann Solutions, the talent and resourcing capability provider.
The global research project, which examines the opinions of senior global HR decision makers from around the world, reveals that HR leaders think that one in five board members or senior executives, one in eight middle managers, and one in ten graduates would need to change in order to create a more innovative company culture. Therefore, if organizations are serious about building an innovative workforce, radical change is required from the top down; 20 percent of their current board level staff will need to change, either through recruitment or training, to move businesses forward.
According to the report, while recruitment is not always seen as a direct driver of innovation (34 percent view it as a driver of innovation and change), it is definitely viewed as an enabler (53 percent) and there is almost wholesale agreement that a lack of good people affects an organization’s ability to innovate, which only serves to further the importance of high quality personnel as a catalyst for driving the change. In addition, only 6 percent see recruitment as a potential barrier to innovation.
Increase in recruitment activity may be on the horizon
While the last two years have been tough, against this uncertain backdrop innovation has been high. The research found that almost three quarters (73 percent) of HR leaders believe that the economic climate has forced them to innovate in all parts of the business already. Of the HR leaders polled, 92 percent consider innovation to be “very important” to their business, and 92 percent of respondents recognized that a lack of good people will adversely affect an organization’s ability to innovate.
Looking forwards, the picture for HR departments is business as usual for almost half (46 percent) of companies, but over one-third (38 percent) are cautiously predicting a rise in permanent staffing numbers in the coming months (increasing to 45 percent in Asia Pac). Interestingly, staffing confidence is higher in companies where recruitment strategy is set globally rather than regionally (56 percent of those with a global recruitment strategy expect a rise in staff numbers, compared to just 38 percent where strategy is set regionally).
For more information
To request a copy of Alexander Mann Solutions’ First Future Fit Recruitment Report: Confidence and Change, visit www.alexandermannsolutions.com
Pensions top list of salary sacrifice options for European workers?
Nearly 50 percent of European workers say they would sacrifice pay for a higher pension contribution by their employer, compared to only 13 percent who would give up some of their salary for extra vacation days. This is according to research from Aon Hewitt, global pensions, benefits and human capital consultant.
This research is part of Aon Hewitt’s European Employee Benefits Benchmark, a survey of more than 7,500 workers from across Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The benchmark focuses on the views of workers across Europe on topics such as retirement, employee benefits and other pension-related issues.
Surprisingly, the desire for greater pension contributions from employers is uniformly the benefit most requested across all surveyed countries. While pensions have become a hot-button issue across Europe over recent years, this finding demonstrates that European workers are beginning to take their long-term savings and future extremely seriously. Across Europe, financial security in the event of a serious injury or illness was also a popular “salary sacrifice” option, as was assistance with saving for a major expenditure such as a home, car or school fees.
For more information
Aon Hewitt has published two in depth reports, Employee Benefits: Getting the Mix Right and Expectations vs Reality: Meeting Europe’s Retirement Challenge based on the data from the European Employee Benefits Benchmark. They can be downloaded from www.aon.com