As the first quarter of 2010 nears a close, many indicators point toward what U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke in February termed a “nascent” economic recovery continuing to take hold. A recent survey of economists by Bloomberg News predicts a 3% growth rate for the U.S. for both this year and the next, following the 2.4% contraction for 2009 that represented the single worst performance for the economy since 1946.1
Even in light of this better news, incredible uncertainties remain.
Business leaders increasingly are shifting their focus away from survival and toward a new vision of innovation and growth. Bringing that vision to life requires execution, and as always, leaders will be relying on the skills and drive of mid-level managers to make things happen.
Yet after the events of 2007–08, what is the collective state of mind of mid-level managers? Are they ready to come charging out of the gate at the first sign of good news to help their leaders grab market share? Or are they disillusioned and full of doubt?
With these and other related questions in mind, Development Dimensions International (DDI) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) set out to gather “point-in-time” information about the state of mid-level managers, specifically by surveying their Human Resource leaders. To do so, we issued a 14-question survey to HCI-member senior human resource executives across a variety of industries. The survey was open throughout the month of February, 2010, just as Bernanke’s “nascent” recovery was taking flight, and as such, the responses collected from 109 senior human resources executives come at a critical time. Ultimately, the survey results have enabled us to begin to answer many questions about mid-level managers as the recovery takes shape.