I’ve been gathering informal feedback from senior HR executives on their top five pain points related to developing leaders and growing talent. Here are the winners:
1.Accelerated Leadership Development – I’ve already mentioned this in a recent blog post, and it tops the list. As Baby Boomers are retiring, employee ranks are thinning, executive layers are disappearing and development budgets are shrinking, the road to executive ascent needs to be shortening. Yet can it? We’ve promised fresh thinking on this subject in the May issue of our Newsletter.
2.Strengthening Manager Abilities – So much of employee engagement, opportunity, motivation and continuity depends on the manager. Yet, after years of restructurings and trimming of training budgets, many companies are left with a cadre of managers who don’t know how to do the basics well. This includes discussing goals and objectives, giving feedback, delegating work with the right level of detail, being accessible, making timely decisions, acting as coach and mentor, to name several key things.
3.Managing Performance Instead of Relying on Restructurings – After years of downsizings, leaders and managers have learned to rely on this technique instead of properly differentiating performance and, specifically, rating lower performers as unsatisfactory. This behavior is frustrating to strong performers, many of whom cannot receive proper recognition because of it. The answer, of course, resides in Manager Training – discussed above – in this case specifically to create a high performance culture.
4.Re-recruiting the Workforce After the Recession – As the layoffs of the past several years eroded what was left of the “lifetime employment” promise, employees have become almost universally skeptical about any employer commitment to their futures. This affects engagement, performance and business results. We’ve advocated our Career Development Center as the developmental anchor of a new 21st Century contract with employees to address this pain point.
5.Managing and Engaging Millenials – This pain point has risen from one of low importance to a top five ranking over the past two years. It’s clear that traditional management approaches do not work with this group of new entrants who rarely see the corporate world vertically beyond one layer above theirs and who connect in digital ways that are often under the radar and go beyond traditional corporate borders. This is an area where we plan to bring fresh thinking later this year as it grows in severity as a pain point.
Comments are welcome. What other pain points do you see emerging?