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.
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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.
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.
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.
Our Leaders of Leaders interview this week is with the amazing Cameron McIntyre, CEO carsales.com Limited and he is featured in our latest Leaders Hub Magazine.
carsales.com Ltd (ASX: CAR) is the largest online automotive, motorcycle and marine classifieds business in Australia. Attracting more Australians interested in buying or selling cars, motorcycles, trucks, caravans and boats than any other classified group of websites. Together with its subsidiaries employing over 600 people in Australia, carsales develops world leading technology and advertising solutions that drive its business around the world. carsales.com Ltd has operations across the Asia Pacific region and has interests in leading online automotive classified businesses in Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico.
1. What do you love best about what you do?
“As CEO of carsales, I get to work with some of the smartest and most capable people in the in the world, which motivates me to always be my best self, in order to support and effectively lead the whole global carsales team.
“Additionally, I love that every day at carsales presents new opportunities and challenges that tests our abilities and help us thrive as an organisation and as individuals.
2. What’s your purpose – your WHY?
“Great question, I’ve never been asked what is my ‘why’.
“I could be commercially correct and say my why / purpose is to ensure I’m maximising return and shareholder value for those who have invested in carsales, which is correct but I feel that is only one part.
“I like to look at things holistically. I feel my purpose is to also lead carsales so that the business positively impacts the lives of people in our eco-system.
“I would like to see our employees grow and evolve into the people they want to be, and for our customers to always have an exceptional experience when interacting with carsales.
“At a local and global level, I want to see the technology sector continue to grow sustainably and thrive to ensure success for our generation and those to come.
“These are the things that I am the most passionate about.”
3. How would you describe your Leadership Style?
“My style tends to be very open, engaging and transparent. I’m quite comfortable to lead from either in front or from behind depending on the need and circumstance.
“At carsales I actively empower and encourage our people to stretch, learn and evolve.”
4. What does Leadership mean to you?
“First and foremost, leadership to me means being authentic – be who you are and not someone people want you to be.
“I believe leadership is also about creating a business culture that people want to be a part of, one that is collaborative to promote diversity of thought, as well as aspirational.
“Additionally, it’s important to develop strategies that the team all buy in to, that they work together to achieve and execute in a timely manner, whilst having a bit of fun along the way.”
5. Why does Leadership matter?
“From my experience, people want to work for an organisation that motivates and inspires them, creates value for themselves, their customers and/or the broader community and society as a whole.
“Therefore, quality leadership is vital to create workplace culture and an organisation that embodies these values, attracts quality employees and has a positive impact on people’s lives in its eco-system.”
6. Key achievements and successes – any come to mind?
“What immediately comes to mind is when I secured the job as CEO of carsales. I replaced one of the most successful technology founders Australia has produced, so I had big shoes to fill, and often these transitions can be can be very difficult, and to date I’ve had positive results.
“Another key achievement that I’m very proud of was our successful Initial Public Offering of carsales. This took place in 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis, and at the time I was the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of carsales.”
7. Who has made a difference in your career?
“Greg Roebuck the former CEO and founder of carsales – he continues to be a close friend and mentor.
“My wife – she has been a significant enabler and without her support my career would not have reached its full potential.”
8. What are your strengths and unique talents?
I’m not good at answering what strengths and unique talents pertain to me because I feel mine are not unique.
“However, I think the strengths that most people in my position as CEO would have would include an ability to effectively communicate, agility, diligence and a strong sense of resilience”.
9. What does the future hold for you?
“I love what I do at carsales, the people I work with, and the customers and industry I serve. In the future I hope to have more of these positive experiences and relationships.”
10. Key Learning in your Career
“IQ is a ticket to the ballgame and gets you a job. EQ means you can work with people and you understand how you impact others in the environment around you. But it’s GQ, the ability to grow and push forward in spite of everything, and your ability to leverage the combined talents and capability of others in a productive and constructive manner, that builds real success in careers and business.”
11.What would you say to your younger self?
“Life is short do something cool!”
Stay tuned for Interviews with Simon Sinek, Maxine Horne and more…
You can subscribe to our Leaders Hub Magazine HERE for only $19.95 for 4 Editions per year (plus 11 more editions for free). If you would love to be interviewed, advertise or contact us for an editorial please contact us at [email protected]
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“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”— Woodrow Wilson
We all have the ability to listen but not everyone uses that skill. We’re often too busy working out our reply before the speaker has even finished with his words.
Neuroscience shows us that while hearing is relatively simple, listening is not as easy. It involves three distinct regions of the brain.
- The posterior cortex of the brain is where we “hear” as it processes and recognises sounds.
- When we actually listen rather than hear, we use the prefrontal cortex. This is the region of the brain which controls our decision making process and logic. We sort the information we hear and decide what action to take.
- When we become involved – an active participant in the listening process – the limbic system is activated, processing our emotional responses.
So there are three separate steps involved in listening. Most of us stop at step 2. What are the implications of that for leaders? The expression “getting to the heart of the matter” is the key.
If you are only hearing 2 parts of the information your team is sharing with you, your decision making process will be flawed. You will never get to the heart of the matter because you’ve ignored the emotional subtext of the conversation. If you make decisions based purely on logic without taking into account the way your team feel, your chances of success are limited.
Do you really listen to your team? Would you say that you listen more than you talk? How does the conversation balance when you speak with your team? As leader you may need to be listening more than talking.
Great leaders are great listeners. They give their people the power of a voice, an opinion and a say in the team’s final outcome. They show they have heard and understood what their team is telling them. You can imagine how that boosts a feeling of involvement and commitment to team goals.
Paying attention to what your team members say shows that you value and respect each person and helps you build solid relationships with them.
If your habit is to offer solutions as soon as you think you’ve heard enough, it’s time to develop a new habit. Learn to wait until your team member has finished speaking, learn to pay attention the whole time and learn to ask questions, too. If you can master the power of listening, you will have a happier and healthier team behind you.