I set aside an hour to read the ILMs “Leading through challenging times,” which looked at the impact of effective leadership on an organisation’s ability to navigate “through challenging times.” Those times are largely reflective, assigned to the COVID pandemic years, with forethought to how to better equip our leaders and managers for the future. So now.
How do we equip our staff to handle further uncertainty and change given the tough economic conditions we are facing? How do we equip ourselves first, then our leaders and managers to best guide their teams to respond, adapt and change to whatever the future throws at them?
Of course, these new ways of working necessitate new capabilities, and it’s incredibly important that senior team members identify and prioritise these capabilities and then help our staff develop them. So what capapabilities?
The skills that the UK’s employees and employers consider to be most important for managers and leaders are also the ones they believe their leaders need to build upon. Is there a genuine lag in the system? Probably.
The most important skills for managers and leaders reported by the ILM are considered to be:
- People Management (68%)
- Communication (48%)
- Building relationships and interpersonal skills (48%)
On the flip side, employees said their own managers and leaders need to improve:
- People Management (45%)
- Communication (39%)
- Building relationships and interpersonal skills (38%)
This really is a two-way street. A street full of pot-holes by the sounds of things as ILM research also suggests that employers are failing to invest in and improve their teams’ leadership and management skills. Limited talent management or career development processes were cited by one in five employees for example.
Of course, it is always about proximity and relationships:
At Legal & General Insurance we’ve recognised that equipping all of our managers to have the right conversations and build respectful, trusting, two-way relationships is more important now than ever.Peter Coats (Group Protection Academy Manager, Learning & Development Consultant, Legal and General)
And the report’s top two recommendations?
- We need to embed core leadership and management skills across all levels of the organisation to enable them to respond effectively to future crises
- Businesses must offer career development and nurture talent pipelines to ensure they are fit for the future
And we knew that – correct?