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Does your boss disapoint?


Less than half of employees worldwide think their top management is leading “effectively”, according to the Towers Watson 2014 Global Workforce Study


Less than half of employees worldwide think their top management is leading “effectively”, according to the Towers Watson 2014 Global Workforce Study.

This finding that just 48 per cent of workers rate their bosses this highly is particularly significant because the study also reveals that leadership is the top driver of sustainable engagement, and all the components of engagement in general, that are measured by consultancy Towers Watson.

The importance of effective leadership is definitely on the agenda amongst procurement professionals who consider leadership skills vital to the procession. In our recent CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insights Report, over 50% of survey respondents rated leadership skills (both their own capabilities and that of management) as more important than skills such as market analysis, financial reporting or project management. Associated skills such as communication, negotiating and influencing were also highly rated as important skills within the profession.

Publication of the Towers Watson study coincides with a period in which employees increasingly expect their employers to know their needs and meet them, just as they have been told for decades that it is their responsibility to familiarise themselves with their customers’ needs and meet them. In procurement we constantly measure supplier satisfaction and stakeholder engagement but what are you doing in your teams to measure how engaged your staff are?

Towers Watson found that 70 per cent of employees agree that their organisation should understand them to the same degree that they are expected to understand customers. However, fewer than half (43 per cent) report having an employer that understands them in this way.

Perhaps partly as a result, the study found low levels of highly engaged workers, and that close to a quarter of employees are actively disengaged. In such a context, it is essential for companies to understand the factors that drive sustainable engagement, says Towers Watson.

Sustainable engagement requires strong leaders and managers and, in companies where both leaders and managers are perceived by employees to be effective, 72 per cent of employees are highly engaged.

That said, fundamental issues – base pay, job security and career advancement opportunities – still matter most to employees globally when deciding to join or leave an organisation and so it is essential for organisations to be competitive in these areas. Our recent CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Insights Report 2015 showed that one in three survey respondents said they were looking to move employer within the next year, and 70% want to progress their careers within two years so there is clearly an appetite to move jobs within procurement and supply chain. This could be down to increased confidence in the market but perhaps it is partly impacted by your leadership and management of your team so it may be worth reviewing your employees’ individual needs and development.

The Towers Watson study – based on responses from over 32,000 employees across a range of industries in 26 markets – is designed to provide a detailed view of the attitudes and concerns of workers around the globe.


Written and produced by the Hays Journal, the bi-annual publication by Hays plc, providing global insight for experts in the world of HR and recruitment. To request a free printed copy of the Hays Journal, visit


Online career skills for CIPS members

Hays Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Guide 2015