Whether you’re leading your team yourself or have a layer of management between yourself and your employees, effective leadership is absolutely crucial for a successful business. Poor leadership has been shown to cost businesses up to $550 billion annually, and up to 79% of employees may quit their jobs due to a lack of appreciation.
The issues with poor leadership don’t just stop there either – a delay in leadership development can cost a company up to 7% of annual sales, and a failure to give employees room to grow can cost another 7% of annual profits.
Having the right people leading your company, and taking the right actions isn’t just something you need to aim for, it’s something you need to achieve, in order to make the best use of your business assets, your employees, and to achieve your highest profit levels.
But how can you tell if a leader is good for their position or not? Are there any signs that might indicate that you’ve got a problem with your leadership?
We’re going to look at 5 of the most frequently seen indications that you might have a management problem:
Lack of Empathy and Motivation
If your manager isn’t able to connect with their team, it’s going to cause problems. Your manager is responsible for motivating employees and striving to drive the company forward.
Lack of empathy or motivation might be revealed as being:
- Overly critical and not offering balanced reviews (constructive criticism must be constructive, not just destructive).
- Unreceptive to other opinions or sees lower ranked positions as not having a ‘valued’ input.
- Stubborn in changing plans because they came up with the initial idea.
- Rash in making decisions without fully considering the overall impact.
Fear of Change or Lack of Growth / Development
Business is constantly changing, and although your manager needs to provide a strong consistent support, they also need to be flexible and adapt as the business changes. If they are incapable of changing (or fear doing so), or show a lack of personal growth and development, they are going to stagnate, and cause the team under them to do so as well.
Takes Credit but is Never Accountable
They say you have to take the bad with the good, and this is very true for management. At the end of the day, their team are their responsibility, but if they are constantly finding excuses for mistakes or negative situations, it can reveal a problem.
This can also be made worse if they are the sort that takes credit for every positive achievement, but never the issues. This can lead to resentment and a hostile working environment.
The way in which people communicate does change, what once was normal may no longer be the case – and it’s essential that managers know how best to connect with their team, and your customers (if they’re dealing with B2C communication).
Managers that are resistant to new techniques or technologies, and don’t seek out training for shortfalls, are a potential concern – as they are likely to insist on outdated communication methods, which may take additional time, cost more money, or make the communication process difficult.
Don’t Support Their Team
Any manager that isn’t willing to develop their team, and stand up for them when necessary, is going to be an issue. Employees want to know they can trust their manager to have their back, and if they don’t, it’s not just going to affect the individual’s involved, but the entire team.
Great business is built on trust, and if a manager isn’t trusted by their team to support them, then they’re going to be spending time protecting themselves and looking out for their own interests, rather than focusing on the success of the business.
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What Can You Do About Poor Leadership?
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your own management, then it’s important that you take time to stop and carefully evaluate your manager – it doesn’t mean you have to immediately fire them or start disciplinary proceedings (although in some serious cases, it might well come to it).
Ask yourself, what training and options have you got for your managers? How are you supporting them so they can do their job properly?
Think about the people in the positions as well, have they been promoted above their abilities? Are they stressed because they don’t have support?
When you ask what you can do, and make positive actions to improve your management, it will have a trickle-down effect and increase your employee morale and productivity as well.