Talent Development Facts #27

December 23, 2012 by Ken Nowack

“42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.” 

Steven Wright

Another addition of leadership and talent management “facts” from all over the world.  Some intuitive and some not….what do you think?

1. In 2011, Oxford Economics built a unique global ranking model based on a weighted composite index to compare and benchmark employee diversity across countries, industries and occupations (50 global economies, 14 industrial sectors and nine occupations).  Norway ranks #1 as the most diverse workforce based on gender diversity.  The U.S. ranks 9th and UK at #17.  Those at the bottom included Poland, Hungary, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

2.In May 2011 World at Work released a report on Trends in Employee Recognition. They found:

Gift certificates are still #1 in non-cash awards just behind recognition symbols like trophies/plaques.

  • 86% of companies surveyed had recognition programs in place (70% of those offer between 3-6 different programs).
  • Fewer companies are using recognition compared to 2012 but there is an increase in the number of different programs in place.
  • Recognizing length of service program is the most common
  • Only 14% of the companies actually use any type of formal training for managers for employee recognition

3. A 2012 new survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of the jobs site CareerBuilder.com reveals that some U.S. workers don’t even know their CEO’s name, others don’t know what he or she looks like, and almost half have never met the CEO (even at smaller companies). And there’s more. 68% of the 7,780 surveyed employees were not familiar with their company’s finances (e.g., how much their company generates in revenue each year).

4. In the DDI 2011 Global Leadership Forecast (1,897 HR professionals and 12,423 leaders from 74 countries responded), the five most ineffective skills of leaders included: 1) Driving/managing change (43%); 2) Identifying/developing talent (43%); 3) Fostering creativity/innovation (50%); 4) Coaching/developing talent (40%); and 5) Executing strategy (40%).  It seems that talent acquisition and development are critical for leaders today (and tomorrow) to focus on.

5. In the same DDI Global Leadership study, 73% of leaders rate formal workshops/seminars as the most effective method to develop talent followed by coaching from managers (63%), special projects (68%), movement to another position (47%), web-based learning (43%), coaching with internal coaches other than one’s manager (39%) and coaching with external coaches (27%).  These findings suggest that leaders are still largely ineffective as performance coaches.

6. A recent survey by Mercer of nearly 30,000 employees in 17 geographic markets between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, shows that the percentage of workers seriously considering leaving their organization has risen since the last time the survey was conducted in each market (between 2003 and 2006 prior to the economic downturn). The highest percentage of survey respondents seriously considering leaving their employer were in Brazil and Mexico (56%) and lowest in the Netherlands (28%).  The U.S. (32%) UK (36%)and Canada (%36) were somewhat in the middle.

7. The latest edition of the National Study of Employers designed and conducted by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) show increased flexibility since 2005. Significantly more employers are allowing at least some employees to:

  • Use flex time and periodically change starting and quitting times within some range of hours (66 percent in 2005 to 77 percent in 2012)
  • Take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay (77 percent in 2005 to 87 percent in 2012)
  • Work some of their regular paid hours at home on an occasional basis (34 percent in 2005 to 63 percent in 2012)
  • Have control over their paid and unpaid overtime hours (28 percent in 2005 to 44 percent in 2012)

8. A recent 2012 survey by ING (4,050 U.S. adults ages 25 through 69 who were employed full time and had incomes of $40,000 or more) found that women on average are significantly less prepared for retirement than men. The study found that women across the generations have differences in their approach to retirement and planning:

  • Gen Y (age 25-34) women are most likely to have barriers to saving (86%) compared to women 35 or older (74%) and more than half of Gen Y women (56%) have outstanding student loans.
  • Only a small number (6%) of Gen Y women put most of their extra money to retirement savings, whereas close to half (47%) put it towards entertainment or vacations.
  • More than half (54%) of women ages 50-64 have not calculated how much money they will need to continue their current lifestyle after retirement.
  • Only one-third (33%) of women ages 50-64 have a formal investment plan to reach their retirement goals

9. Leadership IQ’s Global Talent Management Survey composed of 1463 participating companies from America and 972 participating companies from China found that:

  • Only 19% of companies in the U.S. have highly engaged cultures (10% of employees are disengaged and 43% are “under engaged”)
  • 36% of Highly engaged companies have entrepreneurial cultures
  • In China, 6% of employees surveyed report being highly engaged, 11% disengaged and 65% “under engaged”

10. According to a recent survey by Evolv of of 21,115 call center agents drawn from five major centers, employment history has no bearing on how long an employee will remain in position.  The tenure of those who held 4+ jobs within the last five years was no different compared to those who held 1-3 jobs in the same time period.

11. Finally, in a recent American Management Association survey in April 2012, 36% of all employees surveyed reported they did not feel they know “what’s going on” at their company (9% said yes–most of the time and 55% said yes–some of the time.

Back to research some new talent development facts….Be well….


Kenneth Nowack, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (PSY13758) and President & Chief Research Officer/Co-Founder of Envisia Learning, is a member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Ken also serves as the Associate Editor of Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. His recent book Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It is available for free for a limited time by signing up for free blog updates (Learn more at our website)

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Relate, Selection, Wellness

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  1. Really interesting article Ken. I was especially interested in the comments on flexibility and women unprepared for retirement. thanks. I hope you had a good birthday and I also wish you a very healthy and happy new year.

  2. Jack Hagerty says:

    Too little reccognition. Too little communication. Too few development opportunities. Under skilled managers.
    Small wonder much of the workforce is still under engaged and planning to leave their organizations, perhaps only held back by a sputtering economy. Happy maybe, but nothing new about this year.

    “Here’s the new boss. Same as the old boss.” – Pete Townsend

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