Leading from the front

Samantha Arnold
Senior Business Psychologist
ETS plc
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A number of senior HR people tell me that leadership development is their biggest organisational focus this year. But what is behind this trend?

Companies have, almost en masse, pinpointed leadership development as key within their people strategy. In some cases this is due to companies introducing fresh strategies and wanting to ensure they have the right leadership skills in place to implement effectively. But for the majority of companies, it simply reflects the growing acknowledgement that good leadership is critical to business success. The flat economic forecast has sparked a need to boost performance internally and as such, leadership has never been more important.

This is the case for several of our biggest clients including Sainsbury’s, who are investing in putting managers through 360-degree feedback to help identify key areas of focus. Such a process provides useful data to inform both a strategic development proposition and individual personal development plans.   

This trend should be welcomed. Everyone stands to benefit from better leadership and management. That includes the most junior employees through to shareholders and everyone in between.

Business leaders and managers at all levels play a crucial role in motivating and engaging employees. The skill and competency of a company’s managers will therefore have a direct bearing on a company’s long term success. It will influence staff turnover, employee engagement, customer service scores and, of course, the bottom line.


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