Three quarters of Irish employees ‘uninspired’ by their CEO – report

Cult of the CEO Dublin event
Cult of the CEO panellists James Stranko, Florian Jensen, Tracey Groves, Gabbi Cahane

Survey finds widespread disillusionment with managers

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27 February 2020 | 0

An online survey conducted by Hanover Communications and Censuswide has found widespread dissatisfaction with CEOs.

The survey of 501 Irish employees working in organisations with a minimum staff of 50 found while there was broad agreement that their ideal CEO would be an inspiring (87%), motivating (87%), and future-thinking (87%) character. However, barely half of respondents describe their current employer as being such.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents agreed their own CEO, or the equivalent in their company, wanted to have a positive impact, and 64% believed their CEO or equivalent acts as role model, but 13% weren’t sure they practiced what they preached.

 

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And while CEOs might be judged on much more than values and personality, employees’ view on their performance isn’t always positive. When asked to rate their own CEO or head of the company, some 20% felt their performance would be deemed ‘excellent’, while just under a third of respondents would rate their performance from very poor to average.

The research results were presented by Hanover Dublin at an event titled The Cult of the CEO, which featured a panel of industry experts and commentators.

Commenting on the results, Lorna Jennings, managing director of Hanover Communications Dublin, said: “The media has had an enormous impact on our perceptions of CEOs and what makes a good one. The media shares the desire of its consumers to simplify complexity by identifying real people to serve as shorthand for what are, in reality, many-headed organisations.

“Where 20 years ago you might have seen a short clip on RTE of a CEO’s latest unfortunate slip of the tongue or a stock tumbling mistake, today you can watch it replayed on social media, on RTE News Now and hear it cut down into animating broadcast clips with endless talking heads and commentators ascribing ever more significance to what began as a board room comment.

“A more dangerous effect of the way we paint ordinary people as storybook characters is that they start believing it. Having told our chief executives that they are the company, it’s not entirely unreasonable of them to allow such delusions of grandeur to go to their heads.”

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