Is American business facing a leadership crisis?
A recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicated that four out of 10 business leaders (39%) see a deficiency in the leadership and navigation competency in their talent pools.
Leadership and navigation is one of nine competencies identified in SHRM’s Competency Model created for the HR profession. SHRM describes competencies as individual characteristics — knowledge, skills, abilities, self-image, traits, mindsets, feelings and ways of thinking — that allow individuals to be successful in roles.
A well-defined set of competencies aligned with business strategy is useful for businesses to differentiate good from poor performers and for individuals to assess their career readiness, SHRM officials maintain. Beside leadership and navigation, competencies include communication, relationship management, business acumen and ethical practice.
A leadership gap also was identified in the Business and Human Capital Challenges report released late last year by SHRM. The report found that both HR professionals and non-HR C-suite executives said that developing the next generation of leaders was considered the top human capital challenge over the coming decade.
Ninety-three percent of the executives surveyed said competencies are important for the overall success of their business units.
The study, Using Competencies to Achieve Business Success: The Executive Perspective, also found:
- All of the respondents in customer service said they use competencies for business and talent management. Many of the other business units agreed: research and development (90%), IT (84%), and purchasing and procurement (80%).
- Competencies and HR: Business unit executives said the use of competencies is almost as equally important for HR departments as it is for their own business units. About one-third (37%) cited leadership and navigation as the most lacking competency in the HR talent pool.
Ten years from now, respondents said, HR expertise (cited by 47%), communication (44%) and relationship management (37%) will continue to be the top three competencies critical to HR professionals.
The survey of 510 non-HR business unit executives in organizations with 100 or more employees was conducted in December 2015 and January 2016. It has a margin of error of five percentage points.