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 [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.

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

Does Your Team Need Some Resilience?

Does Your Team Need Some Resilience?

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.

Be grateful

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/

Author – Sonia McDonald

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.

 

 

6 Tips for Reflecting Over Christmas

6 Tips for Reflecting Over Christmas

Yesterday literally three people whom I had coffee with said to me; “Sonia please make sure you take time off this Xmas.” I know I work hard however it is obvious I need to take time off I thought to myself. Yes, it is for all of us during this time. You might think it seems crazy to even be writing about this topic – after all, aren’t holidays about forgetting about work and relaxing? But the truth is that great leaders never truly stop reflecting, seeking feedback and improving and sharpening the saw on their leadership. In fact, when you’re away from your work environment you might even be able to step back enough to gain a new perspective on things and get yourself ready to improve after your time off.

Here are six tips on how to use your time wisely when reflecting on your leadership over Christmas.

1.   Don’t let it consume your whole holiday

This is the most important thing to remember! While effective leaders are always reflecting on their leadership, you do need to make sure you take time out for yourself to unwind and de-stress, and to spend time with your family as well over the holiday period.

2.   Be honest with yourself

If you aren’t completely honest about your successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, you’ll never grow. Identifying these areas of improvement are what will help you become a better leader, as long as you follow through on them! It’s not fun to think about things we can’t do well, or what we can do better, but you need to have these tough conversations with yourself to grow as a person and a leader.

3.   Look at your leadership as a whole

It’s not just about reflecting on your results (KPIs etc.), your wins and your losses, but how you interacted with your team and those above you, what you did to improve your leadership over the past year, whether you sought feedback or not; everything that makes up your leadership self.

4.   Celebrate the wins

Make sure you take the time to acknowledge what you’ve done well, and really celebrate any wins you’ve had with your leadership – whether that’s leading your team to an incredible result, or receiving an award recognising your efforts. These are especially handy to reflect on when you’re feeling down on yourself; they boost your spirits and remind you that you CAN do this!

5.   Plan for changes and action in the new year

Once you’ve assessed your strengths and what you could improve upon, it’s time to plan out what you’re going to do in the upcoming year to make these changes happen. Examples include: planning to ask for feedback on a more regular basis, making a conscious effort to change the way you communicate, and signing up for workshops or seminars.

6.   Make a list of books, blogs, podcasts etc. that will help you improve

Great leaders never stop learning! Once you’ve reflected on your leadership, you can then start researching and asking friends, colleagues, even your mentor if you have one, for recommendations for books, podcasts, TED Talks, etc. that will help you improve. You must be hungry for knowledge, never complacent and thinking you know it all or your leadership will suffer. I love Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! (had to do a plug!). Listen to Just Rock IT! Podcast too as it will truly motivate you over Xmas…

Strike the right balance these Christmas holidays, by making the most of your time away from work to both spend quality time with your loved ones, and reflect on your leadership during the past year. While reflection isn’t always pleasant, especially when you’re looking back on things that didn’t go well, it’s vital to being a truly great and authentic leader.

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. 

 

Please help me help the homeless in Australia

Please help me help the homeless in Australia

I’ve signed up for the 13th Vinnies CEO Sleepout on 21st June 2018. The funny thing I felt like I was once in this situation when I had no home upon coming back to Australia from China. 

Yet I am one of the lucky people. I will only be out in the cold for one night, unlike over 100,000 Australians who experience homelessness every night. Imagine how they must suffer.

Did you know that 17,845 Australian children under the age of 12 are homeless? These kids should be safe at home, tucked into bed and getting ready to go to school each day.

Did you know that 2,028 people over the age of 75 are homeless? How would your parents cope if they had to sleep on the streets?

Did you know that 44% of the homeless are women, many of whom are escaping from domestic violence? How bad was life at home if life on the streets looks like an improvement?

My business, LeadershipHQ, is all about empowerment so you can imagine how frustrating it is for me not to be able to do that for the homeless. I want to do my bit to end homelessness and bring people back into a warm and safe environment where they can regain their dignity and start rebuilding their lives. That’s why I am part of the 2015 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

Our homeless people need a hand. They didn’t choose to be homeless. Sometimes it just takes one thing to go wrong and you’re out of work, out of home and out of hope.

I really need your help, now. I want to raise $5000 to help end homelessness in Australia.

I can’t help but think of those kids – about the same age as my daughter – out on the streets and exposed to who knows what dangers. And the elderly, who have enough to cope with just through aging, without having to sleep on the cold footpaths which chill their frail bodies.

I would really appreciate you showing your support by making a donation of any size. Every bit helps.

It could be you or me living in that situation. We’re the fortunate ones and I believe we have a responsibility to help those who haven’t been as lucky as we have.

Please help me raise money and donate whatever you can spare. Pop over to my fundraising page and make your donation.

 

(Statistics from http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/homeless-statistics)

10 Ways to Engage Your Team

10 Ways to Engage Your Team and (more importantly) keep them engaged!

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Ask almost any manager “What is the most difficult thing about your job?” Many of them will answer employee engagement, motivation, team chemistry or something to the effect. This quote by the late Steve Jobs perfectly articulates how balancing teamwork and production can be a delicate process.

So, what are some ways to engage your team? Let’s discuss 10 things that you can do or say that will create some spark in your business.

Ask

No quicker way to find out what works for each individual than to simply ask. Those with an introverted (thoughtful, solitary) side will probably not like the loud, “rah-rah” environment. People with an extraverted (energetic, outgoing) side will likely not respond to an email of congratulations. It’s about finding balance.

Embrace change

Accept and encourage ideas as part of your team culture. Nobody likes archaic, static environments, so seek to build a culture of innovation and creativity.

Give feedback

Feedback is necessary, even it is less than ideal. Performance will always be the primary driver in business, so be willing to take someone (including you) outside of their comfort zone. Honest and frank feedback is key to employee, team and company growth.

Resist the “golden rule”

Treat people the way that they (not you) want to be treated. Remember (this is key) that each individual’s personality, communication style, and other work preferences are likely to be different. Understand each person on your team and engage them according to these preferences.

Give credit

People should be given credit for a job well done. Even a simple “Thank you” or “I appreciate your effort” will go a long way in making your employees feel positive and motivated.

Show interest

This means showing employees that you care about them personally, specifically about their life, goals, and any challenges that they are facing.

Develop strengths

Gallup, the data-based news and research company, states that focusing on your employee’s strengths is likely to increase engagement. Focus on what each individual brings to the team and develop them accordingly.

Focus on new team members

Research indicates that employees are most engaged during their first six months. Use this knowledge to implement and execute a plan or initiative that will build on their morale.

Incorporate new training

Use tools and learning programs to further your team’s knowledge and track progress. Budgetary constraints are likely to prevent a large and elaborate program, so use some creativity to do this.

Keep employees informed

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than a new initiative, policy or program that employees are informed about at the last minute. As soon as feasible, let your team in on any developing trends that may impact them.

So there you have it! 10 things to help you engage your team and lead them to the next level. Want to take your leadership further, well that’s where we come in! Get in touch with the LeadershipHQ team to discover how we can help you engage your team and kick goals in your workplace. 

About LeadershipHQ

LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium-sized organisations, 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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