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Addressing The 'Leadership Lag'

Businesses must address the ‘leadership lag’ as a key priority in 2017 for UK success post-Brexit, according to ILM’s leadership manifesto.

ILM calls for businesses to boost leadership at all levels as research reveals employees lack confidence and inspiration from leaders at work and found that over half of employees (53%) will consider moving jobs unless their organisation changes, suggesting a considerable frustration with current leadership and business structures.

ILM’s Leadership Five Point Manifesto Urges Organisations to:

  • Recognise that leadership skills are a route to competitive advantage

  • Look longer term at leadership

  • Adapt post-Brexit

  • Develop from the bottom up

  • Create flexible workplaces

The Statistics

​The research, which surveyed employers and employees across the UK, found that 28% of UK workers feel they don’t have a trustworthy and inspirational leader – topping the list of what they lack most at work. Nearly one in four, 24% say that leaders in their organisations make them feel stressed and only 23% would be very likely to recommend their company’s overall leadership.

​And it seems that whilst businesses acknowledge the importance of good leadership, they also see room for improvement. With a challenging period of uncertainty ahead, it’s no surprise that having inspirational leaders ranks as the top HR focus with 52% citing this as key priority.

Just 31% of HR professionals feel very confident about their organisation’s supply of leadership talent for the next three to five years.

Leadership at all levels - Boosting Motivation and Productivity

​“Leadership doesn’t just refer to people at the top – and we need to stop thinking of it in this way,” says John Yates, Group Director at ILM. Many people view leadership as a necessary step in career progression, as opposed to something they want to actively take on. But it’s actually a set of skills that should be learnt from your very first day at work, and honed until your last.”

When asked what changes they’d like to see in their organisation the top answers were:

  • To get leaders back on the ‘shop floor’ more often (31% employees and 37% employers)

  • More investment in training and development

And with 58% of businesses planning to refocus their learning and development activity due to Brexit, UK businesses have a huge opportunity to invest in teams and boost motivation and productivity across the board.

John Yates continues: “With significant changes on the horizon, organisations need to be empowering people at every level with leadership skills if they want to remain competitive. That’s why we’ve launched our manifesto, calling on UK businesses to address this ‘leadership lag’ to help the nation navigate what is set to be a challenging few years ahead.”

Many economic and organisational issues – around skills gaps, productivity problems and poor performance – can be transformed by quality leadership. Skilled leaders offer teams the vision, motivation and cultural environment in which to perform, driving organisational and national competitiveness.

A little training goes a long way. By having a clear focus on developing core leadership skills, such as communication and teamwork, a future-proofed business can be built – with a pipeline of skilled, empowered and loyal leaders.

Pieced together by Nick Horan 21/1/2017

Finding the time to think, reflect, discover, learn and apply positive change

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