UK leaves new Senior Managers wholly unsupported

Leadership handoverOne man out the back door and one in the front; no mentoring for the role, not even a handover from the guy who ran the show for the last 13 years  – and did anyone actually show David Cameron the state of the accounts before they put him in charge of the country?!

Well, you may be horrified to learn that this is how UK Plc runs its business – and it’s the same extraordinary story in most UK Plcs.

Less than 5% of newly appointed company leaders are given support while learning their roles, leaving 40% quitting their post within two years. According to a new pilot survey* from expert coach-mentors, LeaderShape, companies expect Financial Directors or CEOs to hit the ground running in these challenging positions without backup – even if they are new to that level of responsibility. The cost of turnover at this £75,000 and above salary level has a serious impact on the UK’s balance sheet as well as on long-term business stability.

Says LeaderShape’s Danielle Grant: “Companies spend thousands of pounds recruiting at senior level only to leave their carefully hand-picked Senior Managers not waving but drowning! We know from working with the UK’s largest and also niche recruiters that support in the first 100 days makes an enormous difference to both the individuals’ and the firms’ chance of success. Yet, in our survey, companies from large corporate to SME, failed to offer coaching or mentoring for senior positions at critical times of transition.”

LeaderShape believes a huge shift in corporate culture will be needed if UK business is to thrive during the fragile recovery.  Says Grant:

“The business map has changed and what worked pre-recession may no longer be enough. CEOs and FDs need to really understand the new marketplace, how technology, staff patterns, even workforce expectations and desires have altered radically over the last 2-3 years.  The most long-in-the-tooth executive will find traditional approaches suddenly failing; the brand new whizz-kid may need to mature rapidly into a leadership position to deal with ever-faster communication and unexpected challenges.” 

She adds:  “Senior executives represent a very significant investment and their direct impact on the business can be huge.  Yet in terms of their effectiveness in the business, impact on teams and their career management they are offered relatively little support when they are establishing themselves – a time that when they are likely to be more receptive to advice, which can then prove particularly successful.

“It is vital that these bright, decisive and talented individuals fit comfortably within the culture and learn to build their network of relationships. They are often left to work out what is required by themselves.  Yet they can benefit most in these early days from a sounding board to develop real clarity of focus regarding what they are expected to deliver and how to achieve this, within the senior team.

“It is always lonely on the bridge, but coaching and mentoring can reduce the sense of isolation, test decisions in a supportive atmosphere and, frankly, cut out a lot of wasted time and effort.”

About LeaderShape.

LeaderShape mentors and coaches are experienced former CEOs whose knowledge base, including working with many household-name companies, allows for rapid understanding of the key issues faced at senior management and Board levels.
LeaderShape exists for leaders and organisations wishing to improve the conversion of business leadership training into effective behaviours and performance.
The Faculty develops leadership capability, enabling the creation of high performance cultures through coaching mentoring and facilitation of individuals, groups and teams.
As outside providers, LeaderShape can provide top-level support to senior managers in the first critical 100 days in their new role.
LeaderShape’s Post Graduate Certificate, accredited by the University of Chester, allows oversight of internal training programmes to the highest possible standards.

*Pilot Survey: A survey was sent to LeaderShape’s database of business leaders, HR professionals and other contacts.
The initial results provided a good insight in to the state of coach, mentoring and facilitation in the UK. LeaderShape are now in discussions with a major organisation to further this interesting project.
To get involved or for more details please contact Danielle Grant or call her on 07766 473473.

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