More Bespoke Leadership Development Please! Survey Highlights UK Deficit

More Bespoke Leadership Development Please! Survey Highlights UK Deficit

Do you and your managers have the leadership skills to lead your organisation into the future?

Are you tailoring the way you develop your management teams to suit each individual?

Research from CIPD and recruitment company Robert Half both show a leadership skills deficiency in UK managers.

Of the 200 HR directors in Robert Half’s poll, half said they are wanting to see greater leadership skills in candidates for management roles.

Other skills found to be lacking were strategic planning skills, where 18% of management candidates fall short, function skills lacking in 15%, alongside a lack in communication skills in 14%.

Similar findings came from the latest Outlook survey from the CIPD.

“Top leadership behaviours” required by organisations in the next 3 years were voted as people management and performance management.

It may come as a surprise then to see that 53% rated leaders’ performance management skills as ineffective, and 44% felt their leaders’ people management was not up to scratch.

The results showed that leaders are excelling in other areas, with 80% reporting effective technical skills and 73% rating budgeting and financial management as effective within their leadership teams.

While technical skills were shown to be in abundance in leadership teams, it is more in non-management roles where they are sought after.

Nearly half (45%) of HR directors were found to put more emphasis on technical skills when looking for non-management candidates than on softer skills.

Dr Jill Miller, research adviser at the CIPD, described the perceived lack of leadership skills as “very concerning”.

“In order to lead people effectively, leaders need to have a variety of skills – but while technical skills are critical in organisations, they do not always go hand-in-hand with people skills.

“Organisations need to respond to this mismatch by making targeted investment in their leadership’s people management capability.

“A strong talent pipeline, which promotes both strong people management and technical excellence, will support people to reach their full potential at work and is essential for a sustainable and high-performing business.”

The functional skills of managers were also shown to be plentiful. The Robert Half survey showed that while 49% felt non-manager workers could improve their functional skills, only 15% of management level employees were lacking.

Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK, believes addressing the skills gap at management level is essential for organisations to reach their goals.

“When adding new professionals to their team, hiring managers base their decisions on different criteria, depending on the level of seniority of the role.

“Professional experience and functional skills are the most important factors for hiring managers recruiting for staff level roles, in comparison to the emphasis on leadership skills for management level.”

Above all, this research highlights the growing need to develop leaders and managers to be the very best they can be.

Of course, that process begins by understanding what drives organisational leaders to perform at their best, and then providing them with the tools and training they need to excel.

There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to bringing out the best in your leaders or managers.

In order to truly realise the potential of management teams, it can be especially useful to start any Leadership Development initiative by using science-based talent assessment tools like The Predictive Index or the PI Learning Indicator to give you an objective picture of how best to develop and nurture each of your staff.

Using data-driven people analytics to supplement your own knowledge about your staff, coupled with a company-specific strategy to fill gaps within your management teams can often mean the difference between developing mediocre leadership and world-class leadership.

So, what do you think?

How are you currently plugging the development gaps in your management teams?

Do you tailor your management development programs to suit individual managers?

Share your experiences in the comments section – we’d love to hear what you have to say.

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