Oct 18, 2007

Looming Leadership Crisis says IBM study

According to a major new IBM study of over 400 human resource executives from 40 countries released today, more than 75 percent of HR executives say that they are concerned with their ability to develop future leaders.

Companies in the Asia Pacific region are most concerned with their ability to develop future leaders (88 percent); followed by Latin America (74 percent); Europe, Middle East and Africa, (74 percent); Japan (73 percent) and North America (69 percent).

Rotating employees across divisions and geographies is also an important way to hone future leadership talent. Yet, according to the study, 36 percent of HR executives state rotating leadership talent is a significant challenge in developing future leaders. Another key challenge is the generation gap -- passing on knowledge from older to younger employees (28 percent).

52 percent of HR executives say a significant workforce-related challenge facing their organizations is the inability to rapidly develop skills to address current and/or future business needs. Furthermore, the study shows that more than one-third of study participants state their employee skills are not aligned with current organizational priorities.

Forty-seven percent of the organizations surveyed said that employee turnover has increased over the past two years, while only 16 percent said it has decreased.

Many believe their corporate reputations will allow them to attract and retain the people they need. While 52 percent indicate an inability to rapidly develop skills is a primary workforce challenge, only 27 percent state the inability to attract qualified candidates is a problem.

Retention also seems to be less of a concern; only 18 percent state this is a high priority workforce issue. However, changing trends in workforce demographics and mobility patterns suggest they may need to invest more resources in recruiting, selection and retention.

An underlying cause according to the study is that HR executives believe that despite the ongoing war for talent, they are more capable of attracting and retaining talent than their competitors. Almost 60 percent of HR executives surveyed feel they attract and retain talent better than their peers, while only 10 percent state they are less effective.

So, looks like some folks are deluding themselves :-)