As a first of its kind in South Africa, the USB-ED Management Index provides a detailed exploration of the key leadership and organisational challenges facing South African managers. The findings from the survey are a valuable indicator of what’s going well for South African managers and what it is that South African organisations might improve. 
 
The USB-ED Management Index is based on the Ashridge Management Index, which has been published regularly in the UK for the past ten years. Five hundred and eighty managers participated in the 2013/2014 edition of the survey, and represent all sectors of the South African economy. Most (64.3%) of the managers that participated in the survey represent private sector organisations and occupy senior management positions (44.1%). Small, medium and large companies are represented in the survey, with the majority of respondents working for companies that employ between 50 and 500 employees. 
 
Despite the significant economic challenges that South Africa has weathered over the past year, the majority of managers that participated in the survey are optimistic about their roles and the organisations for which they work. Seventy one percent of managers say that their organisations have maintained employee engagement and motivation levels during the recession and 94 percent feel proud of the organisations for which they work. Organisational leadership is also highly rated by the majority of our managers, who believe that top leadership in their organizations is effective, supportive and trustworthy. 
 
Our survey has, however, highlighted a number of challenges which will need to be addressed in order for South African organisations to move forward. Effective change management appears to present a challenge to many South African managers. Only 53 percent of the managers surveyed believe that leaders in their organisations are developed to lead change well and only 64 percent are of the opinion that leaders in their organisations have the skills to lead change well. 

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Effective communication appears to be the Achilles heel of many organisations, as only 53.4 percent of the managers surveyed indicated that top leadership in their organisations spend sufficient time communicating with staff. Over 55 percent of respondents are also of the opinion that their organisations are not providing sufficient support for virtual team working. 
 
The provision of effective learning and development interventions also poses a challenge to many South African organisations. Only fifty four percent of managers that participated in the survey feel that sufficient time is allocated to their learning and development needs and even fewer (49.8%) believe that sufficient time is allocated to team learning and development. While a range of learning and development interventions are used by South African organisations included in our survey, in-company courses run by in-company trainers are the most popular approach to learning and development despite the fact that customised learning programmes presented by external providers are regarded as the most effective. 
 
The majority of the findings from our survey are in line with those of the Ashridge Management Index. Subsequent USB-ED Management surveys will allow us to identify trends in our data, which will undoubtedly lead us to rich and interesting interpretations regarding the South African managerial context. 
Findings from the survey also suggest that South African organisations can do more to improve their leadership development efforts. Almost 40 per cent of the managers surveyed believe that their organisations do not have sufficient leadership talent to address the future needs of the organisation and that their organisations are not doing enough to develop the next generation of leaders.

To allow South African organisations to move forward and prosper, these challenges will need to be addressed. Organisations across the country need to re-affirm their leadership development efforts, with particular focus on the younger generations and women. Interventions aimed at building organisational trust, enhancing top leadership communication and managing change will go a long way to strengthening South African organisations.

Source : http://www.usb-ed.com/WatchReadListen/Pages/South-African-Management-Index-Report-20152016.aspx