Effective leadership is a vital ingredient of achieving long-term business success, yet new UK based research has revealed that just one third (36%) of business leaders and one in five (18%) HR professionals rate the quality of leadership as ‘high’ in their organisations.
The survey, UK Highlights: Global Leadership Forecast, from consultancy firm DDI, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), produced findings that point to an overall lack of leadership in UK organisations. A total of 56 HR professionals and 367 leaders in the UK were surveyed.
Only four in 10 (38%) of both UK leaders and HR professionals rate their organisations’ leadership development programs as highly effective. Twenty per cent of leaders and 24% of HR professionals rate the programmes as ineffective.
In addition, only 20% of HR professionals in the UK rated their ability to fill vacant leadership positions (bench strength) as strong or very strong.
Vivienne Gayton, HR manager, Mastermyne Australia, said their company, a mining services contractor, has undergone rapid growth over the past two years, and is now focusing on developing the leadership skills of their middle management.
Gayton said that due to the skills shortage and because of growth in the industry, they have promoted supervisors earlier than we would have 12 months ago – and are now charged with the task of strengthening middle management.
She said that in just two years, the company has grown by 450 employees, and with that growth, they now see an increased responsibility to improve the development and skillsets of leaders in order to facilitate further growth.
“It’s almost like the organisation has grown to the extent that some managers have probably reached their potential, so we need to continue to bring on new specialists into the business and as managers take responsibility for improving our own professional development,” Gayton said.
Vanessa Robinson, head of HR practice development, CIPD, said leadership development budgets remain tight, yet effective leaders make a real difference to the success of organisations. If organisations are to continue to be successful on the world stage, then leaders need to be equipped with the key skills that our survey identified.”
Robinson noted that organisations should “focus on opening up decision making in their organisation and creating a set of shared and meaningful values for their employees”.
She also added that organisations should concentrate on developing talent for succession planning.