In order for leaders to add value to the bottom line, they must first value others. Unfortunately, 91% of employees say they don’t.
In a March 2015 Interact/Harris poll of nearly 1,000 U.S. workers, an astonishing 91% said communication issues are destroying leader effectiveness. The impact of poor leadership can be traced all the way to the bottom line. According to research conducted by the Ken Blanchard companies, the average organization is losing an amount equal to 7% of their annual sales because of poor leadership practices. By examining the Interact/Harris poll results a little closer, we find that employees cited a list of management behavioral miscues that are alarming because they are so easy to avoid and cost absolutely nothing to prevent. You be the judge. Here are the top 9 all too common ways leaders are annihilating profits. What is most shocking about these results is that 8 of the 9 employee complaints are due to leaders simply not engaging with employees in those critical moments where trust can be established and strengthened. In other words, it’s simply leaders failing to take time to connect with their people. There is good news in all of this. All of the complaints have simple, no cost solutions. Here is a list of super-simple techniques leaders can implement today to improve their effectiveness and increase profitability tomorrow:
Challenge #1: Not Recognizing Employee Achievements
Solution: Schedule time to give praise. One of the most powerful ways to acknowledge someone can be found in the power of the sticky note. Use sticky notes to add a personal touch to praise and to increase leader persuasiveness.
Challenge #2: Not Giving Clear Directions
Solution: The most effective approach to ensure expectations are clear and specific is to ask yourself this question – can you take a picture of what someone would be doing OR record what someone would be saying in order to meet your expectation? If the answer is no, it is not clear or specific, and it will likely not be met resulting in increased frustration and lower employee engagement.
Challenge #3: Not Having Time to Meet with Employees
Solution: Make time and schedule it.
Challenge #4: Refusing to Talk to Subordinates
Solution: There is no shortage of ways to connect with employees. Be open to the interactions, and be creative in the manner in which you connect.
Challenge #5: Taking Credit for Others’ Ideas
Solution: Give credit where credit is due. Acknowledging their contributions is always a great way to win trust and loyalty.
Challenge #6: Not Offering Constructive Criticism
Solution: Build the habit of providing regular performance feedback at irregular times. Frame the feedback in the form of an open-ended question, and leaders will find a greater level of receptivity and trust with employees.
Challenge #7: Not Knowing Employees’ Names
Solution: Watch my 2 minute video in which I describe 5 incredibly easy techniques for never forgetting a person’s name.
Challenge #8: Refusing to Talk to People on the Phone / In Person
Solution: Schedule time to connect. And set simple rules of engagement for the conversation that don’t make you sound dictatorial, disconnected, or disinterested.
Challenge #9: Not Asking About Employees’ Lives Outside Work
Solution: Be conversational and ask a few open-ended questions to engage the employee. Everybody has a hobby, a favorite sports team, or favorite past-time. Ask about them and share yours.
By following these suggestions, leaders are now equipped with the no cost, high impact tools that enable them to eliminate profit-destroying behaviors and truly connect with their employees.
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