Research from Tiger Recruitment has concluded that British businesses are facing a crisis of leadership. According to their survey 58 per cent of employees are rarely or never inspired by the leader of the company for whom they work. Furthermore, according to British employees, many leaders are setting a poor example around the issues that matter to them today, including work/life balance (28 per cent), managing stress (29 per cent), flexible working (21 per cent) and staying mentally healthy (21 per cent).
The research carried out by YouGov online questioned over 1,000 British employees about their views on the leaders of their business and where the issues they care about sit on the leadership agenda. The findings suggest that a significant number of business leaders are failing to connect effectively with their teams and are only paying lip-service to some of the key workplace issues that employees value today, particularly related to employee wellbeing.
Over half of workers (54 per cent) want to see work/life balance move up the leadership agenda in their business, while 42 per cent say the same about flexible working, and around a third about helping them to stay mentally healthy (39 per cent) and manage stress (35 per cent). Yet, when asked in which of these areas their leader sets a good example, just 23 per cent say they do so on work/life balance, only 24 per cent on flexible working, and only 17 per cent and 11 per cent respectively when it comes to mental health and stress.
On a more positive note, leaders of small businesses fair better than those in larger firms, with one in five (20 per cent) small business employees saying their leader inspires them often or all the time, more than double the number who say the same in medium-sized or large businesses (9 per cent). Employees in small businesses are also more likely to say that their business leader sets a good example on key issues, including work-life balance (30 per cent) and working flexibly (28 per cent).
“Research has shown that employees who are engaged in the vision and mission of a business can make all the difference to its success, yet our findings suggest that many leaders are failing to bring their people with them,” commented David Morel, CEO, Tiger Recruitment. “What’s more, strong leadership is more important than ever in the current climate, with uncertainty and constant change making it even harder for businesses to stay on track and achieve success.
“Candidates tell us time and again how important it is to work for an employer who values their work/life balance and wellbeing, both when searching for a new role, and when deciding whether to jump ship from their current one,” Morel adds. “Businesses must therefore invest in both the policies that enable employees to stay healthy and happy at work, as well as the culture to back those up. Culture starts from the top, which means business leaders must get on board and show they take wellbeing seriously – both their own and their team’s.”