Today's employees believe in themselves, but not necessarily in their leaders according to the Global Mindset Survey released today by business performance consultancy, rogenSi.
The survey sampled more than 2,000 employees worldwide and assessed the mindset of people in response to the economic upheaval of the past year.
Overall, the results provide a picture of how employees view themselves, their leaders, the organisations in which they work and their future opportunities.
Dr Clark Perry, rogenSi director, said: "There is little doubt that the economic downturn of the last 12 months has impacted on the mindset of the global workforce – we all know it has been a tough and fearful market out there.
"Our survey shows that these conditions have created a crisis of confidence in our business leaders, where employees remain confident in their own abilities, but doubt senior management.
"As a result, many employees are losing belief in the ability of their organisations to be successful. Companies are losing productivity because their employees are absolving themselves of taking responsibility for their results. Rather, they see the economy and their leaders to blame for poor performance. This negatively impacts on their mindset and therefore lowers their commitment to execute strategy. Ultimately, this can have a major impact on an organisation's bottom line."
According to rogenSi, if left unaddressed, it may only be a matter of time before their self belief deteriorates to match the current low levels of motivation and emotional control.
However, this provides an immense opportunity for leaders to utilise these findings and look for new ways of leading their teams.
The results show a team that truly want to engage and deliver exceptional results, but don't know where to turn for the answers.
"Now, more than ever before, leaders need to find new ways to connect with and inspire their people at a deeper, more meaningful level. There needs to be an investment in developing the employee's mindset so they can gain a more resourceful attitude and embrace change. The alternative is to risk high levels of disengagement, and therefore subsequent performance decrements," said Dr Perry.
The Global Mindset Survey, which collated the responses of employees of various ages and job roles across a wide range of industries at companies around the world, also revealed:
- Employees are passionate about their work and have a strong work ethic but perceive their leaders as ineffective and unsupportive. As a result, their motivation is unstable and diminishing. They seek greater influence from their leaders in setting direction and appropriate processes, but find the experience less than satisfying.
- Younger employees (25-35 years old), more than any other age cohort, have lost faith in their leaders and in their organisation as a whole, believing there is not enough skill, strategy, teamwork or leadership to successfully manage the challenges ahead. They are more stressed, more doubtful and more distracted than their colleagues.
- Sales people have been the most negatively affected by current challenges. According to the study, they least believe in the organisation's prospects for the future, have little knowledge about how to handle the challenges ahead, find little comfort from their colleagues' skills, and are the most reluctant to turn to their managers for support. This affects their energy, confidence and resourcefulness, which impacts their relationships with clients or customers.
According to rogenSi, leaders must learn to adapt their leadership style in times of adversity. In tougher times, they need to pay extra attention to ensuring their team members are clear about the tasks on which they should be focusing.
"As evidenced by these intriguing study results, executive managers need to understand how to develop a corporate mindset that inspires employees to continue toward their goals, despite significant adversity and pressure," said Dr Perry. "It's natural for motivation to be down during an economic downturn, but successful and creative leaders will turn it into an opportunity to help their employees shine."