Gaps in leadership capabilities could impede further growth

Preliminary analysis of our 2020 Workforce surveys shows that leadership is ill-equipped to deal with tomorrow’s—and even today’s—workforce issues.

Just about half of executives say that their leaders are prepared to effectively manage talent, and even fewer say their leaders are prepared to lead a global workforce.  Employees agree that leadership is lackluster—less than half say leadership is equipped to lead the company to success. Furthermore, employees do not believe that management values leadership ability in employees, meaning companies may not be developing future leaders within their organizations.

Executives and employee responses suggest a worrying lack of qualified leaders—but to be successful in the new multi-generation and -cultural workplaces, companies will have to equip leadership with the skills to lead global and diverse workforces.

2020 Workforce news roundup

The Digital Highway: Why HR Needs to Move Out of the Slow Lane (Wired): Legacy HR IT systems could be preventing companies from realizing competitive advantage through people. Digital technologies are changing the way employees find jobs, learn, and do their work—so HR needs to make digital a priority.

U.S. Workers Can’t Get No (Job) Satisfaction (Wall Street Journal): According to a new survey from the Conference Board, job satisfaction in the US has decreased significantly since 1987, when the survey was first conducted. While workers today are more satisfied with bonuses and flexible-work opportunities, they are less satisfied with job security, sick leave, and health coverage.

Temporary Jobs Are Canada’s Future: Report (Huffington Post): The practice of hiring contract workers is likely to pick up over the next few months in Canada, where the economic environment is unstable and employers can be fill jobs quickly without offering benefits or vacation time.

2020 Workforce surveys near completion

In just a few days, our surveys of 2,700 employees and 2,700 executives will close, and we have already begun our analysis of both surveys.

Our interim results pointed to some important workforce trends—among them, that HR issues are not as top of mind as they should be; that there is a lack of understanding between what motivates and engages employees and what their companies deliver; and that by some key measures, Millennials and non-Millennials may not be as different from each other as most think they are.

We are excited to see how our preliminary findings hold up against the complete data sets and to share those findings with you. Stay tuned as we release the research in a series of short papers and country fact sheets over the summer—and as we share some of our results on the blog before then.

HR vision, planning, data, and metrics are in short supply

Preliminary results of our survey suggest that companies are not strategically planning for the workforce they want to build—furthermore, many of them do not have a vision for what they want that workforce to look like. Without a clear vision and strategy for workforce development, companies are more likely to struggle with issues including skills gaps, contingent employees, and an increasingly diverse workforce.

How should firms begin to rethink their talent strategies? Better data about employee skills and quantifiable metrics for assessing performance would help. But the first step may be giving HR a voice in decision-making and keeping talent issues top of mind.


2020 Workforce news roundup: Summer holiday edition

Summer foreign workers critical to Maine resorts, where staff remember last summer’s federal red tape struggles with visa processing (Bangor Daily News): In Ogunquit, Maine, the local population of 1,200 isn’t able meet the demands of numerous summer visitors. Some local resorts and restaurants participate in a government program that brings foreign workers to the town to fill the positions—but they are met with bureaucratic challenges along the way.

Romanians are EU’s hardest working employees (Business Review): A recent Inscop Research study has found that Romanian employees take the least vacation time of any other group in the EU. Last year, nearly half did not take any time off in the summer.

Column: Avoid staff vacation challenges (Charlotte Observer): Juggling employees’ vacation times can be a struggle—especially around summer holidays. Some firms are offering incentives for employees to stay around the holidays, or coordinating vacation schedules at the start of the summer.

No big summer vacation? You’ve got plenty of company (The Kansas City Star): According to the US Department of Labor, about 25% of American workers don’t have paid vacation time. Meanwhile, many employees who do have paid vacation aren’t able to use their time, or don’t want to, as taking vacation time can mean more stress leading up to the days off—and resentment from coworkers who may have to cover for you.

Recruitment policies hurting business in Hong Kong?

Business increasingly relies on globally aware and culturally sensitive leaders with a broad understanding of the business and markets in which they operate.

In a strongly worded opinion article from the South China Morning Post, financial writer and former banker Peter Guy argues that policymakers in Hong Kong are too Hong Kong-centric, resulting in a narrow approach to decision-making and recruitment that has led to stagnation in the city’s businesses and government.

The tone and importance of recruitment is set by leadership, the board or the owner. Cultivating talent starts at the top.

To achieve competitive advantage, Guy writes, Hong Kong must “push the boundaries of talent” to drive innovation in business, education, and government.