- Only 50% of employees have confidence that their leaders can drive their organizations forward into the future, a new Gartner survey revealed. But it turns out leaders aren't confident in themselves, either; only half of the 2,800 leaders surveyed said they are "well-equipped to lead their organization in the future," Gartner said.
- Based on its research, Gartner said that instead of focusing on leadership models, HR should build an environment based on "complementary leadership," whereby the responsibility is shared by leaders with similar skills sets. To enable this type of leadership, Gartner said HR should: 1) get leaders to recognize their skills gaps and where they need help; 2) develop leaders so they can apply what they learn to their leadership responsibilities directly, and 3) create leader partnerships, not just better individual leaders.
- "Leaders today have more responsibilities than ever, but are ill-equipped to take on their expanded roles," Sari Wilde, Gartner's managing VP in its HR practice, said in a statement. "We are seeing organizations overhaul their leadership models, hoping the right combination of competencies will enable leaders to tackle their growing responsibilities. Unfortunately, relying on leadership models alone isn’t enough."
The relationships between bosses and their direct reports play a key role in employee engagement and company culture more broadly — meaning it can pose massive cultural issues when leaders don't feel capable enough to do their jobs. Managers that break promises, disrespect their employees and have unrealistic expectations all can drive workers to quit, even when those workers otherwise like their jobs, a 2018 Yoh survey revealed. And those who dislike their managers are nearly four times as likely to be looking for another job, according to employee engagement platform TINYpulse.
Other studies have noted that managers need — and want — more training. Managers in a 2018 study by West Monroe Partners admitted feeling as though they haven't had enough training for their leadership role, and 44% said they felt overwhelmed by their workload. But some managers remain unaware of their shortcomings, partly due to employee reticence to telling them; this issue may speak to why more employers are seeking to build learning cultures, where employees at all levels feel they can ask for training, including managers.
Wilde explained the advantage of the complementary leadership model in the report: "Our research found that leaders are not always best-positioned to manage every responsibility they are tasked with; instead, the best leaders identify others who have a stronger grasp of skills at which they are weak and share responsibilities with them." According to Gartner's analysis, when leaders use the complementary model, their teams' performance increased by 60%, and their own performance increased by 40%.