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The Leadership Disconnect


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For this and more workforce insights please visit

For this and more workforce insights please visit

This is the third report of the 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index Research.
The report examines the issue of leadership in the contemporary workplace from the employee perspective.
It explores the way that workers think about the quality, direction, and style of leadership, and the degree to which they share the goals of those who head their organizations.

For this and more workforce insights please visit

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  • 1. kelly Global workforce index ™The leadershipdisconnect people 00 0 168, 2012 e: AUGUST eleas s r ie 30 r c o u nt
  • 2. PERCENT OF WORKERS WHO ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THEIR MANAGEMENT’S LEADERSHIP STYLE (TOP 10 COUNTRIES)Eight out of 10 countrieswho experience the italy south Africa germany poland denmark hong Kong sweden hungary france switzerland 36% 35% 34% 33% 32% 31% 29% 29% 28% 28%highest levels of leadership 48dissatisfaction are in EuropeLeadership: what you wantand what you get Preferred leadership style Actual leadership style percent of workers PERCENT OF WORKERS inspired by their worldwide that reported managers to do their best work they feel inspired by (by country)democratic empowering empathetic visionary AuthoritativeFavors team Fosters/allows Sets a tone Provides clear Direct approach; 24 their manager to do 35% 50% 65%involvement/ workers to so workers vision/foresight, expects that their best work Puerto Rico 38decision-making have direct feel engaged, allowing for directives will Canadaby the group; decision-making valued, and cohesive be followed United Statesgives instruction responsibilities guided to progress Mexicoafter consulting succeed towards athe group shared vision Switzerland 20 20 South Africa Belgium Norway rred by 81% of Luxembourg prefe wo are rke 17 Hungary es s tyl rs France p 16 hi e most com Italy rs is is th mo percent of workers th Ireland de n worldwide that said they ay le ea either didn’t believe in Sweden rl ss ad the preferred leadership style breakdown fou their employer’s mission/ United Kingdom er er ork shi Russia se purpose, or didn’t know it least pre p 60 Th e 29% of w e 12 Germany style ce fe als o th Netherlands rred their work pl a 4% Portugal Poland It’s Denmark But on India 8 Indonesia e in ly 4 7 Malaysia se New Zealand 3% sa al ly yt tu Singapore his ac is what they Australia empowering (%) percent of workers democratic (%) empathetic (%) Thailand worldwide who speak visionary (%) China highly of their employer— Hong Kong the most positive countries include Norway, Russia, Mexico, Sweden, United States and Italy
  • 3. contents Section 1: Section 2: The Kelly Global Workforce Index 2012 4 Introduction 15 Introduction The 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings together the findings from almost 5 Leadership Style (by region) 16 Managerial Inspiration (by region) 170,000 respondents from 30 countries. It 6 Leadership Style: Americas 17 Managerial Inspiration: Americas shows the results of diverse forces impacting the contemporary workplace, including generational 7 Leadership Style: EMEA 18 Managerial Inspiration: EMEA and geographic diversity, the impact of mobile 8 Leadership Style: APAC 19 Managerial Inspiration: APAC technologies, employee empowerment, and the widespread use of social media. 9 Leadership Style (by generation) 20 Managerial Inspiration (by generation) This third installment of the 2012 KGWI examines 10 Leadership Style 21 Feedback on Employer (by region) the issue of leadership in the contemporary (by Professional/Technical and Non-Professional/Technical) 22 Feedback on Employer: Americas workplace from the employee perspective. It explores the way that workers think about 11 Leadership Style (by industry) 23 Feedback on Employer: EMEA the quality, direction, and style of leadership, 12 Preferred Leadership Style 24 Feedback on Employer: APAC and the degree to which they share the goals of those who head their organizations. 13 Leadership Style: 25 Employer Vision (by region) Preferred vs. Actual The paper examines the leadership issue across 26 Employer Vision (by industry) industry sectors, and globally, across 14 Leadership Style: 27 Conclusion the Americas, APAC, and EMEA regions. Professional/Technical Workers It also includes a generational perspective, – Preferred vs. Actual with a focus on the three main workforce generations—Gen Y (age 19–30), Gen X (age 31–48), and Baby Boomers (age 49–66).Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 3
  • 4. sec tion 1Who’s listening to our business leaders?Business literature is bursting with advice on the development of leadership in modernbusiness. Yet, much of what our business leaders are saying is not being heard.Not only are workers not heeding The question of leadership style in the Different leadership styles definedthe message from the top, they are workplace focuses attention on the Democratic: Favors team involvement/decision-making; gives instructionquestioning core principles that underpin differing approaches to leadership and after consulting the groupthe businesses for which they work. management. Leadership is about many Authoritative: Direct approach; expects that directives will be followed things—vision, performance, motivation, and Visionary: Provides clear vision/foresight, allowing for cohesiveThe latest survey results show that, globally, insight, as well as technical ability. Often, progress towards a shared visionjust 38% of respondents are satisfied with leadership is also about what “works”.their current management’s leadership style. Empowering: Fosters/allows workers to have direct decision-making responsibilities Workers have an innate understanding Empathetic: Sets a tone so workers feel engaged, valued, and guided to succeedWhat are we to make of this? Are the about what works and what doesn’t when Humble Servitude: Focuses on listening; establishes a spirit of service for workersmessages from the top unclear, or are the it comes to management oversight, since Moral/ethical: Insistence on ethical behavior by all, practicing theleaders themselves not right for the job? they observe it closely every day. “Golden Rule” in all company dealingsKelly Global Workforce Index™ 4
  • 5. Leadership style (by region)Å The most favorable assessmentcomes from workers in the Americas, How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %, by region)where 45% say they are satisfied withtheir current management’s leadershipstyle. This is significantly higherthan the average across all regions,with only 34% of workers reporting AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESthey are satisfied in EMEA and 39%voicing their satisfaction in APAC. 45% 34% 39% 38%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 5
  • 6. Leadership style: americasÅ The Americas region is doing farbetter than elsewhere around the globe How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %, by country)when it comes to employee satisfaction 70 58% 55% 43% 42%with management’s leadership style,and the standout performers in the 65Americas are Puerto Rico and Mexico.With well over 50% of workers satisfied 60with their management’s leadershipstyle, the two countries are well 55above the global average of 38%. 50While Canada and the United Statesare at the lower end of the Americas 45region on this score, they are bothabove the global average. 40 35 30 Puerto Rico Mexico Canada United StatesKelly Global Workforce Index™ 6
  • 7. Leadership style: EMEAÅ The EMEA region is the worstperforming of the major global regions on How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %, by country)the issue of leadership style satisfaction. 60 51% 45% 39% 38% 37% 35% 34% 33% 33% 32% 32% 32% 31% 30% 29% 25% 20%Within the EMEA region, the mostsuccessful countries—in terms ofleadership style satisfaction—are 50Russia, Norway, and Ireland, which allsit above the average for the region.The major economies of Germany and 40France sit below the regional average.The United Kingdom is performingconsistently with the average for 30the EMEA region, while Italy andPortugal are the worst performers. 20 10 Russia Norway Ireland Switzerland Hungary United Kingdom Poland Belgium South Africa Luxembourg Sweden Germany Netherlands France Portugal Italy DenmarkKelly Global Workforce Index™ 7
  • 8. Leadership style: APACÅ The APAC region sits midway between Leadership style - are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %, by country) How satisfied APACthe Americas and EMEA on the globalmeasure of leadership style satisfaction, 55 47% 42% 41% 39% 39% 37% 36% 33% 30%with an average 39% of workers satisfiedwith their management’s leadership style. 50Within the region, there is a wide rangeof performance with India, Thailand, 45and Australia all sitting comfortablyabove the average for the region. 40At the other end of the scale,both Hong Kong and Indonesiarate lowest in APAC. 35 30 25 20 India Thailand Australia New Zealand Malaysia China Singapore Indonesia Hong KongKelly Global Workforce Index™ 8
  • 9. Leadership style (by generation)Å Amongst the main workplacegenerations, Gen Y are more satisfied How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %, by generation)with their management’s leadershipstyle (40%) compared with Gen Xand Baby Boomers (both 37%). GEN Y GEN X BABY BOOMERS 40% 37% 37%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 9
  • 10. Leadership style (by Professional/Technicaland non-Professional/Technical)Å Workers with a Professional/Technical (P/T) skill set are more How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %)content with their management’sleadership style (41%) compared withthose with non-P/T skill sets (38%). NON- PROFESSIONAL/ PROFESSIONAL/ TECHNICAL TECHNICAL 41% 38%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 10
  • 11. Leadership style (by industry)Å It is possible to gauge theeffectiveness of leadership style within How satisfied are you with your management’s leadership style? (Total satisfied %)distinct industry sectors. The industries Business Services 45%where workers cite the highest levelsof satisfaction with management’s Education 44%leadership style are: Business Services, Information Technology 43%Education, IT, Government, and Utilities/ Government 43%Oil/Gas. Those with the lowest levels Utilities/Oil/Gas 43%of satisfaction are Hospitality/Travel/ Automotive 41%Leisure and Transport/Distribution. Chemicals 41% Financial Services 41% Food and Beverage 41% Life Sciences 39% Retail 39% Other 38% Transport/Distribution 37% Hospitality/Travel/Leisure 37% 30 35 40 45Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 11
  • 12. preferred Leadership styleÅ When workers are asked theiropinion on their preferred leadership Which of the following do you prefer as a leadership style in the workplace?style, we see a very clear preference. 30%From a range of choices, the preferredleadership style is one described as 25%“democratic”, nominated by 24%of respondents. This is followed by“empowering” (20%), “empathetic” 20%(20%), and “visionary” (17%).Together, the democratic, empowering, 15%empathetic, visionary modes ofleadership make up an overwhelming81% of the preferred choices. And while 10%no one leadership style dominatesas the preferred choice, democratic,empowering, empathetic, and visionary 5%styles of leadership resonate moststrongly among workers. Workers clearlyopt for a leadership style that some 0% Democratic Empowering Empathetic Visionary Moral/ Humble Authoritative Dont Know Othermight say emphasizes the “soft” skills— Ethical Servitudecommunications, vision, empathy, teambuilding, and individual empowerment.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 12
  • 13. Leadership style: preferred vs. ActualÅ In contrast to the preferredmodes of leadership nominated by Which leadership style does your current manager display and which leadership style do you prefer?workers, what they actually get is 30%something different altogether. Actual PreferredThe most common style of leadership 25%is “authoritative,” cited by 29% ofworkers. It’s also the least preferred. 20%When it comes to the democratic,empowering, empathetic, visionarymodes of leadership that are preferred 15%by 81%, just 43% say this is what theyare actually seeing in their workplace. 10%In other words, there is a significantdisconnect between the leadership/management style workers are 5%seeking and what they are getting.. 0% Democratic Empowering Empathetic Visionary Moral/ Humble Authoritative Dont Know Other Ethical ServitudeKelly Global Workforce Index™ 13
  • 14. Leadership style: Professional/TechniCal Workers– preferred vs. ActualÅ The prevalence of the authoritativeleadership style is an intriguing finding, Which leadership style does your current manager display and which leadership style do you prefer?and one that clearly sits uncomfortably 30%with workers. For organizations that Actualhave a corporate culture that relies Preferredon a command structure, this won’t 25%be such an issue. But for the manybusinesses that promote collaboration,and want to harness the full depth of 20%their talent pool, it will be problematic.Among respondents in the Professional/ 15%Technical category, the trend is alsoevident. The authoritative leadershipstyle is the prevailing approach, yet 10%it is the least preferred. Across allof the most preferred leadership 5%styles, workers report that they arenot getting what they expect. 0% Democratic Empowering Empathetic Visionary Moral/ Humble Authoritative Dont Know Other Ethical ServitudeKelly Global Workforce Index™ 14
  • 15. sec tion 2Filling the Management VacuumOne of the chief goals of an effective leader is to motivate staff to achieve higherperformance. Yet, something seems amiss when it comes to the way workers evaluatethe performance of their managers.Only around half (48%) of those surveyed such as technology, training, and other It raises the question as to whethersay that they are inspired by their current workforce development tools. What is managers are ill-prepared or that wemanager to perform their best work. clear is that many workers recognize that simply have the wrong ones. Or perhaps these efforts are largely unsuccessful in the harried pace of the modern workplaceBusiness leaders struggle with ways to lift encouraging their personal best at work. has altered what leaders can provideworkplace productivity through measures and what workers should expect.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 15
  • 16. managerial inspiration (BY region)Å The lowest level of managerialinspiration is in the EMEA region, where Does your current manager inspire you to do your best work? (% Yes, by region)just 44% of workers are motivatedby their managers. On average it’ssignificantly higher in the Americas(52%) and the APAC region (54%). AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIES 52% 44% 54% 48%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 16
  • 17. managerial inspiration: americasÅ The Americas region boaststhe top marks for managerial Does your current manager inspire you to do your best work? (% Yes, by country)inspiration, with more than half (52%) 70 62% 52% 52% 50%of workers agreeing that they arepushed to do their best work. 65Within the Americas, Puerto Ricoat 62% is the top performer, while 60Canada, United States, and Mexico areall well above the global average. 55 50 45 40 35 Puerto Rico Canada United States MexicoKelly Global Workforce Index™ 17
  • 18. managerial inspiration: EMEAÅ EMEA trails both the Americas andAPAC on the issue of management Does your current manager inspire you to do your best work? (% Yes, by country)inspiration, but there is significant 60 51% 50% 49% 48% 48% 47% 46% 46% 45% 45% 44% 43% 40% 37% 36% 34% 34%diversity across the region.Switzerland, South Africa, and Belgiumare all among the best rated on a 53global scale, but Denmark, Poland,and Portugal rate among the lowest. 46 39 32 25 Switzerland South Africa Belgium Norway Luxembourg Hungary France Italy Ireland Sweden United Kingdom Russia Germany Netherlands Portugal Poland DenmarkKelly Global Workforce Index™ 18
  • 19. managerial inspiration: APACÅ The APAC region, as a whole,rates relatively well on this score, but Does your current manager inspire you to do your best work? (% Yes, by country)its great diversity masks some poor 75 65% 58% 58% 52% 52% 51% 44% 40% 38%performers in the management stakes.The standout top performers are India,Indonesia, and Malaysia, with well overhalf of workers giving their managementhigh marks for inspiring leadership.At the other extreme, managementin Hong Kong and Chinareceived poor marks in the eyesof their country’s workers. 30 India Indonesia Malaysia New Zealand Singapore Australia Thailand China Hong KongKelly Global Workforce Index™ 19
  • 20. managerial inspiration (by generation)Å When viewed from a generationalperspective, Gen Y appear to be getting a Does your current manager inspire you to do your best work? (% Yes, by generation)slightly better outcome (51%) than Gen Xand Baby Boomers (both 47%). However,overall the results do not reflect wellon the ability of management to lift theworkforce to higher levels of performance. GEN Y GEN X BABY BOOMERS 51% 47% 47%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 20
  • 21. feedback on Employer (by region)Å There is also the issue of the waythat superior leadership translates into When speaking to others, do you speak highly of your employer? (% Yes, by region)perceptions about the best placesto work. Workers use a variety ofmethods, including social media, tocommunicate with their peers aboutwork, company culture and leadership. AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESWhen asked, 60% of respondents,globally, say that they speak highlyof their employer to third parties. Butthere is a significant variation acrossthe globe. In the Americas, more thantwo-thirds (67%) say they speak highlyof their employer, but this drops to 67% 58% 55% 60%58% in EMEA and 55% in APAC.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 21
  • 22. feedback on Employer: AmericasÅ The Americas region enjoys a veryhigh level of positive employee feedback. When speaking to others, do you speak highly of your employer? (% Yes, by country)The highest is in Mexico, where almost 80 73% 67% 64% 60%three-quarters of workers speakhighly of their management, followedby the United States (67%), PuertoRico (64%), and Canada (60%). 70 60 50 Mexico United States Puerto Rico CanadaKelly Global Workforce Index™ 22
  • 23. feedback on Employer: EMEAÅ In EMEA, public praise formanagement sits on average at 58%; When speaking to others, do you speak highly of your employer? (% Yes, by country)however, there is a vast gulf between 85 74% 73% 69% 67% 65% 62% 58% 58% 58% 57% 56% 55% 54% 53% 50% 36% 32%the highest and the lowest.In Norway and Russia more than 70% 75of workers are comfortable in speakingfavorably about their employers. 65In both Switzerland and the UnitedKingdom, only around half arehappy to praise their employers, 55and in Germany and Denmark itfalls to approximately one-third. 45 35 25 Norway Russia Sweden Italy Netherlands Belgium France Poland Hungary Ireland Portugal South Africa Luxembourg United Kingdom Switzerland Germany DenmarkKelly Global Workforce Index™ 23
  • 24. feedback on Employer: APACÅ Workers in the APAC region, asa whole, are the least likely to speak When speaking to others, do you speak highly of your employer? (% Yes, by country)favorably about their employers. 65 60% 58% 57% 57% 56% 52% 52% 50% 42%But that doesn’t apply in countries such asChina, Thailand, India, and New Zealand,where approximately 60% are contentto speak positively to others about theiremployers. In contrast, in Hong Kong,only about 40% are willing to do so. 30 China Thailand India New Zealand Australia Singapore Malaysia Indonesia Hong KongKelly Global Workforce Index™ 24
  • 25. Employer vision (by region)Å In many instances, the waythat workers feel toward their Do you believe in what your employer is trying to accomplish (the company’s mission/purpose)? (% Yes, by region)employer rests largely on thedegree of “buy-in” that they have tomanagement’s goals and vision.Workers who understand and embrace AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESthe goals of management have a sharedpurpose, which means that everyone isclear about both the strategic directionand the means to implement it.When asked whether they believein what their employer is trying toachieve, there is more than half 68% 56% 67% 62%(62%) who say that they do.Workers in the Americas (68%) andAPAC (67%) share relatively high ratesof common purpose. In contrast, only56% of workers in EMEA believe in whattheir employer is trying to accomplish.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 25
  • 26. Employer vision (by industry)Å Once again, the results paint asomewhat unsettling picture for many Do you believe in what your employer is trying to accomplish (the company’s mission/purpose)? (% Yes, by industry)businesses. Nearly four in 10 (37%) Education 70%workers do not believe in or share thecritical vision for the organization that is Utilities/Oil/Gas 68%mapped out by its leadership, or they are Business Services 67%unsure what it is. By any measure, this Government 67%represents a considerable deadweight Life Sciences 67%loss in the form of workers who areemotionally disengaged, and quite Automotive 66%possibly working well below their best. Food and Beverage 65% Financial Services 65%What is also clear is that the trend is Chemicals 65%largely uniform across industry sectors.There are very few industries that are Information Technology 65%getting this right. Education is perhaps Other 64%the standout performer, but even in Retail 64%that sector there is still almost a third Transport/Distribution 62%that is isolated from the core mission. Hospitality/Travel/Leisure 62% 30 40 50 60 70 80Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 26
  • 27. ConclusionClosing the GapThere is an abundance of theories and opinions about what constitutes the best businessleaders. Much of this is from the perspective of the business executive. There is considerablyless focus on the view from the “factory floor” or from the office.The vast majority of workers will not poor management. But high performing For employers: 5. Has the move to more matrixhave digested the theories of leadership, enterprises go to great lengths to ensure organizations contributed to the 1. How are you evaluating your leadershipbut they see it in practice every day, that there is a shared vision of organizational disconnect between workers and leaders? development efforts? Are youand they have well-defined views about goals and direction, from top to bottom. 6. How can you encourage more group considering how best to lead a multi-what constitutes good leadership. collaboration and more decision generational/cultural workforce? Many workers who are isolated from the core making authority? 2. Are you grooming leaders who areGiven the resources that businesses mission may be the victims of leadership solely focused on growing the business For workers:devote to enhancing leadership failure; it may be failure of managers to from the bottom line? It may becapabilities, there remains a worrying gap adequately develop a strategic goal or 1. How do you cope when your manager time to also teach them how to growbetween the priority and the results. failure to communicate the goal. Either doesn’t speak your language? the business from the front line. way, it’s a serious vacuum that is costly in 2. What are the ways of earning moreOf course, it is entirely possible that the “lost 3. How are you revising your leadership terms of productivity and staff morale. responsibility on the job?one-third” may be right. Their management development efforts to deal with the 3. How can you improve your leadership skills?may be on the wrong track yet can’t see This poses a number of important questions increase in the virtual workforce? 4. How can you fuel your ownit. Businesses fail every day because of for both employers and candidates. 4. Are your leaders just too busy to lead? individual inspiration?Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 27
  • 28. About the kelly global workforce indexThe Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and theworkplace. More than 168,000 people across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions respondedto the 2012 survey. This survey was conducted by RDA Group on behalf of Kelly Services.About Kelly services®Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-classstaffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe,Kelly provides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2011 was$5.6 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.Download The Talent Project, a free iPad app by Kelly Services.An Equal Opportunity Employer © 2012 Kelly EXITKelly Global Workforce Index™ 28