Kind leadership is the key to retaining new talent

It pays to be kind in business reveals new study

In these times of Great Retention, all organisations face a major challenge: retaining and recruiting talent! Signature Consultants, a leading provider of consulting services, managed solutions and direct placement of IT and professional staff, examine the impact of kind leadership and cultural values on business outcomes and key talent in a chaotic and complex landscape.

The results of a new Humankindex study, which includes responses from managers and employees, show that a supportive corporate culture is increasingly important in the workplace. 

When asked about their perception, on a scale of 1 to 100, the Humankindex: US. The Workforce Index rose from 58 in 2021 to 60.6 this year, an increase of 2.6 points, likely in response to workers’ perception that employers have embraced kindness (53%) and empathy (54%) more than any other value since the pandemic.

Kind leadership

Everyone is on the same page: 70% of executives and employees agree that a caring leadership and culture improve recruitment, retention, job performance, engagement and innovation.

At the executive level, 72% of executives agree that their company will need to make a much stronger commitment to building a caring culture to succeed in today’s landscape.

Executives clearly understand the benefits to their business, and 70% agree that caring is more important than ever in recruiting and retaining talent.

When asked to identify the most important benefit resulting from a caring culture, 74% of executives responded: ‘”we are able to engage a wider range of talent and expertise to drive innovation and success, and skills drive innovation and success”. 

Perhaps this is why 69% of business leaders say that their company has focused more on leadership and developing a caring culture in the past year to attract new talent.

Worker’s view

On the other hand, workers are clear about their needs: nearly nine in ten workers (86%) agree that a company’s leadership style and culture will impact their future hiring decision, with 52% saying it will have a significant impact. 

Similarly, 83% of workers agree that “caring leadership is more important than ever when choosing an employer/job”. 

“The last two years have brought enormous disruption to people and businesses around the world. This disruption, and its downstream effects, continue to evolve and present new challenges,” said Mahfuz Ahmed, managing director of DISYS and Signature Consultants. 

He continued: “With most growth strategies hinging on talent and digital transformation to thrive in the future, our research proves that caring leadership and cultures pave the way for better talent outcomes, greater innovation and ultimately improved financial performance and competitive advantage. As companies seek to be future-ready, the power of caring leadership cannot be overlooked or undervalued.”

However, it is significant to note that the first annual Humankindex: US Employers Index is 71.5, almost 11 points higher than the Humankindex: US Workforce Index, indicating a general disconnect between the beliefs of business leaders and their employees.

The kindness quotient of this index was 39.8 in 2022, while the innovation capacity was 31.8. This disparity is likely due to a more optimistic view of kindness and innovation adoption among company management compared to the opinions of US employees, observed in almost all elements of the research. 

Ahmed added: “Not much has changed in the last two years, but one thing is abundantly clear: we are seeing a shift from a singular focus on results at all costs to a broader emphasis on the importance of organisational culture and shared purpose in achieving sustainable results. 

“As organisations seek to move beyond mere survival to thrive, the ability to deliver sustained long-term growth will require a foundation of caring leadership and increased connectivity between leaders and employees.”

To read more about the Humankindex study results: here.

In this article, you learned that:

  • 83% of workers agree that “the quality of leadership is more important to me than ever when choosing an employer/job”.
  • Almost 9 in 10 workers (86%) agree that a company’s leadership style and culture will impact their future employment decision, with 52% saying this impact will be significant.
  • 70% of C-suite leaders say the main benefit of a caring culture is the ability to hire a wider range of specialist talent to drive innovation and success.
  • 7 out of 10 C-suite leaders agree that kindness is more critical than ever in recruiting and retaining talent.

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