2022 Vaya Vision Survey Reveals Organizations are Unprepared for the Long-Term Effects of the Great Resignation

Vaya Group, a global leadership development consultancy, announced key findings of its second annual Vaya Vision Survey of more than 1,000 U.S. professionals. It revealed disparities in leadership opportunities between men and women and minority groups that are leaving organizations without diverse leadership pipelines.

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The 2022 Vaya Vision survey explored how companies are approaching Leadership Development (LD) programs, as well as how businesses are faring with their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. This year, the poll also looked at differences between key industries (IT, healthcare, professional services, banking/finance) in these categories.

As the long-term effects of the Great Resignation unfold, organizations are challenged with developing a diverse group of leaders who understand how to cultivate a work culture that values and empowers employees. The problem becomes even more acute as companies scramble to fill job vacancies while simultaneously trying to grow leaders and ensure DE&I.

Organizations Are Not Cultivating Diverse Pipelines

White men still make up the largest proportion of LD participants, just as they did in 2021 when the poll was first conducted. Organizations primarily rely on subjective measures to select high-potential candidates for leadership development, and they’re heavily focused on employees in their 30s and 40s. This often leaves behind emerging, high potential (HiPo) leaders and allows unconscious manager bias to slip in when making selections. For example, this year’s Vaya Vision survey found:

  • Women are 49% less likely to participate in LD programs than men. Additionally, women are 26% less likely to receive mentorship and coaching opportunities after training and are less likely to receive follow-up support at all.
  • Black men are 40% more likely to self-select for leadership opportunities than white men.
  • 45% of white men believe there is equal access to training and development, while only 32% of women and 33% of non-white men believe the same.
  • Younger employees (those under 50) generally report involvement in more LD programs and receive more peer mentoring.

“The Great Resignation has revealed a lot of hard truths about work culture for many organizations. It’s also laid bare the need to invest in a more diverse leadership pipeline. Executives need to think more intentionally about who they want leading tomorrow’s workforce, starting now,” said Paul Eccher, PhD, co-founder, president and CEO, Vaya Group. “They can start by establishing objective and fair leadership programs and prioritizing employee development.”

Industries Show Different Levels of LD & DEI Adoption

To assess how different industries compare in preparing future leaders and cultivating greater diversity, this year’s Vaya Vision survey sampled professionals across IT, healthcare, professional services, and banking/finance.

Healthcare was found to lag far behind others in areas of LD, DE&I as well as employee engagement and connection. Meanwhile, growing industries like IT and professional services are investing in these measures. The key findings revealed:

  • Leadership Development: IT has the highest LD training participation rate at 61%. The healthcare industry has the lowest with only 40% participating in LD programs.
  • Employee Engagement: Healthcare workers feel significantly less engaged and connected to their work compared to other industries. Only 31% feel engaged, compared to 38% in finance, 39% in IT and 42% in professional services.
  • DE&I: At 64%, banks and financial services are most likely to have a DE&I program.

“The healthcare industry is still reeling from the impact of COVID, burnout and workforce shortages. Limited resources, budget and talent will further strain the leadership pipeline if they remain unaddressed. Other industries, while also challenged by one of the worst labor shortages in history, are investing in retaining and developing emerging leaders and focusing on diversity. We still have a way to go, but progress is underway,” Eccher continued.

Employees Agree That Flexibility is Most Important

Despite differences in the way men, women and minority groups see their workplaces, they heartily agree on the kinds of things they want from their organizations. As a whole, employees prioritize their desires very similarly:

Workers primarily desire flexible working hours (42%), the ability to work remotely (39%), wellness benefits (39%) and advancement opportunities (34%).

Company social functions (both in-person and virtual) landed at the bottom of the list.

“It’s interesting that the number one benefit here – flexibility – isn’t something tangible that organizations have to invest money in. Instead, it’s a cultural perspective that organizations can implement right now, stemming from their leaders and frontline managers,” Eccher added.

Vaya Group is committed to helping businesses empower their HiPo employees to be future leaders with proven assessments, professional coaching, and highly individualized virtual LD solutions like VayabilityTM.

For more information on the Vaya Vision survey, please visit: https://www.vayapath.com/vayavision-0-0.

About Vaya Group

Vaya Group helps the world’s leading companies identify, assess, cultivate, and promote the talent needed to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Trusted by Fortune 1000 organizations spanning the globe and across industries, Vaya Group has provided assessment and coaching services to C-suite and senior executives, as well as managers and employees at all levels. Vaya Group is recognized on the Inc. 5000 annual list of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies. To learn more, visit www.vayapath.com.