Deficient Employee and Leader Development

95% of employers think their leadership development programs support their organization’s desired culture. But only 37% of employees believe senior management is doing a good job developing future leaders. Only 44% agree leaders have a sincere interest in employees’ well-being.

For employers, this disparity poses three immediate challenges:

Only 39% of the 2012 Towers Watson Global Workforce respondents agreed their leaders are effectively preparing the next generation of leadership. 

Current processes need to evolve in very different ways.

Less than 50% of those surveyed agree leadership development processes are effective. Companies don't always take into account generational differences, cultural differences and personality types. Each employee thinks and reacts differently to communications and decisions. Each leader must decide how effective and appropriate their communication with staff will be, and if that person realizes they have a deficiency, it is crucial they improve.

Companies are unsure how to identify and assess new leadership competencies.

As companies look to improve their leaders, they often don’t have a starting point. With a successful competency-based development program, it is crucial to know what base-line attributes and competencies are required for a leader’s position. Additionally, it becomes increasingly difficult to assess existing leaders competency if the organization has not developed their leadership development training pipeline. 

Companies lack the ability to develop and nurture leadership competencies.

Companies are often very inconsistent and rigid in developing their current and next generation leaders. The training they provide new leaders differs starkly from that of their existing leaders. Often after a leader completes the initial training, further training is merely an optional task for a leader to complete. Furthermore, training program curriculums are often very rigid and don’t allow for personalization to each leader.  

In a Bain Company 2008 survey, less than 25% of respondents strongly agreed that “our best people are in the jobs where they add the most value.”  

This means that 75% of respondents believe their best people aren’t in the roles that best suit their abilities. What effect does this have on the organization? How often have people been put in a role because they were the most senior employee on staff, but they weren’t the best for the job? 

Often organizations promote the best engineer, operator, driver, or computer tech to leadership positions because they know their job better than anyone else. While there are great gains in this with job expertise, often these employees lack the basic leadership and communication skills that would make them effective leaders.  

Even further, this survey shows average and even poor performers fill most of a company’s strategic roles while many top performers occupy nonstrategic positions. Companies miss the mark when they don’t put the best people in the best roles. Companies who address this problem often have detailed HR databases that allow them to maximize each employee’s skills and interests.