Bullying in the Workplace – Why is it Still so Common?

Bullying in the Workplace – Why is it Still so Common?

The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.

I am incredibly passionate about anti-bullying and stopping poor leadership. Imagine if it was your son, daughter or someone you loved that was being bullied at work. It is unacceptable and it is up to us to combat it.

You’ve probably heard on the news that Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s ICU had their training accreditation revoked, once bullying allegations came to light. The culprits? Senior medical staff who should definitely know better! As Brad Hazzard, NSW’s Health Minister put it: “There is absolutely not one millimetre of room for a culture of bullying or failure to provide respect to every staff member.”

Then, after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia just a few days later, an independent review noted that employees were using bullying tactics and ostracising other team members in efforts to get their own way.

Safe Work Australia and the Fair Work Commission have been working hard for over 10 years to raise awareness of (and try to eliminate) workplace bullying, but it is still rife in workplaces all over the country – and the world! So why is bullying in the workplace still common?

Let’s take a step back and look at just what workplace bullying is defined as by Safe Work Australia:

● Victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening behaviour

● Repeated over time

● Excludes reasonable management action like speaking to someone about poor performance

● Can dovetail with sexual harassment or racism

The impact on the victims of this bullying (and any form of bullying) is huge. Victims can suffer often debilitating distress, take more days off ‘sick’, avoid the workplace as much as possible, and can’t complete their duties as effectively. In dollar form, lost productivity as a result of bullying costs up to $36 billion each year.

It also damages a business’s reputation, which can make or break an organisation. If the media gets wind of a bullying story that will sell, then the incident is broadcast to a large audience and makes it hard for the business to recover from – who would want to buy from or work for an organisation that is so publically plagued by accusations of bullying?

A study completed this year said that one in five workers have been bullied in the past twelve months, which is completely unacceptable.

There are some shocking statistics from a 2016 study of 34 European countries and their workplace environments, and Australia was found to have had the sixth highest rate of workplace bullying compared to the rest of the countries studied.

Within the previous six month period, 37% of respondents said they had been sworn or yelled at, 23% had been humiliated in front of others and 22% had been threatened or physically assaulted by clients/patients.

Workplace bullying is rife in health care, defence, electricity supply and government administration, but places that should be more progressive, like universities, are not exempt from bullying in the workplace.

Australian managers have unfortunately been taught that tough leadership is the best form of management and that the US culture of ‘management by fear’ is a legitimate way to motivate a team. It’s a quick slide from this type of management to straight up bullying behaviour.

It’s not just managers and bosses that are bullies, peers are also engaging in workplace bullying at an alarming rate. Whether they just don’t like a person or are acting out of jealousy when someone achieves more than they do, especially when managers use extremely competitive reward and incentive systems, bullying often becomes their way of expressing their jealousy and/or dislike.

You may be wondering what you can do to help stop this, and we have three suggestions for you and your company:

● Lead by example – have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying. Those at the top set the example for those below.

● Regularly communicate, review and enforce complaints procedures and anti-bullying policies.

● Empower your employees to speak out – let them know they shouldn’t fear retribution, and that all concerns will be taken seriously.

In turn, we have found that organisations and businesses who invest in leadership coaching and training with a focus on personal leadership and social intelligence have had great results and performance with an increase in retention, engagement and productivity. Also they have been able to overcome bullying and poor leadership within their cultures.

It’s not always easy, but change never is. We all need to be more active in stamping out bullying in the workplace, so we can turn around the startling statistics and make every workplace a welcoming and comfortable environment, increasing employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

If you are interested in finding out how we can partner with you and build great leaders, leadership and cultures where your leaders are leading by example; contact LeadershipHQ for our cutting edge and high impact programs and strategies.

To speak with someone about any workplace bullying you’ve seen or experienced, you can contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Safe Work Australia – they’ll direct you to the relevant body in your state

Trust to Improve Performance

Trust to Improve Performance

What’s the secret to improving your teams’ motivation and performance? You’ve probably asked yourself this plenty of times when measures that you’ve put in place haven’t been as effective as you’d hoped. You have great incentives in place for your team, you’ve streamlined your processes and procedures to make things as efficient as possible, but you’re still not getting their best.

Gallup conducted a 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace, and found the following shocking statistics:

  • 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” – meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.
  • 16% are “actively disengaged”, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.
  • Only 24% are “engaged”.

(Reference)

So how do you get your employees engaged, motivated and working hard? Something that you have to earn – trust.

Without trust, your team won’t be working to the best of their ability. If they can’t trust in their leaders, why should they put in more than the minimum amount of effort?

Author and professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul J. Zak, measured oxytocin levels and brain activity as people worked, over eight years. Oxytocin is the hormone that affects parts of our interaction and behaviours including trust. His research showed that trust within an organisation is absolutely vital to performance, and also that there are eight ways to quantify and boost trust within a workplace. Luckily for us, Zak made these into an acronym – OXYTOCIN – so it’s easy to remember.

Let’s take a look at what OXYTOCIN stands for 

Ovation

Positive reinforcement (like rewards and recognition) has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is linked to motivation and effort, so it’s important to recognise and reward your team for great performance because then they’ll want to continue working to that high standard. Nobody likes working hard without that effort being acknowledged.

Expectation

Expectations need to be set and made clear, so employees know what they’re working towards. Make sure that your team knows they’re part of the big picture, and explain just how they are. When you get your team involved in the mission, knowing that they are directly influencing the success of that mission and your organisation boosts their motivation and commitment to meeting and excelling at their goals and your expectations.

Yield

Micromanaging gets you nowhere; as a leader you must be able to effectively make decisions and delegate tasks. Foster a safe environment of learning – mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just make sure to learn from them – and your team members will thrive when given more responsibility, and work more autonomously knowing they won’t be punished for mistakes. They will feel motivated and empowered from being trusted to do important tasks.

Transfer

Transfer refers to enabling your team to ‘job-craft’ – make their job their own, and make their own decisions about how they define success.

Research undertaken by the University of Michigan showed that allowing employees to job-craft resulted in higher levels of job fulfilment and engagement. This means less staff turnover as well.

Openness

Being transparent and open with information relating to your organisation builds trust with your team because it shows that you’re being honest with them. You’d be surprised how much time and effort is taken up when your team is wondering what’s going on, so be sure to practice openness when communicating with your team.

Team members appreciate being told what’s going on, even if it’s not always good news since it gives them a chance to voice their opinions and give their input. When employees feel heard, they also feel valued and so want to return the favour and work harder.

We have launched our NEW Performance Team Coaching Program – find out more HERE! 

Caring

During his research, Zak saw a variety of studies that showed how important relationships (including friendships) are on retention, productivity, health and overall job satisfaction. Encourage relationship building amongst your team by providing plenty of team-building opportunities such as collaboration between departments, and making sure to reward great teamwork.

If your organisation isn’t getting across how important workplace relationships can be, then your team won’t be trying too hard to build their networks.

Invest

Invest in your team; provide them with training and opportunities for reward and advancement, and you’ll see a big improvement in their engagement. Your team will also trust you more, as they see how much you value them by choosing to invest in them. Feeling valued like this is a great motivator for employees to do their best.

Natural

The best leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable; being authentic and natural shows your employees that you’re human too and that they don’t have to be perfect because you aren’t either. When your team can relate to you, they’re inspired to be more open and honest as well. This allows them to ask for help sooner, instead of fearing being reprimanded, which means time isn’t wasted and work can be carried out more competently and efficiently.

Trust isn’t exactly something you can measure, but it’s a huge part of getting your team to consistently perform at their best. What Zak found from his research is that when you have people working for organisations that have an emphasis on trust, they are 76% more engaged, 50% more productive, and 50% more likely to stay in that organisation. You can’t argue with those results!

If you’re a leader who wants to step up your game and start encouraging a culture of trust in your workplace using resources backed by extensive research and with proven results, check out our Leadership Attitude Academy here, or book a coaching session here. 

 

Does Being Successful Make You a Great Leader?

Does Being Successful Make You a Great Leader?

You might think that sounds crazy (or that I’m crazy for saying it) but hear me out – I have a great example in mind that will really get my point across! Rocking it isn’t just about the money you make or the high position you work your way up to, and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, for example. He’s considered a successful CEO by anyone’s definition and has reached goals that any leader worth their salt should be trying to achieve in their personal and professional lives. When you think of success, many people think of the 34-year-old owner of Facebook. After all, his net worth is in the billions and he’s supremely influential thanks to his company. Just about everyone is on Facebook; it’s had an amazing impact on the way we live our lives and the way we do business.

Zuckerberg seems to have it all: wealth, a business that’s taken over the world, and a high approval rating from his employees. He’s lead his team to incredible heights – but does that make him a good leader? Not necessarily!

First, the good aspects of his leadership. Zuckerberg is open to challenging the status quo, and due to being so focused on the future, has managed to create a powerful platform for business and personal connections that are backed by a team that has their ideas and opinions valued, no matter their ‘rank’ in the company. Happy employees that feel valued will stick by their leader.

Vision, vision, vision. Anyone who works for Mark Zuckerberg, and even those who use Facebook, knows that his ultimate vision is to create a world that is connected and open. He is open about this vision and backs up his words with actions. Employees are inspired by leaders that are passionate about their vision, and actually working towards it.

Zuckerberg is also known for surrounding himself with and forming, business relationships that are beneficial to the company. When a leader can admit their faults and weaknesses, and bring in others who can fill those areas, they are demonstrating humility and are putting the business’s needs ahead of their ego – a sign of a great leader.

That all sounds pretty good, so what’s the bad side of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership? Well, for one, he doesn’t always act in an entirely ethical way, as demonstrated by his responses to scandals about Facebook’s handling of user’s data. Recently, when news broke of user data being exploited by a firm, Zuckerberg was silent for five days before issuing an apology. Being silent for so long was not an example of great leadership – leaders must have responses and contingencies in place to manage situations when things go wrong. When there’s an issue like this with Facebook, Mark issues an apology but then something similar happens again. It’s not very ethical to compromise user data in this way and has resulted in many people leaving Facebook.

His slow response after the latest scandal shows that he really needs to work on his communication skills. How good of a leader can you be if you cannot communicate effectively?

In this digital age, where we can access the latest news instantly, leaders need to be quick and decisive with their communication. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to things like this!

I’ll let you make your own mind up about whether Mark Zuckerberg is a great leader or not; there’s so much that can’t be covered in a short blog like this. Consider, though, whether a less successful (or lesser, in general) leader, would be forgiven of some of the mistakes Zuckerberg has made in his career?

There is definitely plenty to take away for your own leadership journey, both good and bad, but my reason for this blog is to remind you that even if you become successful (whatever your measure of success may be) you must never become complacent in your leadership. Always practice authentic leadership, and you will become truly successful. Finally, leadership is about Attitude, Mindset, and Behaviour – and not about title or success.

Can I share something with you – the best leaders we work with truly understand this and how this contributes to their success and significance. It could make all the difference to you too – so contact us to find out more!

Want to know more about how to be a Great Leader or build Great Leadership within your Organisation – find out more about our Group and One on One Leadership Coaching Programs here at LeadershipHQ 

Importance of Values, Beliefs and Vision in Leadership

Importance of Values, Beliefs and Vision in Leadership

Being true to yourself and having strong values and beliefs that you stick by is essential if you want to be a great, authentic leader! You also need to have a vision; what sort of leader do you want to be, what do you want to work towards with your leadership, how are you going to ROCK IT?

Let’s take a look at why these three things are VITAL to becoming a leader that kicks butt!

VALUES

Being a leader means people are watching you all the time to see whether you act consistently and practice what you preach. It’s important to sit down and figure out what you value; not just in work, but in life as well.

You also need to remember that everyone has values, and a lot of us value integrity – especially in our leaders! You can’t be an effective leader without trust, so be authentic and stick to your values. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not!

Want to know more about Personal Leadership – Grab your FREE Personal Plan HERE (Valued at $199)

BELIEFS 

Be honest with yourself about what you believe in, especially in terms of leadership. Think of great leaders you’ve come into contact with throughout your life, and the bad ones too! They’ve helped mould your idea of what a leader should do, how they should behave, and what they should believe in.

Like with values, you need to demonstrate that you can stick to your beliefs so that your team will trust you! Without earning trust, you’ll be a pretty ineffective leader!

VISION

To be an authentic and great leader, you need to have a vision and share that dream with the people around you. Have a vision for yourself and your leadership future, as well as making goals to strive for. When you have a powerful vision and aren’t all talk, and you back up your words with meaningful actions, people will be drawn to you and your vision.

Think about John F. Kennedy and his vision of getting a man on the moon – it had been thought impossible, but his vision was so compelling that others wanted to follow his lead and make it happen!

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy

Take time to figure out your vision, and to clarify your beliefs and values. Make sure you truly believe in these, so that you’re able to be an authentic leader!

Why not join our Online Leadership Academy and Toolkit for only $497 plus GST!

About LeadershipHQ   

We will take you from Good to Exceptional. EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE = LEADERSHIP + CULTURE + STRATEGY. We partner with leaders, teams, HR departments, SME’s & CEO’s in developing and delivering leadership, people and culture strategies for PERFORMANCE.

LeadershipHQ is a Leading Leadership, Culture and People Development Consulting Company. It’s about building great leaders and organisations through strategy, culture, leadership, performance and change. We are that Advisor, Facilitator and Coach. So, is your leadership the best it can be? Are your people truly engaged, motivated and productive? Do you have a culture that people are banging down your door to work for? Do you know where you are going and have a great business strategy? Are you getting performance through your people? Have you got the right people, systems and processes in place?

We have helped 1000’s of organisations, teams and leaders achieve greatness. We partner with SME’s and Organisations to bring out the best in them. Our team deliver outcomes focused on Leadership, People, Cultural and Programs.

⭐️ Leadership Programs

⭐️ Diagnostics & Assessments

⭐️ Leadership & Business Coaching

⭐️ Culture Transformation

⭐️ Leadership Consulting

⭐️ Workshops & Events

⭐️ Online Programs

⭐️ Business Strategy

⭐️ Keynote Speaking

⭐️ Facilitation

We help increase engagement, motivation, retention, productivity and ultimately improve the bottom line within your business. We are focused on delivering only the best training, results and outcomes for you. It’s about how we can help you through our expertise to be that catalyst.

Phone 1300 719 665 or www.leadershiphq.com.au

Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

I’m all about helping people, especially women, reach their full potential as authentic leaders – as you’ve probably noticed by now! It’s a subject close to my heart, and when I saw that there are only 14 women chief executives at the helm of the top 200 companies, and 24 women CFOs, it gave me the push to start my brave program and conference for women leaders (to find out more about brave click here at https://leadershiphq.com.au/brave/)

It’s incredible in this day and age that there are 23 companies in the ASX200 without any women as top leaders! This is according to the CEW ASX200 Senior Executive Census from this year. The number has gone down; it was 41 companies last year! But 23 is still an unacceptable number.

The Census doesn’t look at women on company boards (which is another issue I’m incredibly passionate about) so for now we’ll be focusing on chief executive positions and companies that are missing women in those roles.

Have a look at these key stats from this year and last year:

The number of ASX200 female CEOs:

2017 – 11

2018 – 14

The number of ASX200 female CFOs:

2017 – 17

2018 – 24

Number of companies with no female representation in their executive leadership teams:

2017 – 41

2018 – 23

Number of women in the ASX200 executive leadership teams:

2017 – 381

2018 – 430

Number of men in the ASX200 Executive Leadership Teams:

2017 – 1423

2018 – 1428

Shocking, isn’t it?? 1428 men and only 430 women! We still have so far to go in terms of equality, even though we’ve come a long way already.

Here are just some of the companies that don’t have any women in their executive leadership teams (we can help!):

  • ARB Corporation Limited
  • Evolution Mining
  • James Hardie Industries
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Pilbara Minerals
  • Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group
  • Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company
  • Whitehaven Coal

That’s just a sample! Isn’t it terrible that so many big companies are missing women at the top?

All companies needing to be focused on placing women into the important line roles, roles that have a direct effect on commercial outcomes, like being the head of a business unit or a COO. 78% of the 23 CEOs appointed this year (up until August) were those who held these sorts of line roles – and 88% of lines roles are held by men, which is hardly surprising.

Companies without women in lines roles have reduced from 63% last year to 59%, and shows the slow change towards equality in top leadership roles. I will continue doing my part to inspire women and give them the tools they need to take charge and ROCK their positions, to get to the leadership roles they deserve!

I’m finishing this blog with a shout out to the 14 female CEOs listed in the ASX200. You ladies ROCK IT! And kudos to your companies for working towards equality in the workforce!

  • Mirvac’s Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz
  • Fortescue Metals’ Elizabeth Gaines
  • REA’s Tracey Fellows
  • Harvey Norman’s Katie Page
  • The A2 Milk Company’s Jayne Hrdlicka
  • Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alison Watkins
  • Incitec Pivot’s Jeanne Johns
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Marnie Baker
  • Viva Energy’s Margaret Kennedy
  • Chorus’s Kate McKenzie
  • Estia Health’s Norah Kathleen Barlow
  • Lynas Corporation’s Amanda Lacaze
  • Ausdrill’s Theresa Mlikota
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia’s Georgette Nicholas

 

About the Author Sonia McDonald

Sonia loves to build and develop future CEO’s, Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder of LeadershipHQ; is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It!. Sonia McDonald was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia. She is one of Australia’s Leading Leadership Executive Coaches, Advisors and Keynote Speakers. Her passions are coaching, keynote speaking as well as leadership development and advising on boards.She loves to inspire & motivate leaders to think differently, be the best they can be & empower everyone to see themselves as leaders. She is making a difference. Her purpose is to build leadership capability, confidence and leadership attitude across the Globe.

She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the Globe. She is passionate about cutting edge research and consulting in her industry as well as innovative tools and strategies around Leadership, Organisational Development, Neuroscience and Diversity.

Sonia’s expertise in organisational development, learning & development, facilitating, and leadership development makes her an excellent leader to partner with organisations and CEOs to ensure the full potential of their business is achieved through its people.

She is about RESULTS! Sonia has been published in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider, Business Woman’s Media, Style Magazine, Richtopia and Women in Focus. She is an inspirational and dynamic Leadership and Neuroscience Keynote Speaker. She will engage, educate and change the hearts and minds of your leaders and organisations.

Please contact Sonia here at http://soniamcdonald.com.au/ or http://leadershiphq.com.au/

5 Keys to Building Great Connections

5 Keys to Building Great Connections

The lifeblood of any successful career and business is in building great connections. Whether building new connections with potential clients or strengthening relationships with your existing network, making sure they are meaningful is essential to growing your business.

For extroverts, this is often second nature. But for many people, it can be quite challenging.

By using professional networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter, it can be easy to make an initial connection, but then to have virtually no direct contact for an extended period very quickly.

Think about your professional network, how many people have you not engaged with for well over a year?

Here are 5 keys to Building Great Connections:

1. Find a Way To Add Value

Instead of just sending random connection requests on LinkedIn, first, find a way to help that person. Take some time to work out what the potential contact’s concerns and wishes are. Then find a way you can offer a solution to their problem. It’s the perfect way to start a relationship which is a two-way street.

2. Ask Your Contact’s Opinions

Your contacts are part of your network for a reason, so be sure to reach out and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge and experience. Reach out to a contact when they may be able to assist, ask them about their life, and then be sure to thank them for their assistance.

3. Offer Professional Leads

If you hear of an opportunity which may be appropriate, let people in your network know. Rather than just jobs or referrals, focus on things like speaking opportunities, committees, special projects, and board positions. Also, offer to provide an introduction.

4. Keep Your Network Current

With LinkedIn, it is easier than ever to build a network of connections, fast, and develop a professional and modern business Rolodex. Instead of just connecting with people and disappearing, keep in touch through updates, sharing content, congratulating connections on their achievements, and furthering your connection network.

5. Make A Real And Genuine Connection

Watch my 2-minute YouTube video on Connection – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU8AZ4vStew

If you want your network to be made up of people who know you, like you, and trust you, then just sending a friend request, liking updates and posts, isn’t enough.

Introductions work best to make a real connection. Depending on what suits you – either online or offline is fine, but be sure to be genuine. Start with letting the contact know a little about you, and also provide them with some value in their life.

To further develop your business connections skills and connect with greatness, check out our Business & Leadership Coaching and Programs at LeadershipHQ.

Experience LeadershipHQ and you will leverage the best of the best in Leadership, Culture, and Business.

Stay tuned for our new program and group – The Business Collective in Brisbane. Register your interest HERE.

If you are looking to work with me Exclusively in my Coaching Program; please the Overview, Outcomes, and Bonuses HERE plus a FREE Career or Strategy Plan.

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