HR struggling to develop effective leaders

A third of HR leaders have reported they struggle to develop effective senior leaders, according to research from Gartner. Development of effective mid-level leaders was also deemed challenging by 45%

Of the 2,800 HR leaders surveyed, 50% said that this struggle was causing leadership bench instability.

Sari Wilde, managing vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, said that an effective and reliable executive team is crucial for future success. “To succeed organisations must have a quality bench of leaders to continue driving business outcomes while leading the organisation into the future,” she explained.

Wilde also said that chief human resources officers are facing a number of challenges, including unparalleled requirements for transparency, public pressure, digitalisation changing the required employee skills, and new generations entering or leaving the workforce.

One issue to address is the succession pipeline, given 81% of HR leaders cited a lack of readiness as a top reason that a high-potential candidate was unable to fill leadership positions.

The other issues identified as hindering senior leader development were vacancies causing leadership responsibilities to be neglected, and succession planning based on existing roles missing the mark on future business needs. A potential homogeneous pipeline causing damage to company culture and performance, and failure to provide transparency around succession management were also listed as potential causes.

Gartner’s research also found that 71% of employees think employers should increase transparency and that only 15% of executives rate their HR team as effective in planning for future leadership roles.