Posted 1717 Days Ago in: Executive Coaching Articles, TCA CorporateCategoriesTagsSearch
Leading an organisation or team is a unique challenge. It is often said that people join an organisation but leave their managers. To create and sustain an environment of highly engaged, high performing employees, leaders and executives must be held accountable and rewarded for how they accomplish results as well as the results themselves.
Leading an organisation or team is a unique challenge. It is often said that people join an organisation but leave their managers. By far the most significant factor that influences employee satisfaction and engagement is leader behaviour. It begins with upper management, who establish the official policies as well as the unofficial ‘way things are done,’ which then filters through to the entire organisation. It also includes front line leadership – middle managers and supervisors who are closest to the daily work stream. Whether a leader treats employees with respect and values their contributions or micro-manages and is unpredictable and abusive, obviously has a huge impact on an employee’s day to day working environment and influences the behaviours of everyone in the work group.
Many upper managers still cling to ‘old school’ command and control management styles which are less than effective with today’s employees, who expect a more collaborative, coaching style. Because directive leaders are in positions of power, employees may fear to question them or ask for change; instead they may react by withdrawal and disengagement, especially in times of economic downturn when they might not dare to quit the position.
At the other end of the spectrum, newly-made managers, especially those who come up through the ranks, may have an idea of the kind of leader they would like to be. But they often lack the training and on-going support they need to make the switch from being friends with their colleagues to managing them.
Middle-level managers, who play a critical role as liaison between senior leadership and front-line employees, are critical to organisational success. Yet they often feel the pinch of company stresses and are neglected for leadership development. A 2010 study of North American organisations sponsored by the Human Capital Institute found that only 14% of middle level managers were, ‘fully engaged’. 46% of Human Resource leaders indicated that morale among middle managers in their organisations had dropped ‘substantially’ or ‘noticeably’ over the prior 18 months. Middle managers’ top three expressed concerns were: struggling to do more with fewer staff (79%), staff more stressed (70%) and staff less engaged (49%). If those who are critical to the engagement of front line employees are themselves disengaged, clearly focused solutions need to be applied.
In challenging economic conditions, organisations often focus on financial results and on rewarding leaders for achieving results without regard for how those results are achieved. While this might work in the short term, lack of concern for good leadership practices will ultimately backfire as employees become disengaged and performance lags. To create and sustain an environment of highly engaged, high performing employees, leaders must be held accountable and rewarded for how they accomplish results as well as the results themselves.
Because of the weight of impact of leadership behaviours on employee engagement, a programme designed to improve or enhance employee engagement must have support from senior leadership. If senior leaders do not model and hold others accountable for good leader behaviours, no amount of surveys, policies, mission statements or communication will do the trick. Leaders must ‘walk the talk’ – be authentic seekers and demonstrators of the kind of leadership employees need in order to unleash maximum performance. Otherwise, they will view any implementation programme as meaningless hypocrisy, and trust and engagement could move in the opposite direction of that intended.
Posted 2228 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, Coaching Articles
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Posted 2228 Days Ago in: Coaching Academy Info, Coaching Articles, Continuous Professional Development, Tips
Coaching Communities have been part of The Coaching Academy support programme for students and qualified coaches since our inception in 1999. A Coaching Community is a local group of people with an interest in all things coaching, meeting up generally on a monthly basis. We've revamped our coaching communities website to make it even easier for you reap the benefits of getting involved.