Leadership, employee retention revealed as urgent workplace concerns

Engaging and retaining top talent, as well as priming them for leadership development, are key priorities for any organisation. However, according to a new report, businesses across Australia and the world are failing to adequately address these challenges for the years ahead.

The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey identified a “significant gap” between HR leaders' awareness of today's employee and leadership issues, and how prepared they are to actually meet these head-on. HR leaders around the world believed it was of vital importance to address topics such as leadership development (86 per cent) and the retention and engagement of staff (79 per cent).

However, when it came to the ability of these leaders and their teams to solve these problems, there were stark discrepancies. Only 13 per cent of HR leaders said they do “an excellent job” in developing global leaders, although almost nine out of 10 said it was an “urgent” issue.

Meanwhile, fewer than one in 10 reported they are dealing with employee engagement effectively, although over a third (34 per cent) said this was one of their top five priorities.

“The challenge facing the majority of global organisations is that they are not prepared to deal with the major trends that are reshaping today's workforce,” explained David Brown, human capital leader at Deloitte Australia.

“The 21st century organisation is global, highly connected, and demanding. Organisations, and specifically HR leaders, need to better adapt if they want to attract, engage and develop the right talent in today's competitive marketplace.”

It is without doubt, then, that there needs to be a continual focus on the recruitment and selection of your organisation's future employees. Ensuring you hire those who present an optimal fit with your company means they're more likely to be engaged and stay on in the long run.

With the need to groom tomorrow's leaders in-house another pressing issue, organisations can take advantage of leadership development programs to ensure their leaders are capable of dealing with the business needs of the 21st century – and beyond.