Former Top-Level Execs Face Tough Transition Hurdles
CEOs and other top-level executives who lose their jobs usually need to overcome three big hurdles before they can get on with their careers: inability to understand their real strengths and weaknesses, long service with one company, and trouble accepting that they may not be top-level executives at their next employer, a survey by global talent management firm OI Partners reveals.
What the former top executives need most to help them make a successful transition are: an objective evaluation of their leadership styles; coaching in new management skills and techniques; and better methods for motivating and engaging employees, the survey of human resource professionals from 243 companies found.
The survey also found:
- 59% of companies agreed that senior-level executives they have let go have needed an impartial
- evaluation of their leadership styles and behaviors.
- 53% of companies said executives need coaching in new management styles and techniques, and 51% of employers said executives need to work on motivating and engaging employees.
- 48% of companies said the executives' inability to understand their real strengths and weaknesses is a major barrier.
- 46% of companies cited long service with one organization as a potential transition problem for executives.
- 33% of companies said their former executives had trouble accepting they may not be at the top level with their next employers.
"Since they have reached the highest levels of management, many have not received an objective critique of their leadership styles and behaviors and the ways they manage," comments OI Partners' Tim Schoonover. "Most have spent a number of years with one company climbing the career ladder to the top, and they have not learned other ways to manage and motivate employees. If the executives do not recognize these limitations, they may have a very short tenure in their next positions."
Employees Working Longer Hours
Three-quarters of employees say they now work more than 40 hours a week, a Right Management survey reveals.
"The findings are extraordinary and no doubt reflect the pressures people are under in today's workplace," comments Douglas J. Matthews, Right Management's president and COO. "One has to wonder if this pace is sustainable, or even desirable. Companies run the risk of burning out their employees or causing unwanted turnover."
Not surprisingly, top-level management (C-level and VP) work the longest hours, with 87% reporting they almost always work 40 hours or more each week. Sales professionals seem to work long hours as well, with 86% indicating they almost always work more than 40 hours, compared with only 64% of engineers.
Men seem to work longer hours than women, with 77% saying they almost always work more than 40 hours, compared to 69% of women. And the older the worker, the longer their hours tend to be. Seventy-seven percent of those age 35 and older reported they almost always work more than 40 hours a week, compared to just 65% of those between the ages of 18 and 24.
Wireless technology and smart phones most certainly are factors contributing to the reported long hours, Matthews notes. "We have created a 24/7 workplace, with managers and employees always plugged in. Today, many employees are never out of touch and are always connected to the job. So while they may leave the workplace in the early evening, they tend to put in additional time on evenings and weekends, all thanks to technology."