Is poor leadership holding your team back?

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When it comes to adverse impacts on an individual’s performance poor leadership has been named as the number one factor, according to the latest whitepaper from specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.
The whitepaper, titled Developing High-Performing Teams to Drive Business Performance and Engagement, surveyed more than 250 hiring managers and almost 700 professionals across Australia and New Zealand on the factors that help build high-performing teams.
When asked what negatively impacted their performance most, 32% of professionals said poor leadership, followed by not having clearly defined goals and objectives, and not being adequately recognised for high performance.
The whitepaper also found that 80% of professionals believe poor leadership decreases trust and openness.
James Nicholson, managing director of Robert Walters in Australia and New Zealand, said: “The most effective teams have a good team dynamic in terms of culture, skills and personality fit, are led with shared accountability, have clearly defined goals and objectives, and receive recognition for their good work.

"Conversely, poor leadership, team conflict, undefined goals and objectives and zero recognition for good work are key drivers of disengagement, dissatisfaction and underperforming teams.”
The survey focused on four key themes related to high-performing teams, and it found that:
  • 63% organisations may be missing out on top talent due to inflexible selection criteria
  • More than half of professionals feel their organisation does not do enough to reward high performance
  • Almost half of professionals said they were managed with a top-down leadership style, where leaders make decisions without consulting team members, but 95% of professionals preferred other more consultative leadership styles
  • 61% of professionals believe varied and interesting work is the factor that keeps them most engaged in their roles
  • 51% of hiring managers feel that their organisation does not do enough to keep their employees engaged
Key takeaways:
  • Leaders need to be constantly communicating: Leaders should communicate with their team to make decisions appear more consultative, which in turn will boost employee morale. It will also help staff accept change more easily when they have a clear direction and feel involved in the process.
  • Implement mentoring programs: The survey showed that professionals rate “supports team members” as the most important quality in their team leaders. Mentoring can ensure staff are getting the support they need. Benefits of mentoring include increased productivity, higher job satisfaction and a more positive working environment.
  • Accountability: To prevent poor leadership from infiltrating the workplace team leaders should have regular discussions with their team members, and set goals for them. Establishing an environment in which employees can provide feedback at all times is also vital.

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