Only half of leadership moves come with pay rises

Little more than half (54%) of job moves undertaken by senior leaders result in an employee earning a higher salary, according to research by talent management consultancy DDI.

The report, Leaders in Transition, is based on a global survey of 870 business leaders. It suggests that only one in 10 decide to change leadership roles for financial gain. Exactly one-quarter (25%) actually took a pay cut in their most recent move.

More than one-third (34%) report feeling anxious about moving roles, with a lack of clarity around the specific goals of their new position. Nearly half (42%) cite this as the biggest challenge.

When concerns do arise, only 27% turn to their new manager for support. More (30%) ask their old manager for advice, while 58% go to colleagues and peers, with 46% asking family and friends for guidance.

DDI UK general manager Simon Mitchell told HR magazine support mechanisms are the key to any leadership transition.

"Unfortunately very few organisations have these in place and HR has more of a role to play here to be involved post-transition," he said. "The new boss also needs to be proactive about anticipating and not simply asking their new colleagues where they would like support and what they're having difficulty with."

Mitchell added that the modern workplace makes moves more complicated than in the past. 

“Today’s leaders and managers are often under greater levels of pressure, and being asked to deliver far more with smaller teams than their predecessors," he said.

"As the world changes, traditional career paths are being altered, and more leaders than ever before are transferring to another location as part of their promotion, increasing the complexity and difficulty of the transition.”

HowardKennedyFsi HR director Irena Molloy, who has recently joined the company, told HR magazine the financial package was "secondary" when contemplating her new role.

She added that the anxieties about moving can be managed by meeting as many new colleagues as possible before starting.

"For me it was more about the cultural fit and the challenge," she said. "I didn't really feel any anxiety because at interview I met a lot of people and got a good feel for the culture. When I do have challenges I have a very approachable new boss who helps me with work-related issues. Sometimes for other things I do still turn to a former colleague for advice though."