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2021 Leadership Survey results: What managers need to know

Oct. 6, 2021
Tom Moriarty says after five years, new results investigate team effectiveness and motivation.

Back in 2014, over a dinner with Tom Wilk, we developed a plan for a leadership survey to gather some information about team effectiveness and motivation, along with some demographic questions so that differences among leadership levels could be investigated. We shared the information with Plant Services readership and at conferences. As it turned out, some of the data also helped in the development of my book.

This second leadership survey was opened in May of 2021 and responses were taken until early July 2021. In this article I’ll address some of the demographic information, and in subsequent articles, I’ll go over findings from team effectiveness and motivation survey sections.

What questions did we ask as part of the demographic sub-survey? The survey tool automatically captured information on the country, city and state or province the response was from. Eleven different countries had survey respondents. About 75% of respondents were from the United States and 8% were from Canada. The rest of the respondents were from Chile, India, Japan, Liberia Malaysia, Philippines, Spain, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

The survey asked respondents to share the age range they fell within. Here is the result:

  • 2% were 18 to 29 years of age.
  • 18% were 30 to 39 years of age.
  • 29% were 40 to 49 years of age.
  • 37% were 50 to 59 years of age.
  • 14% were 60 or more years of age.
Human Capital

This article is part of our monthly Human Capital column. Read more from Tom Moriarty.

The survey asked what the respondent’s closest position description was:

  • Senior manager were 28%.
  • Managers were 38%.
  • Supervisors were 10%.
  • Team members were 24%.

The survey asked those in leadership positions (senior manger, manager and supervisor) how much leadership training they received before being placed in a leadership position:

  • None: 40%.
  • 10 to 40 hours: 34%.
  • 40 to 100 hours: 13%.
  • More than 100 hours: 13%.

The survey also asked leaders how often they received leadership training.

  • Every year: 21%.
  • Every two to three years: 21%.
  • Not more than once in five years: 42%
  • Never: 16%.

Team members were asked if they expected to be a leader at some point in the future:

  • Expect to be a supervisor in 2 years or less: 25%.
  • Expect to be a supervisor at some point: 25%.
  • Never intend to be a supervisor: 50%.

From these data we can see that 80% of respondents were more than 40 years old. The fewest number of respondents were supervisors; perhaps pandemic burn out hit this group. A high percentage of leaders (40%) were not given leadership training before being placed in leadership positions, and many (34%) got less than 40 hours of leadership training.   

In future articles we’ll look at differences between team effectiveness values among leadership levels. By reviewing responses for twenty statements we can see similarities and differences in perceptions. As a public survey the differences will be general. We’ll also look at motivation levels by applying Expectancy Theory to derive a relative value for motivation. Then we’ll compare leader motivation levels with the frequency of leadership training.

If you happen to be going to the 2021 SMRP Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, October 25 – 28, 2021 I’ll be presenting some of the findings from this survey. I’ll also be giving a Productive Leadership workshop.

Go forth and do great things.

This story originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.

About the Author: Tom Moriarty
About the Author

Tom Moriarty | P.E., CMRP, President of Alidade MER, Inc.

Tom Moriarty, P.E., CMRP is president of Alidade MER, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in asset management, reliability engineering, and leadership improvement. He is a member of SMRP (Florida Chapter Board Member and CED Director), a past Chair of ASME’s Canaveral Florida Section, and author of the book “The Productive Leadership System; Maximizing Organizational Reliability”. He has a BSME, an MBA (organizational development), is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Florida, and a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP). Contact him at [email protected], (321) 773-3356, or via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alidade-mer.

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