Russell Reynolds Associates: 2021 Global Leadership Monitor

Russell Reynolds Associates' 2021 Global Leadership Monitor asked nearly 200 private-equity portfolio company CEOs, C-suite leaders and board members around the globe about their views of challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.

Judging by their responses, attracting and retaining talent will be a top concern in the year ahead, even more so than changing consumer behavior, uncertain economic growth and major health threats. Portfolio company leaders see a potential talent shortage and acknowledge that their companies do not prioritize employees as stakeholders to the extent public companies do. Most portfolio company executives are willing to move to new employers, up sharply from pre-COVID levels. Also in contrast to public company executives, portfolio company executives are relatively pessimistic about their ability to get a handle on emerging issues such as sustainability and DE&I. These are topics that often help rally employees around a larger purpose, helping to retain them during difficult times.

Portfolio company leaders will want to look harder at how well they are listening to employees and elevating their voices around the issues that matter. This may also be a year to revisit culture, to ensure it is serving strategy by clearly defining the company’s priorities and engaging each employee around them.

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