British firms are failing to invest in the next generation of leaders, according to a new survey of employees who are looking to become leaders themselves. The research – commissioned by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) – highlights an issue that many UK companies are ignoring at their peril.
Helen Brand OBE, ACCA chief executive said, “A quarter (23%) of British workers don’t think there’s training for potential leaders before they move into leadership positions and more than a fifth (22%) say there aren’t support structures in place for people who move into management positions. Poor management costs our economy £84bn each year. Without the correct leadership, UK businesses will continue to spend more time and money to rectify the negative impact of poor leadership, which results in a high turnover; losing staff with key skills and experience.”
The study also shows that a third (33%) of UK employees don’t think their company is doing enough to groom or identify people with leadership potential. And more worryingly, a quarter of UK employees couldn’t name their next boss if their existing one quit tomorrow – it highlights how British firms aren’t investing enough in succession planning.
“A strategic approach is important for effective succession planning to eliminate uncertainty. Good succession planning breeds confidence and creates an incentive for good staff to stay longer at the organisation” continued Helen. “Statistically women are still lagging behind when it comes to leadership roles in business. Our research showed 83% of men think there’s a support structure in place for people to move into management/ leadership positions, compared to only 69% of women. Inclusive succession planning is key to ensure talent is ready and that a diverse leadership team can be established.”
Workers were asked why they hadn’t considered moving into management positions, and just under a third (29%) said there was ‘no opportunity to move up’. A quarter (25%) said there was a lack of financial incentive to compensate for additional responsibility and more than 1 in 10 said it was because there weren’t any inspirational leadership role models.
“Identifying and then training potential leaders is an essential part of any business strategy. But this survey of employees suggests it isn’t a priority” said Helen. “ACCA identifies that as finance professionals in particular increase their knowledge of the profession, so do the opportunities for leadership roles in the workplace.
“September 2018 will see the first sittings of our two new Strategic Professional Exams - Strategic Business Leader and Strategic Business Reporting. Strategic Business Leader is an innovative case study, with a strong focus on leadership, integrating technical, ethical and professional skills, which mirrors the workplace. Whether you are the managing director or a shift leader, the way you lead has a huge impact on everyone you work with. Leaders have the power to change the organisations around them. They make a difference to the organisation, rather than just making the organisation work.”
The poll surveyed 1,508 employees between 14 May 2018 and 18 May 2018, in companies with 10 or more employees.
 Investors in People, People Management Benchmark: The impact of investing in people, 2015
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ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
ACCA supports its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.
Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com