Employers continue to worry about the lack of future leaders in their organization ranks, according to an annual global survey by Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup. The survey included responses from more than 2,000 senior human resource executives in 14 countries.

"What do you expect to be the most pressing HR challenge faced by your organization in the coming year?" When asked that question, U.S. companies responded:

2012

2011

2010

Lack of high-potential leaders in the organization

32%

31%

30%

Shortage of talent at all levels

32%

23%

18%

Low engagement and lagging productivity

19%

26%

22%

Loss of top talent to other organizations

17%

19%

30%

The year-to-year consistency in the findings tells us that future leadership or lack thereof is top of mind for organizations nearly everywhere, says Right Management. Companies are focused on talent as never before. It's no surprise that organizations are now investing in growing their talent as development initiatives have now become a high priority.

Manpower noted that where businesses employed individuals for the role they are currently performing, looking ahead, the best leaders will train individuals for the role they will likely take in the future: and increase their engagement by helping them understand the role they play in an organization's success. Investing in leadership talent is one of the most strategic efforts companies can make, says Manpower.

With respect to individual countries, the perceived lack of high-potential leaders appears most acute in Canada, China, India, Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

Full survey report