Weak Company Culture is Behind the Decline in Employee Loyalty

Weak Company Culture is Behind the Decline in Employee Loyalty

A new report released by TINY pulse, The 2019 Employee Engagement Report: The End of Employee Loyalty, shares the results of a poll of 25,000 employees from 20 different industries – there’s been a 20% increase in the number of workers who said they would leave their current job for a small pay increase, and that poor company culture is to blame. From only 23% in 2015 to 43% in 2019, this is a shocking number of people who are unhappy at work, with a marked decline in their loyalty as a result.

The report said that the three biggest factors that influenced the happiness of employees were:

●     Doing work that is engaging.

●     The relationships between employees and managers.

●     Their first impressions of a company.

Taking a look at the first point, it’s when employees are not being challenged regularly that they become bored, and this has a large effect on how happy they feel at work. Giving employees challenging and engaging work also gives them a sense of purpose, as well as the opportunity to feel pride and boost their self-esteem when they conquer these tasks. When you show your employees trust in their abilities by giving them harder work, you’re making them feel valued and, in turn, much happier with their position.

Managers who provide challenging work and foster the positive feelings that come from such work are also more likely to build positive employee-manager relationships, another big factor in whether an employee is happy or not.

As leaders, managers must be open, honest, vulnerable (to a point), approachable and know how to effectively communicate with their staff is they wish to keep them happy and loyal. When a team member feels comfortable talking to their manager about things that are bothering them instead of staying silent, they’re going to feel more comfortable and therefore, happier.

The last point is also very important; company culture has a major influence on the first impression an employee has of their new company, which affects how happy they are in the long-term as well. New employees must have a positive and effective experience during the onboarding process, which comes from strong company culture.

With the right people, culture, and values, you can accomplish great things. Tricia Griffith

A Robert Half survey conducted last year showed that, if a company’s culture was negative and didn’t fit with their own, a third of the employee respondents said they would turn down their ideal job. Company culture changes won’t occur overnight, but by analysing where your culture is currently, and where you want it to be, you will already be making a vast improvement to the culture of your company. Employees who see management working to make the necessary changes to improve the workplace atmosphere and provide them with opportunities to challenge themselves will be happier with their positions and stay with the company for years to come. 

LeadershipHQ is the Leaders in Cultural Transformation. We partner with Businesses and Organisations big or small to create and build high impact and meaningful Cultural Strategies. Reach out to us today at https://leadershiphq.com.au/

WHY CHANGE IS HARD – and how we can make it easier.

WHY CHANGE IS HARD – and how we can make it easier.

By Sonia McDonald LeadershipHQ 

Change is a constant factor in human history. What is distinctive now is the rate and scale of change. 

(Robinson 2001) 

Why do people find it so hard to change, or resist change even when it might be good for them?  

As leaders, we are constantly driving and facilitating change, yet research in this area has demonstrated that 70% of change initiatives fail! Why?  How can we make change easier and more successful?  

The neuroscience of change is an area I am passionate about and in this article I am going to share with you why understanding our brains is vital to managing and coping with change.  

Brains are wired for survival. 

Our brain functions as a survival tool by helping us avoid danger.  A part of the brain called the amygdala helps monitor our responses and tells us when to run from danger or towards safety.  It also tells us when to step towards a benefit or away from a threat. 

When change is happening around us in our society, relationships and workplaces, we can feel threatened and that activates our amygdala. We feel outside our comfort zones, triggering fear and anxiety.  

While this is good for our safety it does come at a cost.  When our brains are in safety mode, protecting us from a perceived threat, they cannot function well as problem solver or creativity generator.  In the workplace, the fear of change causes people to rely on tried and true routines, rather than create new strategies to move forward.  In effect, the brain shuts down the part that is really needed at that time. 

Basically the amygdala of your brain has been hijacked and this is not the best time to make an important decision.   

So whether you are a caveman running away from the threat of hungry dinosaurs or your boss has just informed you that there are going to be major changes to the department, your brains and bodies will continue to react with the same chemicals and hormones that we need to run away from physical danger.  Such is the effect of the threat of change at work. 

Now you see why 70% of change initiatives fail.   

By understanding how the brain works we can manage change resistance and develop strategies to maximise change potential. Additionally it gives us insights into how people learn, engage and remember as well as manage emotions. 

Brains are lazy. 

Considering that our brains weigh around 1.5 kilograms and absorb around 20% of our body’s energy, our brains are energy efficient and actually pretty lazy. Our brains prefer comfy habits as they require a lot less energy. They don’t really like to learn new habits or ways of doing things as this takes effort!  

The design of the brain is not always helpful.  The part of the brain which is responsible for thinking and high order processing (the pre-frontal cortex) requires a lot more energy to function than does the part of the brain which deals with emotion (limbic system).   That means it’s a lot harder for us to cope with change than to return to our tried and true habits. 

How can we break habits and form new ones? In his book “The Brain That Changes Itself” Dr. Norman Doidge tells us that the brain can be changed by our thoughts and actions.  They physically alter the structure of the brain itself, which in turn changes the way it functions.  This is the most important breakthrough in neuroscience in four centuries. 

This ability of our brain to change and make new connections, re-wire itself and even grow new brain cells as a result of experience is called “neuroplasticity”. Change is about forming new wiring, habits and behaviours. Yes, we can teach an old dog new tricks! 

How can we harness neuroplasticity of change? By tapping into the emotions…  

Brains are affected by emotion. 

We know that often our behaviour is controlled by emotion rather than common sense.  What that tells us is that the limbic system in the brain has some control over the information that is passed onto the cortex, which controls our decision making system. 

In other words, our thoughts and actions are coloured or skewed by the emotion that we are feeling.  You’ve heard of rose-coloured glasses, the phenomenon that makes certain things look better than they really are.  That’s an example of the limbic system influencing our beliefs and perceptions. 

When people are afraid, as they usually are at the thought of change, our limbic systems colour our perceptions with threat and fear.  People only see the negative side of change because that is all their brain permits.   If the change is brought about for positive reasons then people will accept it and be ready to involve themselves in making change happen.   

Making the brain work for you. 

So, we know that our brains are wired for survival, that they are lazy and will take the easiest thought out of there, and that every thought is coloured by emotion. We also know that actions and thoughts can change the physical structure of the brain. 

How can we use that knowledge to make the brain lead us towards supporting change rather than running away from it? 

There are two key solutions.   

First you can use neuroplasticity to your advantage and provide opportunities for people to develop new thoughts, and practice new actions and behaviours, thereby rewiring the brain.   

Second, you can make the limbic system work for you by creating positives around change especially to reinforce behaviour and thought changes. 

We need to build organisational change systems that capture the important role of emotions in determining behaviour, particularly in the contexts of engagement, resistance, cooperation, and commitment.  What that means in the workplace is that every small step forward needs to be acknowledged.   

Change leaders are essentially helping people to develop new connections within their brains.  Our role should involve creating opportunities and interventions which give people the chance to trial new behaviours in a safe environment.  We should allow them to take the ‘risk’ of doing something uncomfortably new and succeed at it. The more fun we can build into the experience, the more people will become involved in it. 

Positive reinforcement is essential to help embed the new thoughts and behaviours and to show the limbic system that this change is nothing to fear.  The more often we can encourage people to repeat the new actions, the more comfortable their brains will allow them to feel.  When people are comfortable, their high order thought processes resume functioning and their creativity and decision making skills start firing again.   

If you are leading change in your organisation you can create the right atmosphere for change by building a safe and positive environment for your team and identifying ways to acknowledge and reward new actions or behaviours. 

What is your organisation doing to support its people through change? 

Email me your thoughts and insights – or you would like to know more about creating these environments to sonia@leadershiphq.com.au 

7 Laws of Courageous Leadership

7 Laws of Courageous Leadership

Following on from my popular 7 Laws of Leadership blog, we’ve put together these 7 Laws of Courageous Leadership to help you become the brave leader you dream of being! After all, it’s the bravest who make the most change! 

Hold yourself (and others) accountable

When you hold yourself responsible, you’re demonstrating and modeling what you expect from your team as well. Be prepared to say something when a team member doesn’t perform to standard, because accountability is vital to success and improvement.

Practice Courageous Conversations

To avoid miscommunication and wasting time and effort, you need to be able to say what needs to be said – no matter how uncomfortable or awkward. This doesn’t mean being rude; it means being brave and cutting through to the heart of the matter. 

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain

Ask for detailed feedback

It’s hard to hear when we’re not doing something as well as we should be, but you’ll never really improve unless you get honest and unfiltered feedback from those you interact with, and then act on that feedback.

Be open with your communication

You’ll gain more trust and respect from your team if you’re communicating with them often, and not hiding information or using jargon to avoid telling them anything of real value. Be brave enough to admit when you don’t know something, too!

Don’t sugar-coat anything

Nothing and no one can change and improve without knowing how things truly are, so be factual and realistic when talking about how your business is doing.

Be prepared to lead the way for change

You have to be your own champion; believe in yourself and the change you want to bring about, and be sure to involve your team in the process so that they engage in a meaningful way. Even though things could (and probably will) go wrong, and you might have to go in a whole new direction, nothing will change unless you’re brave enough to try.

Follow your instincts

Doing what you believe is right, even in the face of overwhelming opposition or other negative circumstances is an example of true bravery. When you stick to your convictions, even if you’re not always right, you’ll still be respected by those around you. Over time you’ll find your instincts will sharpen, making it easier to trust them.

It’s time to truly be brave, and you can start by following these 7 Laws of Courageous Leadership. If you want to leave your mark, make a difference and inspire your team, take the first step on your journey to courageous leadership today – pick a law and get practising!

About the Author

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

⭐️ Keynote Topics for 2019

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”.

Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

Sonia is accredited in Prism Brain Mapping, Strengths Finder, SEI Assessment and Zenger Folkman 360.

Phone 1300 719 665

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

Find out more about my Courageous Leadership Programs, Keynote and Coaching today by emailing me at sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

The 7 Laws of Leadership

The 7 Laws of Leadership

I have put together these laws (when I say ‘laws’, I mean more like guidelines) for any leader who is looking for some direction – however, these are also great for making the most of life in general. I will expand on each one to explain why I believe they’re so important, and what they mean to me.

Without further ado, here are my 7 Laws of Leadership:

  1. Be brave. Be kind.

You’ll hear me speak (and write!) about this a lot, and with good reason; the best leaders are those who blaze trails and are willing to do the things nobody else will. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish when you take that leap! Always practice kindness and bravery.

  1. Follow your instincts, but don’t discount others’ opinions

If you can’t trust your gut feelings, why should anyone else trust in you and your actions? This doesn’t mean that you should ignore what everyone else thinks; it’s important to seriously consider all options and outcomes before making a decision, but great leaders become known for their instincts when they steer people and companies in the right direction and out of trouble. Trusting yourself can be hard, but it’s what you need to do to become a better leader.

  1. Be respectful, always

A leader who doesn’t treat others with respect will never be respected – and won’t be getting the best from their team. Relationships are built on respect, and you’ll need to forge relationships often in the workplace to be truly successful.

  1. Be empowering

When you give those around you the encouragement and tools to succeed, you’re instilling a sense of pride in their work and improving their self-esteem, while pushing them to get the best results possible. Making people feel good will make you feel good too, and will bring a great atmosphere to the workplace. You’ll also improve the culture of the business, which will have positive ripple effects throughout the whole company.

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ for a FREE Leadership or Business Culture Coaching Session 

  1. Be the model of what you expect from others

“Do as I say, not as I do” leaders are not respected, and will quickly sink a positive atmosphere in the workplace. If you want your team to be hard-working, honest, passionate – you need to model this for them and live it yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious; spread it to your team and see the great results.

  1. Be willing to do what is right, even when others don’t agree

Having integrity and doing what you believe is the right thing to do is an important characteristic of any great leader. No real change was ever made without someone taking that risk, standing up and saying “No more. This is what is right!” While others may not like it, you will more often than not gain their respect for sticking to your guns and doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is.

  1. Never stop learning

You’ll never know everything – that’s just a fact of life. But things are always changing; new research comes out, or new technology, and to continue staying on top of the competition, you need to be constantly learning and seeking out new information. Improving your skills and knowledge is never a bad thing

I go by these guidelines every day, and I hope they help inspire you to take the next step and ramp up your leadership. These laws also apply to life in general – who doesn’t want to be the best they can be, whether they’re a leader or not?

I’d love to hear what you think of my 7 Laws of Leadership! Let me know what you think of them, and if you think I should include any other laws. 

 

 

 

 

The HR Problems 8 out of 10 Businesses are up against

The HR Problems 8 out of 10 Businesses are up against

A survey held by the Association for Talent Development that looked to discover what executives thought were their biggest HR concerns in terms of the skills their future talent will need to help them survive in the business world. 83% (or 8 out of 10) are facing a skills gap at present, and 78% foresee it occurring in the future. So, what are the skills that are in high demand now, and in the coming years as well?

Leadership

50% of the survey respondents expressed that they knew their organisations didn’t have adequate leadership strength to call off the bench, while 47% mentioned they were expecting, in the future, a gap in executive and leadership skills.

The fact is that companies still aren’t giving their employees adequate preparation for advancement into executive and other senior positions of leadership. It’s time to start investing in training and empowering staff so that they flourish in senior leadership roles, and that the company is in safe hands as each leader is succeeded.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the process of analysing an issue without emotion, looking at all the different perspectives and angles to get to a conclusion that is logical and sound. Critical thinking doesn’t happen automatically – after all, humans are emotional by nature – which is why it’s an extremely desirable and valuable skill that employers are looking for in their staff, whether current or prospective hires.

When team members have well-honed critical thinking skills, there’ll be a noticeable improvement in productivity, teamwork and employee relationships. It’s difficult to consciously disregard your irrational feelings, biases and self-interest, but you’ll be making yourself irresistible to employers.

Communication

Effective verbal and nonverbal communication is critical in any employee and organisation’s success. Positive communication helps with forging beneficial relationships with peers, leaders, clients and customers; encourages and improves teamwork, and ensures clarity with any ideas, suggestions and feedback.

Not a day goes by where we don’t communicate in some form or another, so building and improving on communication skills is essential in the business world.

It’s important to identify and close skill gaps as they are found, but things won’t really improve unless all key personnel, especially those in HR and senior management, are committed to the process. Don’t become part of the statistics; solving this HR problem is easier than you may think.
If your company needs help identifying and filling skill gaps in your organization, contact us at LeadershipHQ today for a consultation and see how we can help.
About LeadershipHQ

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. 

We know Great Leadership means Great Results. We have a team of brilliant people across the Globe who work with organisations and clients to deliver great results and leadership. We are the innovators and thought leaders in Leadership and Strategy through our consulting, events, internal and external programs and online resources. 

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

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

Can You Afford the High Cost of Poor Leadership?

Can You Afford the High Cost of Poor Leadership?

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 info@leadershiphq.com.au

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.

About LeadershipHQ

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. 

We know Great Leadership means Great Results. We have a team of brilliant people across the Globe who work with organisations and clients to deliver great results and leadership. We are the innovators and thought leaders in Leadership and Strategy through our consulting, events, internal and external programs and online resources. 

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

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

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