SHRI Leadership Study: Managing Diversity and Bridging Communication Gaps

In one of the recent global studies co-conducted by SHRI, it highlighted that ‘Leadership’ is becoming even scarcer resources than ever before. Such scarcity may trigger complexities in business and is a cause for concern for employees and employers alike. The study also revealed that companies in Singapore are facing the challenge in improving leadership development, which also emerged as a key issue. This is so due to changing demography, diverse workforce, changing communication styles and nature of leadership itself. This study defines leadership in the Singapore’s context; identify leadership issues and challenges of managing diversity; and seek to understand how leaders bridge the communication gaps.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Three online polls were conducted by SHRI. Accordingly, 62% (of 279 respondents) disagreed that talent and leadership are becoming even scarcer resources than ever before. 77% (of 93 respondents) disagreed that leaders of organisations in Singapore motivate and enable staff to achieve both individual and corporate goals and 77% (of 102 respondents) agreed that companies should invest considerable resources in defining specific leadership models, assessing their leaders and designing development programs.
  • Organisations in Singapore views communication, good interpersonal skills and being a team playeras the top three qualities of a leader.
  • Performance appraisal, work performance and assessment by management team are the top three methods used by local organisations in assessing leadership qualities.
  • 81% of the respondents believe that leadership qualities are important criteria when selecting candidates for promotion.
  • 56% of the respondents either has limited global exposure or has yet to travel to another country as part of their jobs.
  • Organisational leaders in Singapore scores relatively low on all the seven dimensions (creating vision, communicating vision, committing people to vision, concretising vision, change management, satisfaction of people and culture building) of the visioning effectiveness scale.
  • 38% of the respondents stated that leaders in their organisations embrace diversity and are receptive to ideas from different people.
  • 55% of the respondents mentioned that leaders in their organisation rarely explain business advantages for effectively dealing with diversity.
  • 65% of the respondents felt that their leaders occasionally or rarely suggest ways to make the work environment more inclusive; and that their leaders occasionally or rarely empower them to make decisions.
  • 62% of the respondents also felt that leaders in their organisation occasionally or rarely observes employee performance and communicates constructive feedback to their employees.