Promotion from within increases confidence in bosses

Survey claims only 38% of workers confident their bosses will lead them safely through recession.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

And a large part of the reason for such a low level of support is, say the survey’s authors, a lack of faith in bosses who are shipped in from outside the organisation, and hence pretty much unknown to staff.

66% of organisations recruiting leaders from within the business have bosses regarded as good or very good, compared to 51% of firms which hire externally for the top jobs. Pretty firmly counter to the prevailing pre-recessionary orthodoxy, which stated that external hires were better because they have wider experience, have shareholders’ interest more closely at heart and aren’t unafraid to kill the odd organisational sacred cow. Internal hires, by contrast, were only for those firms which were so tragically dull or monumentally cheap they could neither get nor afford the best management talent.

But now it seems that this may have been a mistaken, or at any rate greatly exaggerated, point of view. The board and the investors might be taken by the idea of a new broom sweeping clean, but surprise surprise, the people who actually have to do the do prefer to work for someone they know and trust.

According to Taleo, the talent management consultancy (hmm, perhaps a not-so-hidden agenda here then) which commissioned the study, the findings reveal large gaps between ‘leadership development best practices’ and the way companies are currently operating.

In fact, says Taleo, there doesn’t seem to be too much ‘leadership development’ happening at all. Drafting in ready-made bosses might seem to be a good way to save money in these straitened times, but is not without its drawbacks. For one thing, people tend to notice when important positions are repeatedly filled by unfamiliar faces, and they don’t like it. For another, employees are more motivated and more likely to stick around in firms which offer high performers a clear route to the top.

More advice for bosses whether home-grown or imported from another survey – this time a voxpop video from improbably named consultancy group Two Bald Blokes.

General tips on being a good boss include being fair, fun, and polite (asking, not telling was a common answer). Bad bosses on the other hand are arrogant, disorganised control freaks.

Surprisingly few participants were willing to really dish the dirt on bosses from hell, suggesting that perhaps some of our brasher corporate leaders could take tips on manners from their employees. Or then again, it could simply be that these survey-ees are smart enough to realise that badmouthing your boss on video – be they internally or externally hired – is never good for your career prospects.

In today's bulletin:

Qatari's quick buck on Barclays, Diamond stays put
Apple ripe despite downturn
Greggs plans expansion on back of sales growth
Employers still discriminate on racial grounds, says DWP
Promotion from within increases confidence in bosses



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