CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
A look at current trends and data
Article Type: Research and results From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 11, Issue 2
Strategic vision key to leadership success
Insights into the traits that global leaders need to be successful, as well as the factors that most likely lead to their derailment, was revealed in a survey of 1,400 CEOs and HR professionals by global talent and career management consultancy Right Management and the Chally Group. Data was collected from 707 organizations ranging in size from 500 employees to over 100,000 employees across a variety of industries.
Asked to rate the four competencies most critical for C-suite positions, respondents cited the following:
Creating a strategic vision (92 percent).
Inspiring others and maintaining leadership responsibility (62 percent).
Developing an accurate and comprehensive overview of the business (57 percent).
Wise decision-making (55 percent).
The challenge for corporate leaders is that leadership turnover for non-performance, or other leadership dissatisfaction issues continue to be problematic for many organizations. The survey identified the following top factors that contribute most to the failure of senior leaders:
Failure to build a relationship or team culture (40 percent).
Mismatch for the culture (32 percent).
Failure to deliver acceptable results (25 percent).
Unable to win support (25 percent).
Lack of appropriate training (23 percent).
Egotistical (15 percent).
Lack of vision (14 percent).
The research revealed that leaders evolve from a wide variety of backgrounds, experience and job functions. When asked what functional areas are most likely to produce a company’s C-level executives, operations were the most likely to be indicated (68 percent) and finance was second ranked (56 percent) with sales third (49 percent). The more specialized functions were less likely to provide the career path to the top, including marketing (34 percent), HR (24 percent), engineering (22 percent), IT (13 percent) and research and development (8 percent).
Sue Roffey-Jones, practice leader at Right Management, says: “We would assume that people are promoted to CEO from operations and finance because they are perceived to have developed competencies that are important for the CEO role. However, given what research has revealed to be the critical competencies for a CEO, how would a company develop leaders who have demonstrated a track record of ‘Creating a strategic vision’ and ‘Inspiring others and maintaining leadership responsibility’ when these roles are more likely to be the fairly exclusive domain of the CEO.
“With talent now seen as one of the only competitive differentiators left, there is growing recognition that management succession is no luxury. Board members, executives and business leaders are now openly acknowledging that talent management plans – which include succession management – are absolutely essential for sustained performance in today’s organizations.”
For more information. The report, Why Global Leaders Succeed and Fail, is available at: www.right.com/globalleadershipstudy
Study shows success factors for survival
Global research performed by the HPO center in the Netherlands shows that many organizations make the wrong choices when making cuts. Poorly performing employees stay in place and potentially valuable projects are stopped. The center is calling for directors to focus on the five success factors of leading organizations that enable them to survive now and stay fit for the future.
The HPO center surveyed the most important qualities needed to be and remain successful at more than 1,400 organizations in 50 countries. The center concluded that the following five success factors give organizations the right focus when making cuts:
Quality of management. Management combines integrity and coaching leadership with fast decision-making. They take a resolute approach to “non-performers,” are result-driven, but always focus on the long term.
Openness and action orientation. These organizations have an open culture and dialogue is encouraged. Knowledge and experience are shared and concerted into action for improved performance. People learn from mistakes.
Long term focus. Building up good alliances aimed at the long term with customers, suppliers and partners. New management is supplemented through internal promotions and talent is retained when reorganizing.
Continuous improvement and innovation. The organization knows its distinguishing characteristics in the market and allows all managers and employees to continuously contribute to renewing its processes, services and products. Cuts are made in processes that do not contribute to remaining a high performance organization. The organization continuously improves its core competencies, especially in times of crisis.
Quality of staff. The employees are varied, complementary and able to work effectively together. They are flexible and resilient in their focus on achieving the intended result. Management and staff hold continuous dialogue ensuring that everyone knows precisely what is happening during times of difficulty.
For more information
The center has shown scientifically that these five factors emerge in all sectors (profit and non-profit) and internationally as the success factors of leading organizations. The research is the result of a study of the characteristics of excellent organizations all over the world for five years. For more information and to download the report, visit: www.hpocenter.com/index.asp?uid=3&sid=22&url=academic-responsibility-the-hpo-study-approach-by-andre-de-waal
Internet and networks fundamental resources
Demonstrating the increasing role of the network in people’s lives, an international workforce study by Cisco has revealed that one in three college students and young professionals considers the internet to be as important as fundamental human resources like air, water, food and shelter. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report also found that more than half of the study’s respondents say they could not live without the internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives” – in some cases more integral than cars, dating, and partying.
These and numerous other findings provide insight into the mindset, expectations, and behavior of the world’s next generation of workers and how they will influence everything from business communications and mobile lifestyles to hiring, corporate security, and companies’ abilities to compete.
Following are some of the key findings from the report.
Internet is one of life’s fundamental resources:
One of every three college students and employees surveyed globally (33 percent) believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race – as important as air, water, food and shelter. About half (49 percent of college students and 47 percent of employees) believe it is “pretty close” to that level of importance.
More than half of the respondents (55 percent of college students and 62 percent of employees) said they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives.”
The new social life:
Whereas previous generations preferred socializing in person, the next generation is indicating a shift toward online interaction. More than one in four college students globally (27 percent) said staying updated on Facebook was more important than partying, dating, listening to music, or hanging out with friends.
Use of mobile devices for accessing information:
Two-thirds of students (66 percent) and more than half of employees (58 percent) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone and tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.”
Smartphones are poised to surpass desktops as the most prevalent tool from a global perspective, as 19 percent of college students consider smartphones as their “most important” device used on a daily basis, compared to 20 percent for desktops.
Influence of social media:
About nine of ten (91 percent) college students and employees (88 percent) globally said they have a Facebook account – of those, 81 percent of college students and 73 percent of employees check their Facebook page at least once a day. One of those three (33 percent) said they check at least five times a day.
College students reported constant online interruptions while doing projects or homework, such as instant messaging, social media updates and phone calls. In a given hour, more than four out of five (84 percent) college students said they are interrupted at least once. About one in five students (19 percent) said they are interrupted six times or more – an average of at least once every ten minutes. One of ten (12 percent) said they lose count how many times they are interrupted while they are trying to focus on a project.
In a sign that the boundary between work and personal lives is becoming thinner, seven of ten employees “friended” their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook, indicating the dissolution of boundaries separating work and private life. Culturally, the United States featured lower percentages of employees friending managers and co-workers – only about one in four (23 percent) – although two of five friended their co-workers (40 percent).
Of employees who use Twitter, more than two of every three (68 percent) follow the Twitter activity of either their manager or colleagues; 42 percent follow both, while one-third (32 percent) prefer to keep their personal lives private.
For more information. The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report examines the relationship between human behavior, the internet, and networking’s pervasiveness. It is based on surveys of college students and professionals 30 years old and younger in 14 countries. The report can be viewed at: www.cisco.com/go/connectedreport.
Managers key to the engagement process
Employers must take action to motivate and equip their managers to act on engagement surveys says Aon Hewitt, the global human resource consulting and outsourcing business of Aon Corporation. Data from Aon Hewitt’s European Engagement database shows that the vast majority of employees across the UK and Europe believe that their employers view employee engagement as a tick box exercise, with only 18 percent of employees strongly believing that survey results will be acted upon.
To gain a better understanding of the role that managers could and should play, Aon Hewitt ran a European research project in June 2011, which canvassed the views of more than 700 managers across ten European countries, resulting in the report Managers: Your Strongest or Weakest Link in Driving Employee Engagement? The report shows that nearly half (47%) of managers indicated that they spend only two to five days a year on activities relating to their annual engagement survey.
Engagement builds engagement
Aon Hewitt’s research confirmed that organizations with a strong engagement culture were much more successful at transforming employee surveys into actions. For example, managers who reviewed their survey results and identified actions had an overall engagement score of 63 percent, versus 27 percent for managers who had access to results but did not even review them.
Furthermore, Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers Study (an annually updated global database) shows that organizations that are considered most successful in terms of financial performance and strong levels of engagement are more likely to empower their managers to provide their team members with the support they need: 75 percent versus 60 percent in other organizations.
For more information. Visit www.aonhewitt.com.