Many of us have seen poor leadership in action – those bosses that drive away your colleagues and new hires in droves, possibly even forcing you to quit as well. You’re left wondering why the management hasn’t changed, even in the face of such poor employee retention. When leadership in a company is poor, millions of dollars are lost each year due to the way it affects customer satisfaction, staff retention and productivity. When only 30% of your employees are actively trying to do a good job, there’s a problem. We’ve gathered some statistics to show you just how much poor leadership really costs.
- Between 9-32% of staff, turnover could be avoided with better leadership
- Poor leadership can cost the typical company up to 7% of their total annual revenue
- Improved leadership can eliminate the 5-10% drag in productivity that many organisations are operating with
- 25% of staff quit because they don’t feel empowered by their leader
- In a company of 250 that has 25% of its staff leave each year, with an average turnover cost of $5500 per staff member, this equals an annual turnover cost of $343,750!
- These figures are the dollars lost in staff turnover due to poor leadership: Entry level – 30-50% of salary. Mid-level – 150% of salary. High level – 400% of salary
When poor leadership is ignored, every aspect of a company suffers. You’re not getting the best from your employees, many of whom are actively trying to ‘get back’ at their leaders through reduced performance. Customers sense (or can plainly see) staff unhappiness, leading to poor customer retention; it’s not just employee retention that suffers.
The culture of an organisation and business is so important, and ineffective leadership causes damage that cannot be repaired until the root problem is addressed. So how do we start improving the leadership within an organisation, and decreasing its high costs?
Contact the team at LeadershipHQ for a FREE Leadership Analysis at [email protected]
Start investing in your leaders, and in turn, your employees, by providing opportunities for improvement in their leadership skills. Whether you decide to do this internally with your HR department or outsource to an external company, you’ll soon see the benefits – and so will your bottom line.
Culture changes don’t happen overnight, but it’s worth reassessing your goals, vision and mission to make sure they align with the new culture you’re wanting to introduce and grow – one where employees are led by the best, where they feel valued and appreciated, and want to put in their best efforts for the company. Investing in your leaders means your staff will start becoming more invested in their work, and in the company as a whole.
Companies can’t afford to pay the high prices of bad leadership, so it’s time to be proactive and start facing the problem head-on – can you and your staff continue to pay the price, both monetary and emotionally? Don’t drive away your best employees (and customers) with bad leadership.
LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium sized organisations (sometimes corporates), teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact
Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs.
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LeadershipHQ is the headquarters of Great Leadership. We have our online resource centre and programs, leadership magazine and we have been named in the TOP 50 & 100 Leadership Blogs across the Globe for CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives.
Our clients include Thiess, Super Retail Group, Coles, Kane Constructions, McConaghy Properties, ARTC, Aurizon, Qantas, Virgin, Origin, Downer, Genie, CQU, Griffith University, Lend Lease, Vic Racing and SEQ Water.
Phone 1300 719 665 www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au
In the past few years, we have been delivering more and more Team Alignment and Leadership Workshops. I am hearing the same stories and experiences across all these teams – the need to align, collaborate, lead, innovate and keep moving forward in being a stronger and resilient team. As technology and the world advance, workplaces find themselves up against an almost constant stream of challenges, whether in the form of workplace bullying, the restructuring of organisations, micro-managing, ridiculously large workloads and having no support from leaders or the rest of the team. Workplaces also liaise and work more with companies in other countries, which means different time zones have put an end to the ‘traditional’ working hours of 9-5 (or similar), leaving less downtime. Technological advancements can also be overwhelming, trying to keep up with the expertise and skills needed to take advantage of it. So what is the answer to dealing with these issues, and just how do they affect your company’s bottom line?
When your team is feeling overwhelmed, stressed or upset when facing the challenges of the modern workplace, you’ll see a decline in productivity and employee morale, and a sharp increase in staff turnover. You might think some people just handle stress better than others, but there are things you can do to help your staff improve their handling of these challenges – to help build their resilience.
Resilience is, essentially, the handling of stressors and problems without folding under the pressure. You’ll find some people do their best work when faced with being stressed, but you can still teach others in the workplace how to build up their resilience, to produce better results and better handle all that their work throws at them.
Here are some tips to help your team manage (and/or build) their resilience:
Improve social interactions at work
When employees have a reliable social network in a workplace that promotes open communication, you’ll see them thrive in no time. When they love coming to work, they’ll be more productive too. Being sympathetic as a leader, providing opportunities for teamwork and holding social events for the workplace will help boost your team’s relationships.
Promote a happy and healthy environment
Along with helping your team build beneficial relationships at work, there are many other ways you can improve your workplace’s psychological environment:
- Be an approachable and open leader
- Don’t regularly restructure or change the roles, procedures, and expectations of the environment, in turn providing a feeling of job security
- Watch that workloads don’t get excessive, and provide variety in tasks to keep your team interested
- Have other leaders or managers trained to be more aware of the team’s wellbeing
- Show that you trust your team by letting them have a degree of autonomy
- Be flexible with how your team can work; offer differing hours or to work from home if needed
- Be sure to recognise and reward great work
- Invest in training your staff in new skills
- Be fair
People who feel valued, trusted and supported by their leaders will be empowered to handle the challenges that come their way without crumbling, improving their resilience.
Take challenges as an opportunity for teaching
When you treat problems or failures as learning opportunities, you’ll be demonstrating resilience to your team, and showing them ways to look at challenges in a different light, helping them build their own resilience as well. Be sure to explain how not everything will work, but that’s okay as it’s still an important part of ultimately succeeding. Workplaces face challenges often, and modeling resilience for your team will be a great influence when a problem arises.
At the end of each working day (or week), tell your team what you believe was a success that day (or week), and ask them what they believe went well too. Focusing on the positives is a great exercise to help your team realise that there’s always something to be grateful for, which is essential when building resilience.
These tips will help you empower your team and manage their resilience in the workplace, leading to less staff turnover, and an increase in morale and productivity. Take the time to work on your own resilience as well, so that you can effectively model it for your team. Don’t forget that your team looks to you as an example; how you handle workplace challenges directly influences your staff and provides them with ideas on how to react.
Reach out to LeadershipHQ about our Team Alignment and Development Workshops and Programs at https://leadershiphq.com.au/
Sonia McDonald is one of Globe’s leading leadership executive coaches and keynote speakers, as well as an advisor, thought leader, and author. She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ and has been named as one of the Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs and Top 250 Influential Women in the world. LeadershipHQ is leading the way in leadership and partner with Organisations and Businesses such as Qantas, Thiess, Super Retail Group, Brickworks, Kane Constructions, Bartons, EY, Maurice Blackburn, Grant Thorton, and Minter Ellison. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses in building great leadership and people development through their cutting edge and high impact leadership programs, coaching, workshops, resources, and events.
Sonia has worked, coached and spoken in front of people around the world, encouraging them to succeed by reaching their full potential and inspiring leadership greatness. Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and Neuroscience of Leadership, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia. She has spoken at numerous leading conferences, companies, and events across the world with her vision to create authentic, kind and courageous leaders and organisations.
Eric Swenson, leadership and workforce strategist and author of The Five A’s of Great Employees and Managing People in the 21st Century hosted a webinar for Ascentis.com that provided insights into what he believes will be Human Resources’s top trends in 2019, and how to face the changing world of Human Resources.
Technology continuing to increase
As businesses try to keep up with the almost constant increases in workplace technology and utilise them to improve their training, recruiting, engagement and other facets of HR-related activities, the HR professional must realise (if they haven’t already) that technology will be their new best friend when it comes to workplace relations. Innovation and productivity will be driven by technology, aided by those in HR who embrace the advantages that said technology gives them.
Adapting to the changing workforce
It’s already occurring in many companies around the world, and as more Millennials enter the workforce, they bring with them the desire for working remotely, including overseas, to maintain a better balance between life and work. Businesses need to be prepared to offer opportunities to work remotely and adapt their HR functions to suit this new workforce. Training, team-building, recruiting and more will require innovation to keep productivity at acceptable levels.
Reconnecting with your employees
With more and more people working remotely, it can be hard for them to fully engage and feel part of the company’s culture without being physically surrounded by it. HR needs to get creative this year, to help ensure that the culture of your company is integrated into everything your employees go through, whether it’s in the recruiting process or retention.
Leaders encouraging innovation
The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ manager’s days are numbered in 2019, as leaders who are vulnerable, authentic, brave and open continue to get the best from their employees. Improve productivity and employee satisfaction by providing chances for them to use their skills and strengths, to work autonomously and have a bigger say in company goings-on
Continuing to stand for equality
In this era of #metoo, it’s more important than ever for HR representatives to be aware of workplace harassment; how to address it in the workplace and helping women in new leadership roles feel comfortable.
Be willing to take on those less skilled
When struggling to fill positions, you’ll need to look at those applicants who aren’t as educated or skilled and be ready to up-skill and train them for the roles that need filling. Many applicants aren’t as formally qualified as previous generations (for a number of reasons) so this means taking a chance if you want more employees.
Providing a purpose
Millennials, especially, are more productive and likely to remain with the company if they’re able to find meaning and purpose in what they do. To keep up with this and retain your best employees, as an HR professional you’ll need to be evaluating your corporate responsibility and the social purpose your business serves regularly, to make sure they align with the organisation’s goals and values.
Leadership is changing (our research)
Organisations and HR must radically rethink all of their stakeholder interactions, especially those involving their human capital. This includes how to acquire, deploy, develop and retain their people. Bold leadership characteristics will be required to ensure your business adapts and thrives. From our research, we’ve distilled the following competencies that we think will be critical for the 2019 Leader:
- Collaborative Orientation
- Developer of People
- Emotional Intelligence
- People Management
- Courageous Leadership
- Learning Agility
- Global Mindset
- Cultural Agility
- Future Focus
- Leading Change
- Innovative/Creative Champion
- 360 Communicator
What are your organisation and L& D teams doing to prepare your current and future leaders and how many of these competencies are being developed? This is where LeadershipHQ can help!
We need to be adaptable as the workplace continuously changes, to ensure they can keep the organisation on the right track so that the company isn’t left behind. Reflection and evaluation need to be practised regularly to stay on top of the game and determine the effectiveness of your strategies.
For more information please read these great white-papers from HR World and PwC too.
Let me know your thoughts or any other trends you are seeing.
Sonia McDonald is one of Globe’s leading leadership executive coaches and keynote speakers, as well as an advisor, thought leader, and author. She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ and has been named as one of the Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs and Top 250 Influential Women in the world. LeadershipHQ are leading the way in leadership and work with Organisations and Businesses such as Qantas, Thiess, Super Retail Group, Brickworks, Kane Constructions, Bartons, EY, Maurice Blackburn, Grant Thorton, and Minter Ellison. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses in building great leadership and people development through their cutting edge and high impact leadership programs, coaching, workshops, resources and events.
Sonia has worked, coached and spoken in front of people around the world, encouraging them to succeed by reaching their full potential and inspiring leadership greatness. Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and Neuroscience of Leadership, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia. She has spoken at numerous leading conferences, companies and events across the world with her vision to create authentic, kind and courageous leaders and organisations.
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”.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
This week I am the keynote speaker at the Ignite Conference at the Gympie Chamber on Leadership for SME’s, Start-Ups and Family Businesses. I have been reflecting on Leadership for SME’s a lot recently as well as speaking to many owners, founders and Directors of SME’s, Start-Ups and Family Businesses. There is a direct correlation between performance for these businesses and Leadership. Thing is when I am talking about Leadership, I mean self-leadership; knowing who you are as a person and leader and how your actions and behaviours drive culture and performance.
Why is it critical today? Strong leadership is important in a company of any size, but it is especially crucial when looking at SMEs and Start-Ups. With technology always improving, customer demands ever-changing and a fluctuating economy, leaders who can handle these obstacles and inspire their team to do the same are worth their weight in gold to any small or medium-sized business. Great leaders get their teams working to a high standard and give them the confidence to be able to overcome issues that arise, by fostering a suitable organisational culture that allows employees to feel valued and trusted. Recently Joanna Wyganowska conducted research on exploring how leadership and culture contribute to the sustainable success of high growth companies, reveals that these issues play a pivotal role and need to be better understood by high growth founders and company leaders. She found leadership was a deal breaker.
SMEs and Start-Ups need to be more adept at handling challenges than their larger counterparts, due to the fact they have fewer resources, so there’s less room for error. Most SMEs and Start-Ups turn their focus onto surviving in the business world; appointing leaders who may not be formally qualified or educated over those that are, because of the emphasis on learning on-the-job. This, in turn, affects leadership development and progression, as there are no clear requirements for leadership, and those who are not qualified are training the future leaders the same way they were taught, which is often detrimental to the success of an SME or Start-Up and perpetuates a cycle of poor leadership. If this cycle isn’t broken, an SME or Start-Up won’t ever reach its full potential – great leaders are needed to keep a company growing and advancing on the right track.
“One of the biggest changes a business goes through as it scales is the handing over of an idea from the founder to the people working in the organisation. The brand moves from being one person’s idea to being the professional focus of a whole group of people.”
Charlotte Keenan, head of the corporate engagement office EMEA at Goldman Sachs.
As Ms Keenan says, transitioning the day-to-day operations and running of the business from the founder/s to other team members and leaders is a big challenge to all SMEs and Start-Ups face as they grow. It’s important for a founder to have a team below them that aligns with their vision, values and beliefs, and shares the same passion for the organisation and its goals, as this is critical to success.
If you are interested in a leadership plan for yourself or your team sign up here.
Founders need to ensure they are choosing strong leaders to guide the employees and company in the right direction; the right leader will motivate your team to work their hardest and achieve great results and keep the organisation culture running smoothly. If your employees are working under a leader who cannot delegate, is hard to communicate with, doesn’t take responsibility for their mistakes or passes the blame, they will have low levels of job satisfaction and will be directly impacting the success of an SME or Start-Up through lack of performance. Leaders who micromanage will also have team morale at unacceptable levels, and again it’s the SME or Start-Up that will suffer. When a founder can trust that their leaders are performing at their best, and getting the same from their team, they are free to focus on other areas to help the business grow. Here is an interesting perspective from HBR too on Leadership and Start-Ups.
“As the team grows, founders often react by micromanaging the details of their business. In trying to take on everyone else’s job, the founder leaves the most critical position vacant. Learning to trust and empower others in the organisation leaves room for them to continue innovating, which is critical for business growth.”
Leadership development is something many SMEs or Start-Ups don’t provide for their staff; they don’t place the importance on leadership that they should and think that less than qualified leaders teaching the next leaders is an acceptable practice. Resources may be sparse, and leadership development may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the lack of strong leadership will cost an SME or Start-Up a lot more. It’s something that must be made a focus for all if they wish to not just survive but thrive.
We want you to thrive.
LeadershipHQ have launched a free Business and Organisational Leadership Health Quiz and Leadership Performance Coaching for your SME, Family Business or Start-Up. If you would like to know more please contact the team today at [email protected]
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.