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A Leadership Deficit At The Heart Of UK plc

Posted on May 3, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Less than 20% of UK companies believe that they can clearly define their culture, and communicate and measure it. As a result, eight out of 10 say they suffer from a lack of employee engagement.

These are the results of the latest Deloitte UK Human Capital Trends 2015 survey. For its purposes, an organisation's 'culture' is defined as deep employee engagement, meaningful work, strong leadership importance and job and organisational fit. The picture it paints of the state of UK business is shocking.

Almost nine in 10 organisations surveyed say 'leadership' is one of their biggest challenges. It is the most pressing concern for UK companies for the third year running, as well as being the most important issue raised by companies globally. A mere 8% believe their leadership pipeline to be 'excellent.'

Companies are apparently struggling with what to do with so-called Millenial Leaders - people born after 1982 - which is frankly depressing as they are the future. But at least 'learning and development' has moved up the urgency scale. It was identified as the 11th most important issue in 2014, and is now deemed to be  the 4th most important.

But learning capabilities have dropped significantly, says Deloitte, which identifies a 'capability gap' nearly doubling in the last year from 12 to 20. This is bizarre, as there has been a substantial increase in the availability of digital and mobile learning tools. However, a mere 8% of respondents rate themselves excellent at providing mobile learning.

Anne-Marie Malley, Deloitte 

"Traditionally viewed as an adminstrative function, as the UK economy grows technology changes the way we do business, skills become more specialised and generational transitions occur.To help attract and retain talent, organisations need to revamp their entire strategy to measure, manage and improve employee engagement....." says Anne-Marie Malley, head of Deloitte's UK human capital practice.

"It is clear that something needs to change in order for UK companies to effectively navigate the new world of work" she adds.

How many UK boardrooms are putting it on their agenda to discuss, I wonder.

The survey was designed to complement Deloitte's latest Human Capital Report, available here.

Categories: Leadership, Governance, Engagement