Australian companies look for different skills and traits in their managers compared to the best global companies.
According to a global study by advisory firm Hay Group, local organisations are ahead of the rest and nearing the best global companies for leaders in the areas of employee retention and gender diversity.
These findings are based on responses from 420 senior professionals from over 130 organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
Australasian companies are significantly stronger in programs related to employee retention, such as allowing working from home (49% of local companies compared to the 30% global average).
However local companies are weaker in operational focused resources such as cross-organisational collaboration and tolerating employee mistakes.
“Locally, Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) companies demonstrate a more egalitarian approach, favouring programs that benefit the broader workforce, whereas globally, more emphasis was placed on programs that supported high-performing employees and developing future leaders,” says Wendy Montague, Head of Leadership and Talent Practice, Hay Group Pacific.
For the second year in a row, Procter & Gamble topped the global list of performers, followed by General Electric, Coca-Cola and IBM.
The study found 80% of the Top 20 companies had established clear career paths for their employees, compared to only 62% of ANZ companies and just 48% of businesses worldwide.
Similarly, 80% of the Top 20 were well ahead of their peer groups by providing career development experiences for their organisation’s highest potential employees, while only 48% of local companies ensured highly skilled employees were ready to fill critical roles.
Top companies also tend to make leadership development programs available at all experience levels (83% compared to 66% of local companies).
The study also found some difference in the leadership qualities sought by Australasian businesses compared to the top global companies.
Technical expertise and planning are among the top five desired leadership skills by local businesses, traits not seen to be as critical by the Top 20 global companies.
In Australia and New Zealand the top five nominated values in leaders:
- customer focus (41%)
- technical competence (40%)
- executional focus (40%)
- planning and organisation (29%)
- decision making abilities (29%)
And here are the top five values in leaders for the top 20 global companies:
- Managing complexity (28%)
- Teamwork (28%)
- Decision making (34%)
- Focusing on customers and other external stakeholders (42%)
- Focus on execution (49%)
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