Leaders, are you  inspiring your employees?

Tiger Recruitment's research finds that business leaders are out of touch with employees

We can all agree that business leaders and managers should aim to inspire their staff, however Tiger Recruitment’s latest research has revealed that this is not the case for most UK employees at the moment. Our survey of 1000 UK employees across a variety of industries laid bare some astonishing results.

Employees are rarely inspired by their business leaders

Over half of the people surveyed reported that they were rarely or never inspired by the leader of their business (59%). This number rises to 60% for millennials, and even higher for people aged 36-44 years old (64%).

One possible explanation is that employees want more of a mentoring relationship from their leaders. With 23% of our candidates citing ‘no room for progression’ as their reason for leaving their former role, it stands to reason that many individuals look to their leaders for learning and development opportunities.

The importance of employee wellbeing

The research confirms that a significant number of leaders in the office fail to relate with their teams on important workplace wellbeing issues. Employees want to see the following wellbeing topics move up the leadership agenda:

  • Work-life balance (54%)
  • Flexible working (42%)
  • Mental health issues (39%)
  • Managing stress (35%)

Currently, the majority of respondents report that the above topics are not their leaders’ priorities, with only 23% of respondents saying their leader sets a good example in regard to work-life balance, and 24% around flexible working – the top two wellbeing topics for employees. These figures demonstrate that UK businesses still have a way to go with regards to prioritising wellbeing in the workplace.

At Tiger, we’ve seen these values reflected in our discussions with our candidates. At our recent flexible working roundtable event which was attended by HR practitioners in a variety of industries, one of our attendees cited that 70-80% of EAs will ask about flexible working at interview stage, demonstrating that this is indeed a front-of-mind issue for candidates. For a full breakdown of the flexible working report findings, click here.

Small businesses leading the way

There’s positive news when it comes to small businesses, with their employees twice as likely to be inspired by their leaders as those in larger businesses. One in five small business employees say their leader inspires them often or all the time, over double the number of those in a larger business (9%).

While large business leaders set a poor example with the top four wellbeing topics (with only 28% of employees surveyed reporting their leaders set a good example for a work-life balance, 29% for managing stress, 21% for flexible working and 21% for staying mentally healthy), small business leaders are more likely to set a good example on these issues (work-life balance at 30%, working flexibly at 28%).

To read more insights about leadership in the workplace, click here for more information.


Research was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Tiger Recruitment from the beginning to mid-July 2019. Total sample size was 1,000 adults and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted to be a true representative of British businesses and their spread.