Members of the workforce – covering executives, managers and employees — on average believe they are 29% below the skill level required to do their job as well as they could, according to new data on self-assessment of workplace competency.
The data is provided by 44-year-old leadership and management training and development company, Leadership Management Australia (LMA), which began monitoring workplace skilling through an online DIY competency test four years ago.
Commissioned by LMA, Chase Research’s analysis of more than 3,100 new respondents, using a five-point scale, indicates virtually the same results as this time in 2014 (1,900 respondents) and 2012 (3,000).
The average competency ratings were: Executives — 3.7 (3.8 in 2014 and 3.7 in 2012); Middle Managers – 3.6 (3.6, 3.5); Frontline Managers/Supervisors 3.4 (3.4, 3.3); and Employees – 3.6 (3.7, 3.6).
Significantly, 25% of the workforce believes their skills are just average and 16% below average on the five key competencies listed for each level – so 41% overall believes their skills are just average or below average.
From the critical leadership perspective, LMA says a disturbing result is that one-third of Executives/Senior Managers (35%), four-in-ten Middle Managers (40%), just under half Frontline Managers/Supervisors (47%), and 42% on Non-Managerial Employees rate their leadership skills as average or below average.
“At a time when the major Australian political parties are promoting job creation in their Election campaigns, way too many people who already have jobs say their skills are not up to scratch,” said LMA’s Executive Director Strategy and Growth, Andrew Henderson.
“It’s a call for help,” he said. “By revealing a shortfall in their own leadership and management competencies, the workforce says it wants to excel, but isn’t allowed.”
“Equipping people with the skills they need will lift performance and productivity for the organisation, and the economy in general,” he said.
Mr Henderson said he was concerned that while there is an array of opportunities for managers to develop their competency, nothing appears to have changed over the four years LMA has invited the workforce to assess their own skill levels.
He suggested that organisations should critically asses all staff members on an annual basis and create an individual training and development plan for each.
About the research. Self-assessments were made online by 951 Executives/Senior Managers, 898 Middle Managers, 703 Frontline Managers/Supervisors and 614 Employees. This third phase of the research closed at the end of May. The research’s competency practices included Strategic and Departmental Planning, Personal Leadership, Change Management, HR management, Monitoring/Measuring/ Controlling, Delegation, Training and Development, Time Management, Coaching/Mentoring, Goal-setting and Personal Productivity. The research was created and managed by Chase Research for LMA. Chase Research also manages LMA’s continuing L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Employment and Direction) Survey of workplace trends which is in its 16th year.