In the United Kingdom, only one-third (36 per cent) of leaders and one-fifth (18 per cent) of HR professionals rate the quality of leadership as “high” in their organizations.
And only 38 per cent of both leaders and HR professionals rate their organizations' leadership development programs as highly effective while 20 per cent of leaders and 24 per cent of HR professionals rate the programs as ineffective, according to a survey by management consultancy DDI and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
However, the findings of the survey should be read in the context of a severe recession, said Steve Newhall, managing director of DDI.
“Organizations in the U.K. suffered greatly and their leaders were under intense pressure. So the poor picture of U.K. leadership is perhaps not surprising.”
The key leadership skills needed to ensure success in the next three years are driving and managing change (identified by 69 per cent of leaders), making difficult decisions (34 per cent) and executing organization strategy (32 per cent). Three drivers of leadership quality are also highlighted in the findings: leadership development, talent management and management culture, found the survey of 56 HR professionals and 367 leaders.
"Leadership development budgets remain tight, particularly in the U.K., yet effective leaders make a real difference to the success of organizations. If U.K. organizations are to continue to be successful on the world stage, then leaders need to be equipped with the key skills that our survey identified,” said Vanessa Robinson, head of HR practice development at CIPD.
"U.K. organizations, like the rest of the world, should focus on opening up decision-making in their organization and creating a set of shared and meaningful values for their employees.”
Talent should be another important focus, said Robinson.
“Given the higher external failure rates of leaders and the significant costs associated with external hires, effective succession, or 'grow-your-own' tactics, will be an increasingly important talent strategy. HR's role in ensuring these talents are developed will be pivotal, especially as the U.K. population ages and, hence, the senior-level workforce expands."
Other highlights of the survey include:
•Only 20 per cent of HR professionals rated their ability to fill vacant leadership positions (bench strength) as strong or very strong.
•81 per cent of leaders reported their individual performance expectations were tied to corporate goals and strategies.
•57 per cent of leaders reported their performance management systems generally took into account not only what but how their objectives were achieved.
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