November 24, 2014

SuccessFactors Finds Leadership Gap is Now Wider Than Ever

leadership getting widerA recent survey by SuccessFactors, an SAP company, found that 34 percent of executives say “a lack of adequate leadership is among the major impediments to achieving workforce goals.” Another 42 percent say company growth plans are “slowed by lack of access to the right leadership.”

On the bright side, the majority of employees rate their leaders as doing an adequate job. When asked how well managers were delivering on their leadership expectations, 53 percent of respondents answered “well” or “very well.”

The responses detailed in “Workforce 2020: The Leadership Cliff,”were generated from 5,500 executives and employees across 27 countries and indicate that the “leadership gap” is growing across industries and geographic regions.

When asked “How well does your manager deliver on the following expectations?” respondents replied:

  • Leadership – 53 percent;
  • Regular performance reviews – 49 percent;
  • Flexibility on time off  – 44 percent;
  • Regular informal feedback on my performance – 43 percent;
  • Flexibility on working location – 43 percent;
  • Acknowledging superior performance – 42 percent;
  • Mentoring – 41 percent;
  • Supporting a healthy working environment – 39 percent;
  • Availability/approachability – 38 percent;
  • Sponsoring me for training and development programs – 35 percent;
  • Well-defined career path – 30 percent.

The survey found that just 38 percent of hiring managers look for leadership candidates with soft skills, while noting that more than half of the executive participants are in HR and 35 percent of executives say turnover and lack of loyalty are roadblocks to establishing a future-ready workforce. More than two-thirds of employees perceive their employers as not caring about loyalty at all. Instead, employees chose “the ability to learn and be trained quickly” as the top employer concern. Meanwhile, just slightly more than half of respondents say their managers “possess the skills to effectively manage talent,” and less than half (44 percent) “have faith that their leaders are capable of driving and effectively managing change.”

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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.