If you’re wondering why your executives are not performing at their optimal level, it might be because their personal values are not aligned with the organisation culture and the role’s responsibilities.
According to a survey by Egon Zehnder polling 1,275 senior executives worldwide, many executives are leaving their potential at the office door.
The survey found that only 40% of executives said their organisation helps them unlock their potential while 31% responded negatively and 27% were neutral.
At the same time, about 7 in 10 of the respondents said that they would welcome more help from their company to pinpoint and pursue personal motivation and goals.
“There are a number of critical areas about which organisations and their executives are failing to communicate,” said Andrew Roscoe, leader of Egon Zehnder’s executive assessment and development practice and one of the co-authors of the study.
“If companies and executives can start to work together to align personal values and career trajectories, there is the potential to greatly increase job satisfaction, retention and performance across the global economy.”
The survey also found that 70% of respondents felt that too much emphasis is being placed on moving up the ranks. These respondents thought that lateral career movements should be equally important.
At the same time, only 31% of respondents believe their company’s ways of rewarding high performance is effective other than using promotion.
Additionally, the survey found that money is still an important motivating factor for executives, chosen by 45% of those surveyed.
The top motivation, however, was “making a difference” – chosen by 55% of respondents, followed by “personal growth and development,” “leading and organising others” each chosen by 45%respondents.
“The wide range of motivations among leaders is underscored by the fact that no single factor was chosen by much more than half of the respondents,” the report wrote.
“Optimal performance occurs in the overlap between the organization’s needs and the executive’s needs,” noted Wolfhart Pentz of Egon Zehnder’s Berlin office and the study’s co-author. “Both sides need to work together to increase the size of this common ground.”
“Too often, professional development is a monologue given by the organisation to the executive. It needs to evolve to a true dialogue,” said Roscoe.
“But that isn’t only the responsibility of the organisation. Executives need to take ownership of their own growth and trajectory and be active partners in that dialogue, rather than assume the only options are ‘take it or leave it’,” Roscoe added.