HR managers and managers-to-be take
note: Australian employees rate
having a trustworthy manager as
being twice as desirable as one who
delivers good financial results.
In a list of desired senior leadership
characteristics polled in the Towers Watson Global
Workforce Study 2010, being able to trust
managers came out on top (68 per cent), with
managing financial performance successfully (34
per cent) coming way down the list.
Lesley Brown, practice leader for Towers
Watson’s employee surveys and insight business,
said that for many employees what they’re really
looking for is a balanced set of leadership skills.
Caring about the wellbeing of others (60 per
cent) was the second most important trait in
managers, while encouragement of talent (53 per
cent) also scored highly. Being highly visible was
ranked as desirable by 52 per cent of respondents.
“Employees nowadays like to build their own
careers and have a mentoring relationship with their
manager,” says Brown. “This kind of relationship
develops trust and creates a supportive
organisational culture, and without it managers will
face challenges in retention and engagement.”
Brown adds that managers should take
advantage of being embedded with their future
reports. “Frontline managers can build an emotional
touch point with their colleagues over time, which is
far harder for senior managers to do as they lack
the constant interaction.”
Further down the list of desirables came articulating the organisation’s vision
and strategy (27 per cent) and promoting the brand/image of the organisation
(21 per cent).
A key element to management success is, of course, communication, and it
seems Australian leaders are adept at maintaining correspondence, particularly
in testing times.
The survey said that weekly communication by Australian leaders actually
increased during the economic crisis compared to the rest of the world, with 38
per cent of respondents communicated with staff once a week or more
compared to 31 per cent globally.