Leadership competencies are increasingly challenged by evolving workforce engagement and retention requirements, with only 30% of Singapore’s leaders prepared to face them, reveals findings of a new study by global leadership advisory and search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
The study, “2022 Global Leadership Monitor” identifies top risks to organisational health, the leadership’s readiness to address top threats, and their attitudes and engagement towards tackling such challenges.
Based on assessments of over 35 Singapore senior executives, the study finds that local organisations are most concerned with unprecedented developments of employee engagement and retention strategies, followed by changes in consumer behaviour, and geopolitical uncertainty.
Consistent with global sentiment from 1,590 business leaders surveyed, the availability of key talent and related skillsets is the threat most executives have cited as the key challenge to overcome across the next twelve to eighteen months.
The study further reveals that the power of employees is rapidly growing in the Singapore market. Singapore leaders cited that a leadership team’s ability to engage with their people has emerged as paramount, with employee engagement as a key concern to their businesses in 2022 – a sixty percentile point increase from the previous year’s study findings – and while only 30% are prepared to respond to a dearth of talent and skills availability.
To create the trust needed to attract and retain a competent workforce equipped with the desired and necessary skillsets, bridging divides between top leadership and frontline employees has emerged as a paramount condition for leaders to create critical business success in a purpose-led world.
Moreover, navigating economic and geopolitical uncertainty has presented key implications for leadership teams beyond balancing the employee engagement tightrope – as 47% of leaders indicate confidence to face economic growth challenges, and only 20% indicated readiness towards addressing geopolitical crises.
Ambiguity regarding future opportunities indicate that next-generation and C-level leaders themselves are a retention risk, with 52% of Singapore leaders citing an inclination to move to another employer for the right opportunity. Similarly, 58% of Singapore leaders who have moved companies in the past year stated they had sought a different type of leadership as the top reason for doing so.
Attrition on talent shortage provokes a two-pronged obstacle, as harnessing an empowered workforce relies on next-generation leaders to make engaged and timely connections. Losing quality leaders not only entails operational and succession complexities, but also further amplifies the challenge of engaging with an increasingly purpose-driven employee base.
“Competition for key talent, economic uncertainty, and geo-political risk all pose serious challenges to leaders,” said Ulrike Wieduwilt, Russell Reynolds Associates’ Singapore managing director. “To stay relevant, compete in a fast-evolving operating environment and navigate choppy waters ahead, investing in people leadership capability and broader stakeholder engagement is key for top leaders today.”
For corporations to forge ahead in making substantive impact, there is an opportunity for them to gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers. To build transformational leaders that can meet today’s challenges and anticipate economic, political and digital trends, Russell Reynolds Associates recommends two solutions to develop talent and successfully reshape the global business environment.
Changing how you develop succession strategies - By exploring the underlying competencies and behaviours impacting these results, as well as those from other industries, adapt your approach to develop and communicate succession strategies early with a regular cadence.
A new lens for adopting and engaging talent – Uncover and identify individuals within the organisation that possess key enterprise skillsets early, to initiate robust and engaging development plans for employees at every level.