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Most Employers Are Worried About Bench Strength

Contact:Jennifer Jones
[email protected]


Two-thirds of U.S. employers are concerned about gaps in their organization’s management ranks, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 companies by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association.

Only 28% of respondents are confident their companies have sufficient leadership depth and no significant gaps in management. Whether or not turnover rises in 2013, how would you describe your current bench strength?

We have a depth of bench strength and virtually no management gaps.

We have uneven bench strength and some management gaps that have been hard to fill.

We have inadequate bench strength and serious management gaps.

"With widespread expectation that employee turnover will increase as the job market improves,

organizations are taking a hard look at their management bench strength," said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President of AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement and tailored learning solutions. "And in most cases they’re finding their pipeline spotty or weak."

Furthermore, few employers (19%) regard themselves as well prepared to deal with either rising turnover or management departures, according to the survey. "For several years now organizations haven’t paid sufficient attention to retention or turnover," Edwards said. "But years of complacency may be giving way to costly turmoil and loss of key players. Most organizations just aren’t ready to deal with it."

Employers need to be proactive, Edwards advised. "Don’t wait for the bad news from your high-value employees. Talk to them now and address their aspirations. Counteroffers usually don’t work or compensate for years of taking people for granted."

"There can also be a ripple of consequences when leadership succession isn’t well planned," said Edwards. "The gap left after a sudden departure can trigger a spike in customer defections or dissatisfaction, a slowdown in productivity, increased hiring and training costs, and general uncertainty for the people who remain in the organization".

The survey was conducted from December 18 to January 6 and respondents consisted of 977 senior-level business, human resources, management professionals and employee contacts drawn from the AMA database of contacts.

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York,


American Management Association is a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government solutions, transforms enterprise-wide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance and optimal business results.

AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.