CEOs worldwide will focus in 2014 on people issues as route to growth. The results of a survey by “The Conference Board” among more than 1,000 CEOs, presidents and chairpersons around the world have been published on January 10, 2014. According to the study that was conducted from September to October 2013, increasing employee engagement and better leadership are the top priorities.
The results don’t really surprise me. Nevertheless, it took business leaders quite some time to realize that, in order to maximize future growth, they need to focus more on their greatest resource – their employees and those who will lead them.
We still have to wait whether leaders will live up to their new found insight and will follow through on it or whether it will remain just lip service. After all, surveys by various organizations have shown that employee engagement globally is since decades on a downward trend, particularly in the Western world. The rising employee dissatisfaction is well known. Nevertheless, top executives either haven’t addressed it or went for the wrong measures.
Concerning the other issue “better leadership”, it is obvious that something needs to be done considering that since quite a few years business leaders find themselves always at the end of rankings of “most respected professions”.
In this context, it is also easy to see why CEOs have ranked in the above study integrity all over the world as number one among the leadership attributes most critical for future success. There were a few ethical scandals too many involving high calibre CEOs.
The other top ranked critical leadership attributes in the study were leading change, managing complexity, an entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to develop and retain talent.
All of us, no matter where we are ranked hierarchically in our organization, can contribute to a better workplace culture and to an improved image for leaders. Let us join hands and go for it!