Confidence among chief executives is booming. But stresses as a result of the great economic boom – and new technology – are putting enormous pressure on workers.
Chief executives are naming workload and understaffing as their biggest issue, says Mike O’Neill from The Executive Connection.
A TEC report from almost 200 chief executives of mid-size firms shows that while technology allows staff to be connected 24/7, it is adding to stress. “About 10% now say that technology is the greatest cause of stress in the workforce,” O’Neill says.
Eight top chief executive trends
1: Women are disappearing from management teams.
Fifteen per cent of chief executives did not have a woman reporting to the chief executive, which is up from 12% two years ago.
O’Neill says one reason could be that the Gen-Xs who are in their 30s are not returning to senior positions after having children.
Interestingly, female chief executives are likely to have younger management teams.
2: Competitive pressures are driving up salaries.
External industry salary levels are responsible for 31% of the decisions to increase wages. Only half the time is individual performance the key factor for wage rises.
3: Holding people accountable.
Accountability is the biggest people management issue cited by 30%, followed by interpersonal communication at 22%.
4: The people shortage is forcing companies to change policies.
There was a big increase in the number of weeks leave that can be carried forward – 60% allowing four weeks or more to be carried forward, up from 51% in past surveys.
About 46% of chief executives have requests from employees to work remotely, up from 29% in 2005.
5: Chief executives turn to contractors
There was a 35% increase in the use of contractors or consultants used instead of hiring full or part time staff. Almost a quarter have done this to achieve cost savings and flexibility while 14% did so because they could not find the right staff.
6: The baby boomers are back
The baby boomers are grabbing control of the executive suite, with 40% of management teams between 44-60 years old. “With the skills shortage, age is no longer an issue when recruiting,” O’Neill says.
7: AWAs are big in Perth
About 65% of chief executives surveyed say they do not have AWAs. Only 15% report that more than 75% of staff are on AWAs. But in Perth only 38% do not have AWAs in place.
8: More talk
A huge amount, 80%, of chief executives believe improving culture and communication is the best way to address conflict between staff.
You can help us (and help yourself)
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.