A global study of businesses has established that while alignment of personal and organizational goals are key to performance, many business executives feel a rift in their personal goals and their organization’s goals.
Many businesses are also not unlocking the potential of their executives and tapping the synergy from aligning business goals and personal goals.
Of 1,275 senior executives surveyed across the globe on the extent to which their personal priorities are supported at their workplace, only 40 per cent were positive that their organizations help them unlock their potential.
According to the study by global executive search and talent advisory firm Egon Zehnder, as part of a research series on problems facing business executives, the larger majority were either neutral or negative: 27 per cent were neutral and 31 per cent were negative, implying that “many executives are leaving their potential at the office door.”
A staggering 72 per cent said they would welcome more help from their organization to pinpoint and pursue their personal motivations and goals.
A significant 70 per cent also said organizations have little recognition for lateral movements in career development and place too much emphasis on moving up the ranks which they do not consider a very effective reward for high performance.
Paradoxically, the study also found that few business executives who feel a disconnect between their personal motivations and their organization’s goals, try to address the situation – they rather leave to look for opportunities elsewhere, hardly looking for opportunities to expand the intersection and overlap between company goals and personal goals.
Consequently opportunities to enhance the overlap between a company’s goals and personal goals of executives, and ultimately optimise performance of executives are often missed by both organizations and executives.
Egon Zehnder opines that executives could for instance work to articulate their personal goals in a way that aligns with company objectives, or by fully exploring the potential of their current role.
The study recommends that organizations expand the metrics of success and make the professional development of their executives a true dialogue between the two.
“Organizations that can engage senior executives in genuine dialogue about their personal aspirations and develop multiple paths for recognition and progress, can fully engage their leadership and become role models in the quest for more authentic workplaces, ” it says.
Executives on the other hand, it is recommended, should take more ownership of their own personal development by coming clear and espousing their personal goals, and also trying to maximize alignment of organizational and personal interests by shaping their current roles.
By Emmanuel Odonkor