Lee Hecht Harrison Survey Finds Strong Leadership Still Lacking in the Workplace

Survey Reveals Clear Areas that Need Improvement from Company Leadership

Jan 26, 2010, 09:30 ET from Lee Hecht Harrison

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent national survey by global talent management solutions leader Lee Hecht Harrison, the majority of workers in the U.S. find their bosses likeable, but feel the management within their companies have room for improvement.

When asked to rank which qualities their boss best exhibited, likeability took the top spot among U.S. workers, followed by leadership, honesty, fairness, patience and loyalty. Although leadership ranked second, just less than half of workers polled (49%) thought their managers exhibited strong leadership skills – a sobering data point reinforcing the need for renewed focus on leadership development.

Other key findings from the survey uncovered:

  • Motivation & Mentorship Lagging: Only 24% of employees polled felt that their manager displayed motivational skills, and the same number noted that their supervisor failed to mentor and explain the choices made from an organizational perspective.
  • Career Growth Continues: The majority of workers surveyed (66%) still feel that their manager promotes work and career growth internally – an important element to ensuring strong retention and engagement as the economy turns around.
  • Leadership Is Remaining Honest About Economic Climate: 75% of employees trust their manager to be honest about their job security, and 77% agree that their supervisor should be candid about the company direction.

"Regardless of how the economy is fairing, it's mission critical that organizations look inward and consistently review how their employees perceive the actions being made by supervisors and management," said Peter Alcide, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lee Hecht Harrison. "Employees that feel underappreciated and unmotivated are less productive and will be the first to leave once the job market shows signs of improvement.  Developing strong leadership – at all levels of an organization - is essential to solve this problem effectively and improve employee morale and retention."

Lee Hecht Harrison offers the following tips for organizations looking to improve leadership development within their organization:

  • Focus on identifying and developing leaders in critical roles at all levels of the organization. It is essential for organizations to develop their leadership talent beginning with emerging leaders who may be in their first managerial roles and continuing through more senior high potentials and succession candidates. This comprehensive focus on development drives a culture of leadership excellence and improved performance throughout all levels of management.
  • Ensure that leadership development efforts are aligned with specific business objectives and strategies.  Leadership development activities should reinforce strengths and close skill gaps to enable leaders to bring their own performance and the performance of the teams they lead to the highest level of effectiveness in ways that are aligned with the evolving needs and goals of the business.
  • Implement development approaches, such as executive coaching, that reinforce sustainable behavior change.  Development investments must drive a positive impact on the business in a method that can be sustained over time.  Effective executive coaching is a strategic way to help management gain vision while continuing to expand skills.

About Lee Hecht Harrison

Lee Hecht Harrison offers talent management solutions throughout the entire employee life cycle to help companies and individuals maximize performance and achieve success. Established in 1974, Lee Hecht Harrison is a global talent management solutions company with over 270 offices worldwide providing expertise in Career Transition, Leadership Consulting and Workforce Solutions.

Lee Hecht Harrison is a part of Adecco Group, the world leader in workforce solutions with over 6,600 offices in over 70 countries and territories around the world. For more information, please visit LHH.com.

SOURCE Lee Hecht Harrison