'More urgent than ever': Demand for moral leadership at all-time high

More than nine in 10 believe moral leadership needed amid economic uncertainty: survey

'More urgent than ever': Demand for moral leadership at all-time high

The need for moral leadership in the United States has surged to an all-time high as workplaces face a string of challenges from economic uncertainty to return-to-office strategies.

More than nine in 10 (93%) employees said the need for moral leadership is "more urgent than ever," according to The HOW Institute's survey among 2,500 respondents.

This continues the increasing trend that started in 2020, where 86% believe that moral leadership needed, that was continued in 2022, where 88% agreed to the same sentiment.

The findings come as 71% of the respondents agree that strong moral leadership is needed in tackling the crises their workplaces face.

"What we found is that in this extraordinary moment where we, collectively, are facing so many simultaneous crises, moral leadership has evolved from a worthy pursuit to a critical survival skill," said Dov Seidman, Founder and Chairman of The HOW Institute for Society, in a statement.

"Our research shows that people are seeking leadership that works to forge shared truths and engender an abundance of trust, and that scales deep, human moral values at all levels."

Learning about moral leadership

Despite the strong demand, however, the report said only 10% of chief executive officers and 13% of managers exhibit behaviours reflecting moral leadership.

But this doesn't mean the end for organisations, as 87% of employees believe that moral leadership can be learned and taught.

"Moral leadership is a precious resource, but it need not be a scarce one," Seidman said.

Benefits of moral leadership

Seidman added there are various benefits to exhibiting moral leadership for business performance and the workforce management.

According to the report, 79% of employees from organisations with CEOs showing moral leadership said their organisation has satisfied customers.

These organisations are also less likely to see high attrition rates, with only 11% of respondents looking for a new job.

The report further discovered that teams with moral leaders at 15 times more likely to have trust and respect among team members and are 20 times more likely to be more innovative and experimental with their work.

Employees with moral leaders who have been asked to return to the office also reported having a positive personal experience, according to the report.

Those employed in organisations that invest in professional development in principled decision-making are also more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work.

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