From disconnected employees, inclusion as a superpower and leadership development as a key business enabler – the research and articles featured in this Leadership Update tap into the big culture change conversations L&D and HRD professionals are having right now. But because these are complex subjects it can be hard zoning out the white noise and getting to the insight that counts.
It’s why research analyst Juliet keeps a constant watch over the latest leadership research and analysis coming out of the big publishers, research houses and industry thinkers, wraps them up into this quarterly Leadership Update that we share with you.
1. Disconnected employees: the pandemic hangover continues
Employees are still feeling disconnected from their organisations which is impacting performance, engagement and turnover.
Research reported in Training Industry reveals that employees are feeling more disconnected from their organisation than ever since the pandemic. And as you move down the organisational ranks this disconnection increases with mid/low level managers also reporting poor links with their peers. This lack of connection is going to seriously impact their ability to deliver in cross-functional teams and will inevitably lead to disengagement and low performance or staff turnover.
HR has a key role to play from a culture change perspective, especially when it comes to providing employees with opportunities to create cross-organisation networks that will increase connection and collaboration whilst also helping to build a sense of belonging.
Read: How can leaders energise their teams and improve performance
2. Inclusion: the ‘hidden superpower’
Creating a culture of inclusion where employees can be their authentic-self increases engagement, performance and reduces turnover.
New research by BCG describes Inclusion as a ‘hidden superpower’ so why do so few organisations value it as a business driver? Is it because it’s hard to define and measure? BCG has developed a simple model to identify key drivers and barriers of inclusion so that employers can create a culture in which employees feel they can be their authentic-self, which increases engagement, performance and reduces turnover.
We believe inclusion starts with open conversations – building mutual understanding of others, being curious about different perspectives and making conscious choices about how we respond to challenges to our own opinions. It follows therefore that organisations need leaders who can create time and space to have these conversations, leaders who are present and open to both asking questions and listening to the responses without bias.
Read: Leadership drives culture change, not policies
3. Leadership: a key business enabler but so much room for improvement
Leadership is a key business enabler so why did only 25% of respondents report that leaders in their organisation are engaged, passionate and inspiring?
McKinsey’s State of Organisations 2023 report identifies leadership as a key challenge and a top enabler of business performance. But only 25% of respondents reported that their organisation’s leaders are engaged, passionate and inspiring for the rest of the business.
Great leadership delivers engagement, wellbeing, innovation, collaboration and financial performance. It’s why senior HR leaders across all sectors should be exploring how they can support and develop their leaders with impactful, relevant leadership development that will optimise business impact.
Read: Driving ambitious organisational transformation at a leading global logistics company
4. Training and development: positive for employees beyond up-skilling
Training interventions positively impact mental health, well-being and increase engagement and retention as well as up-skilling employees.
Research from the Open University reveals that whilst well-being support in organisations helps employees, any training intervention has a positive impact on mental health and well-being. In addition, any investment in training also increases engagement and retention as well as being positive for the organisation by up-skilling employees.
Our mission is to improve lives by transforming people’s experience of work through great leadership, and this research gets right to the heart of it. There’s huge power in showing your employees that you care enough about them to want to invest in their personal development, especially when this development is to improve leadership. And the double whammy is that by doing this, you improve the conditions for all employees and customers too.
From a L&D perspective, the opportunities are wide and deep: from building training opportunities for all employees, to driving a culture of well-being and care as well as building capability.
Read: Culture change: how can L&D keep the momentum going?
We know how hard it is to keep on top of all the latest leadership thinking so why not let Juliet, our research analyst, do the hard work for you? Juliet reviews the latest research and analysis coming out of the big publishers, research houses and industry thinkers including BCG, Josh Bersin, CIPD, McKinsey and curates the most important and relevant insights. Think big organisational and leadership themes like culture change, hybrid working and DE&I which we then share with you in this quarterly Leadership Update.