Implications of Leadership “Issues”
It is inspirational and fun to be a member of a team where everything works. The Leader believes in you and your other team members; you are all working toward a common goal and making strong progress toward a result that makes a difference.
No, this is not a dream! This is a reality that many a skilled leader and their teams enjoy. However, leadership is a learned skill and not every organization has the needed leadership building engines in place to support organizational health. Serious organizational dysfunction is often a result. We all know the factors for an organization with issues. Warning signs include:
· Lower employee engagement
· Lower profits/less satisfied customers
· Lower results
· Increased turn over
Gallup has been analyzing organizational health and employee engagement for several decades. They find the above symptoms and organizational dysfunction is highly correlated with low leadership skill. In fact, their studies show that the top reason leading to turn over is one’s immediate leader. And if this factoid isn’t scary enough, it is 50% of the reason for turnover. What say you managers over this one?
Gallup says the next highest contributor to turn over is an employee having poor fit to the job. This again points to the manager for not either developing employees or not understanding an employee’s strengths and forcing a round peg into a square hole. This lack of managerial flexibility may let your best competitive weapon go to your competition. Keep that in mind!
Thirdly, Gallup warns us to watch out for employees that may be tolerated to work to a lower standard vs. the rest of the team. If tolerated by the manager because s/he is afraid to address the performance issue, this will create very poor morale in those you depend on most. Continued degrading is inevitable.
All of this is logical and easily remedied. So leaders of people no matter where you are, know your people and their hopes to be a contributing member of your team are largely in your hands. Be mindful of your personal behavior. Measure your organization’s health against the above criteria and seriously ask yourself, “What I am I doing to make organizational life better (or not) for my people?”