BY THE NUMBERS
Critical Gap Persists for Five Skills Leaders Need to Develop
Few Leaders Are Getting the Development They Need to Meet Key Challenges
Leaders want to prepare for uncertainty. The top five skills they want to develop in the next three years reflect a desire to clearly communicate strategy to their teams and engage teams and stakeholders to meet the challenges ahead.
The skill gap could exacerbate talent challenges in the coming years.
While leaders believe these skills are crucial to success, only 12% rate themselves as effective in all five. Worse, only 29% of companies train for these critical skills. If not addressed, this skill gap could exacerbate talent challenges in the coming years.
Companies that focus on development in these key areas can strengthen their ability to weather challenging circumstances. Our research shows that when leaders feel they are effective in all five skills, they are also:
- 3X more likely to say they can engage and retain top talent.
- 2X more likely to feel prepared to prevent employee burnout.
- 2X more likely to be comfortable operating in a highly ambiguous environment.
- 3X more likely to feel confident operating in a digital business environment.
Furthermore, when companies develop these skills, they are also 1.4X more likely to be named as a best place to work, which improves their ability to attract and retain top talent.
WHERE TO FOCUS
Develop Talent Nurturers
All five of the top skills leaders need to develop are critical for leaders’ success in the next three years. In fact, when leaders rate themselves as effective in all five areas, they are 2X more likely to feel energized about their work and 4X more likely to seek out additional ways to contribute to their organizations beyond their job requirements.
If companies can only focus their attention on developing one key skill, the biggest gap to address is leaders’ ability to identify and develop future talent. This skill is also crucially tied to CEOs’ biggest concern for their organizations: attracting and retaining top talent.
We examined key factors that contribute to leaders’ effectiveness in identifying and developing talent. We found that leaders feel more effective identifying and developing future talent when their direct leader:
- Encourages them to challenge old ways of doing things.
- Listens and responds with empathy.
- Provides opportunities for team members’ growth and development.
- Maintains high trust and confidentiality.
Companies with leaders who are effective at identifying and developing talent have on average, a 15% higher internal hiring success rate