Staff engagement a key concern for 37% of Irish business leaders

Friday, September 23, 2022.
Staff engagement a key concern for 37% of Irish business leaders

Ireland’s Business Leaders Must Remain Agile and Refocus Efforts to Navigate Ongoing Disruption according to IMI 

Despite the current economic and geo-political uncertainty being felt by every organisation in Ireland, 75% of Irish business leaders feel hopeful about the future of their organisation, according to the latest Organisational Resilience Pulse Survey released by the Irish Management Institute (IMI) and Cork University Business School (CUBS) to coincide with yesterday’s 2022 National Management Conference. 

However, while respondents expressed a positive sentiment toward future business outlook overall, levels of optimism have dropped by 11% compared to the same time last year. In addition to the tumultuous business environment Irish organisations continue to navigate, staff engagement also remains one of the biggest concerns among Irish leaders with less than two fifths (37%) saying they feel their colleagues are fully engaged. 

Speaking about the IMI-CUBS research, which was commissioned among more than 250 of Ireland’s C-Suite executives, Dr Simon Boucher, CEO at the Irish Management Institute said: “Having just come through a global pandemic – the scale of which no-one could have anticipated – and then to be propelled into another phase of rapid disruption due to the current geo-political landscape, would test any leader’s resilience and Irish executives are no exception. A key part of our role at IMI is to equip leaders with the tools and insights to remain agile and adapt at pace in today’s transformative business landscape.” 

Based on the survey findings, many of the senior Irish leaders surveyed felt they navigated certain aspects of the pandemic well from an organisational leadership perspective, with many anticipating the positive changes will remain in place for the long-term. Examples include: 

  • 78% of leaders feel there are high (including slightly and very high) levels of trust between senior managers and staff. 
  • 76% of leaders feel there has been a positive level of improvement in their practice of leadership over the past 2 years. 
  • 68% of leaders in 2022 feel their organisation has been able to balance short and long-term issues ‘well’ or ‘very well’. 
  • 62% of respondents feel that many or most of the changes introduced during the pandemic will be retained. 13% felt that the changes would be fully retained and that they would lead to even greater changes.  

National Management Conference 2022 

Over 200 of Ireland’s C-Suite executives gathered at the first IMI National Management Conference held in-person for the first time since 2019. This year’s event, in association with Kerry Group and Kirby Group Engineering examined themes including, ‘Refocus, Reimagine, Reconnect’. Specifically, the event examined how CEOs and leaders can refocus and thrive in a transformed business landscape, think differently as they reimagine the future path of their organisations, and reconnect with their people and purpose to deliver on the organisation’s long-term vision. 

During the conference, keynote speaker Professor Herminia Ibarra who is the Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School provided attendees with tactics and behaviours to increase their and their people’s capacity to deal with today’s adaptive challenges. 

In addition, Fredrik Härén, global keynote speaker and author on business creativity, facilitated a discussion on human creativity, outlining ways humans innovate and create, and how we can inspire this mindset in our people. And finally, workplace engagement experts, the Corporate Rebels comprised of Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree, explored how organisations can reinvent the way they work, including the eight trends of progressive workplaces. 

Speaking about the IMI National Management Conference, Julie Ryan, Head of Customised & Sectoral Executive Programmes at IMI said, “It was fantastic to welcome so many senior business leaders in-person to our national management conference for the first time since 2019. Networking with peers, sharing insights and hearing from internationally renowned thought leaders on ways to lead and engage with people through times of rapid change and tumult was really inspiring. Examining the results of this year’s Organisational Resilience Pulse Survey in partnership with CUBS also instilled a sense of optimism for the future with Irish leaders feeling well equipped to navigate current and future challenges.” 

The latest edition of the IMI-CUBS research is available at: 

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