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Quality of Life as seen from the eyes of tomorrow’s leaders

D. Martelli-Banégas

- Global

- Sep 24 2015

D. Martelli-Banégas

Sector Head, Corporate studies, Harris Interactive

What does Quality of Life mean to tomorrow's leaders?
Hot on the heels of the first International Leaders Survey, Sodexo and Harris International decided to reach out to some of today's most promising future leaders to understand how their answers compare to their more established counterparts. Study leader Delphine Martelli-Banégas provides insight on the responses of 1,000 students from across the US, UK, France, India and Brazil.

What made you decide to conduct this survey with future leaders?
Delphine Martelli-Banegas: In January 2015, we surveyed 280 leaders in six countries (the US, UK, France, India, Brazil and China) to understand how they view and tackle Quality of Life in their respective organizations. As we continued to explore the topic, we realized it was critical to conduct a similar study among the next generations of leaders. This allows us to compare each generation’s perception of Quality of Life – both what separates them but also what brings them together.

In general, how do the results compare between current and future leaders?
D.M.B.: The importance of Quality of Life is growing: it’s definitely on the minds of big companies and universities – you can see it in the results of the current leader survey (96 percent agree with its importance). That said, it is the intensity of this conviction that is even stronger among future leaders. For example, all across the world 69 percent of young leaders “totally agree” that improving Quality of Life would impact performance (compared with 57 percent of current leaders).

The results of this survey point to striking geographical contrast: in the US, 58 percent of future leaders see a strong link between Quality of Life and performance; in Brazil and India the consensus is much higher (76 percent). What do you make of this?
D.M.B.: This data really is fascinating. It is clear that all countries see Quality of Life as a critical factor to be taken into account, regardless of their level of development. That said, when considering Quality of Life as a performance driver, the contrast emerges. Respondents in emerging counties are much more convinced of this link to performance. Where the 'older' countries tend to focus on more traditional performance drivers such as marketing or financial strategy, emerging countries are generally more open to different drivers such as Quality of Life. These countries recognize that focusing on this driver can increase performance and thus support their economic growth.

Having surveyed both current and future leaders, what is the next area you would like to explore?
D.M.B.: We now have a good idea of how current and future leaders feel about Quality of Life. Next, it would be interested to find out exactly how leaders will actually implement Quality of Life in their organizations and get their input on what tomorrow’s action plan looks like in their various environments and countries.


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