• 6/24/2015
  • 12:00 AM
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A new U.S. study of nearly 400 organizations by Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent mobility consulting firm, has identified that 54% of employers plan to increase investments in leadership development in 2015.

Investments in Leadership Development to Increase

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NEW JERSEY, June 24, 2015 – A new U.S. study of nearly 400 organizations by Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent mobility consulting firm, has identified that 54% of employers plan to increase investments in leadership development in 2015. Only 5% of employers plan to decrease investments, and a further 41% reported leadership development investments will stay the same.

“Not surprisingly, our same study also identified developing leaders as one of the top talent management priorities in 2015,” noted Kristen Leverone, Senior Vice President for Lee Hecht Harrison’s Global Talent Development Practice. “Having a strong pipeline of ‘ready now’ leaders is at the heart of a high-performing talent management strategy. And it requires an investment and commitment to bring that to fruition. To ensure investments are made strategically, it helps to prioritize the competencies needed for success both today and in the future.”

The study also cited the top competencies that organizations plan to focus on when developing leaders this year. 

Top 10 In-Demand Leadership Competencies in 2015
(Respondents rated as “Very Important” ) 

  • Results management 
  • Strategic thinking 
  • Team leadership 
  • Collaboration 
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Coaching/mentoring
  • Ethical behavior
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Impact and influence

“In our experience, companies rely most heavily on formalized development programs and cross-training opportunities to develop leaders,” advised Leverone. “Coaching and mentoring are also frequently used to provide more individualized development and feedback.” 

“The operating norm today is skinny and flat, which often makes it hard for organizations to recruit, retain or develop future leaders,” said Leverone. “In some departments there may be talent hoarding, which makes it difficult to assess the full potential of leadership bench strength within the organization as managers operating in this situation hoard the talent they have for fear of poaching. Difficulties retaining top talent can also be another impeding factor to building a leadership pipeline. With the employment market looking more positive than it has in years, top talent always has opportunities to walk out the door.”

About the Study

Lee Hecht Harrison surveyed 374 human resource, talent management and line leaders in the United States who held titles of manager and above. The online survey was open from January 20 to 30, 2015. Over 20 industries were represented.