Category Archives: Communication

Lead with forward thinking

Lead With Forward Thinking

Tomorrow’s business environment will be characterized by more complex problems, even faster rates of change, improved technology, increased global competition and the commoditization of most products.

It will become more and more difficult for organisations to develop and maintain a unique advantage over competitors.

To create this competitive advantage, the motivational leader of the future will have to develop in these areas:


01-Leadership is a relationship1. Leadership is a relationship

Leadership is about people. You don’t lead things, you lead people. You lead people through the relationship you have with them.

Only when you are able to build positive, trusting relationships with team members will you be able to effectively lead them. You can only develop trusting relationships by spending time with people, interacting, showing your belief and trust in them and sharing experiences.

When you have relationships based on trust and experience, you know you can depend on each other, no matter what the future holds.
 


02-Lead through goals and values2. Lead through goals and values

It is impractical to try to change and control everything people do. When team members know their own and the team goals, and are committed to the organisation’s values, they will almost always act in ways supportive to the organisation.

The key will be the leader’s ability to crystallise and effectively communicate the teams and the organisational goals and values to team members.
 


03-Balance work3. Balance work

Believe in people, train and develop them continuously and give them the opportunity to accept responsibility for significant achievement. Just as devastating as the failure to delegate is overdoing delegation.

Giving too much of your own authority and responsibility to others who are not adequately trained, who do not share your goals, or who are overworked, means that you will soon be out of touch with the operation.

You will lose the insight you need to influence the direction in which the team and the organisation are moving. Avoid this trap by maintaining a written delegation plan that details what you plan to delegate and to whom, supported by a schedule for implementing your plan.
 


04-Focus on Strength4. Focus on strength

When people grow, the team and the whole organisation benefits. Everyone has both strengths and weaknesses. The leader’s responsibility is to put team members in the right role to best utilise their unique talents and abilities whilst upskilling them for further growth.
 


05-Multiply your leadership5. Multiply your leadership

Make yourself available for new assignments and increased responsibilities. If you are already at the top, developing someone to take over is even more important. The ultimate measurement of a leader’s success is how many other leaders they have developed.

Organisations succeed in direct proportion to the number of leaders they have. With only one or a few top leaders, organisations must resort to a hierarchical bureaucratic structure to manage and control the actions of employees.

This structure is destined to fail in a fast-paced, ever-changing and competitive business world. The ideal goal is to develop everyone into a leader. Every employee can develop their own personal leadership abilities.

Study people, learn their strengths, their personal goals and their desires. Then give them opportunities to develop new abilities and learn new skills that will make them more valuable as team members and more fulfilled as individuals.
 


Become the leader who develops leaders.

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Guide others by your attitude

Guide Others By Your Attitude

As a leader, your responsibility is to create a learning environment through your demonstrating attitude toward innovation and change, and by communicating your belief in the potential and worth of your team members.

Your attitudes and positive expectations establish their receptiveness to behaviour change.

The attitudes of your people toward upskilling and improvement will almost always be a direct reflection of your own attitude. If you fear change or are concerned that developing employees may lessen your importance, then your team cannot grow.

Upskilling and developing your people is the most effective way to achieve greater results, productivity and change. The success of any training or development program is determined by the extent of the attitudinal and behavioural change of trainees. However, as the leader, you must continue to show your belief in them and reinforce their growth.
 

During and after the program, your team members must believe that the change in their attitudes and behaviour is appreciated.

If the new approach and behaviour goes unnoticed, people will quickly revert back to the old, more comfortable attitudes and behaviour. Encourage people to grow and use more of their potential. Reinforce your belief in them and their importance and value to the team and the organisation.

Catch them doing things right.

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Explore our Leadership & Management Courses today, and see our upcoming course dates and locations in our current course schedule.

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4 Functions Of Management

Understanding The 4 Key Functions Of Management

 

“The purpose of all managers is to achieve results with and through the activities of other people in the most effective and efficient way possible”.
 

To be successful and remain competitive in today’s dynamic global environment, every organisation needs effective managers.

Managers achieve organisational goals and objectives with and through the people who make up the organisation. To accomplish these goals effectively and efficiently, managers perform four key functions:

Planning > Organising > Leading  > Controlling

 

1. Planning - 4 Functions Of Management1. Planning

Planning is the first of the four management functions. Planning defines and determines the strategic, tactical and operational goals of an organisation, department or team. Deciding future direction is an activity that is basic to management functions.

Determining your team or department’s goals, how and when they will be achieved and what resources will be allocated to them are key aspects of the planning you undertake as a successful manager.

Continuously developing your planning skills will significantly contribute to higher performance at a personal and organisational level.

2. Organising - 4 Functions Of Management2. Organising

The organising function is centred on the acquisition and deployment of resources to achieve operational goals.

Organising determines an organisation’s division of labour into specific departments and teams as well as what tasks are to be done, who is going to do them and how they will be grouped. Organising also encompasses deciding the formal chain of command, operational processes, reporting structures and decision- making authority that will be used.

To ensure continued competitiveness, as a manager you are expected to use your organising skills to restructure and maintain a leaner, more efficient and more productive department or team. You are expected to place the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time to achieve maximum productivity and performance.

3. Leading3. Leading

Leading is the ability to influence and inspire people to achieve organisational goals because they want to, not because they have to.

Leadership creates and determines the culture and values of an organisation, department or team. Quality leadership is also an integral component in creating and maintaining a high-performance work environment.

In today’s ever-changing workplace, providing the right type of leadership at the right time has become an increasingly important management function. Successful leadership today combines the authority of title – Positional Power, with the leaders own Personal Power, which is based on the respect and trust earned from those they lead.

Your leadership is essential in communicating the organisation’s vision, mission, values and goals to provide clear direction to all involved. It is only through exercising strong leadership that you will effectively harness and utilise the best resources at your disposal – your people.

4. Controlling - 4 Functions Of Management4. Controlling

Controlling is the last but not least of the four key management functions. Controlling involves the continuous monitoring of actual performance against planned performance.

This function entails the constant and systematic monitoring and regulating of organisational activities and processes to ensure they are consistent with predetermined goals, plans and key performance indicators.

As the manager of a high-performance work environment you are expected to set in place systems and processes that establish required standards of performance, measure the actual performance, compare it with the pre-set standards and initiate Gap Resolution actions when and if required.

Become a highly effective and respected leader

Whether you’re an experienced leader or aspiring to become one, there are steps you can take to grow your skills, knowledge and capacity to motivate and inspire. LMA offers a range of short courses and in-depth development programs that support your key people to excel in this arena, effectively unlocking the potential of your entire team.

Explore our Leadership & Management Courses today, and see our upcoming course dates and locations in our current course schedule.

Infographic

4 Functions Of Management Infographic

Leadership Analysis

Putting The Spotlight On Leadership Competencies

Are we getting what we want (or need) from our leaders?

Latest results from more than 10,000 respondents to the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey conducted by Leadership Management Australia (LMA) put the spotlight squarely on the most important leadership skills and competencies we expect to see in our leaders.

“You can’t always get what you want,
but if you try sometimes, you just might find,
you get what you need…”
You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones (1969)
 

It seems we know what we want, but as the song goes, we can’t always get it. Many of our organisational leaders are behaving in ways that are misaligned with what is expected of them or needed from them by the people they seek to lead.

Leadership competencies

The recipe for effective leadership is reasonably simple to follow. People working at all levels of organisations have a succinct and focused set of expectations that leaders can fulfil – if they put their minds to it. The main focus of leadership competencies and skills expected of our leaders relate to communication, problem-solving and decision-making and developing and coaching others.

The rankings of the leadership competencies thought to most clearly enable leaders and senior managers to do their jobs well are understood across all levels.

Despite some variation across the levels, the same top 7 out of the 16 competencies listed are reported as the keys to effective leadership:

Leadership competencies Employees
Ranking
2019
Managers
Ranking
2019
Leaders
Ranking
2019
Communication skills 1 1 1
Problem solving and decision making 2 3 5
Developing and coaching others 3 2 2
Teamwork 4 5 6
Planning and organising 5 4 7
Building relationships (internal and external) 6 6 4
Strategic thinking 7 7 3
 
Q. All
Looking at this list of leadership competencies, please nominate which you believe are the five most critical competencies that leaders and senior managers need to do their job well today.
 

 Whilst strategic thinking features more prominently in the minds of Leaders and problem solving and decision making are higher on the list for Employees and Managers, the reality is a common set of expectations of the leadership skills and competencies needed to perform well as a leader.

Leadership behaviours

New Manager Leading a Team

When we look at how these skills and competencies become evident in the behaviours of our leaders, there is generally solid alignment – many of the expected leadership skills and competencies are obvious in the behaviours exhibited.

For example

The skill of problem solving is high on the list for competencies expected in our leaders and also features in the behaviours demonstrated by Leaders as seen by Managers and Employees.

However, there are also some clear gaps between the ways in which Leaders believe they behave and what their Managers and Employees see.

For example

Where Leaders believe their most clearly demonstrated leadership behaviour is motivating and bringing out the best in others, Employees rank this 13th and Managers 11th in terms of behaviours displayed by their leaders.

Employees and Manager see their Leaders operating with a strong results orientation more than any other behaviour suggesting that their Leaders’ motivations (and the resulting behaviours) are heavily skewed towards results more than the people who enable those results.

Two important behaviours witnessed by Employee and Managers from their Leaders are being supportive and remaining composed and confident in uncertainty – very important when many organisations are facing increasing volatility and uncertain economic times.

Clearly there is a need to align the desired or expected leadership skills and competencies and their practical demonstration through the leadership behaviours we see from our leaders. This will enable us to get both what we want AND what we need.

Leadership behaviours Leaders (about themselves)
Ranking
2019
Managers (about their leaders)
Ranking
2019
Employees (about their leaders)
Ranking
2019
Motivating and bringing out the best in others 1 11 13
Developing others 2 5 7
Solving problems effectively 3 4 4
Being supportive 4 2 2
Operating with a strong results orientation 5 1 1
Role modelling organisational values 6 9 12
Making quality decisions 7 10 9
Remaining composed and confident in uncertainty 8 3 3
 
Q. Leaders
Looking at the list of leadership behaviours below, please identify the FIVE behaviours you exhibit most as a leader/senior manager of your organisation
 
Q. Managers and Employees 
Looking at the list of leadership behaviours below, please identify the FIVE behaviours you see most from the leaders/senior managers in your organisation

Clearly there is a need to align the desired or expected leadership skills and competencies and their practical demonstration through the leadership behaviours we see from our leaders. This will enable us to get both what we want AND what we need.

Strategic importance of leadership development

In light of this clear need to align the necessary and expected leadership skills and competencies with their demonstration via leadership behaviours, the strategic importance of leadership development has never been more pronounced.

More than seven-in-ten across all levels of organisations recognise leadership development as either the most important (14-19%) or one of the top few strategic challenges (58-63%) facing their organisations’ future:

  Leaders (Executives/Senior Managers) 2019
%
Managers (Middle Managers and Supervisors) 2019
%
Employees (Non-Managerial/ Supervisory Employees) 2019
%
The most important strategic challenge for my organisation 19 15 14
One of the top few strategic challenges for my organisation 63 58 58
Just below the top few strategic challenges for my organisation 14 17 16
Not an important strategic challenge for my organisation 3 4 4
 
Q. Which of the following best describes how strategically important leadership development is for your organisation’s future?

Reassuring is the fact that 82% of Leaders recognise the strategic importance of leadership development – a clear nod to the need to devote time, money and resources to develop tomorrow’s leaders.

So what does this mean for our leaders?

Leaders and senior managers need to remain vigilant in developing their leadership skills and competencies and consistent in demonstrating the desirable leadership behaviours.

By regularly thinking about and acting in accordance with the expectations of their people, leaders will demonstrate what leadership is about and greatly assist in developing quality leadership and quality leaders for the future.

Given the critical importance of leadership development to the future of our organisations, leaders owe it to the next generation of leaders to lead well, be the example these emerging leaders can and will follow and help others to learn how to lead better in future – to be both what they want AND what they need.

Become a highly effective and respected leader

Whether you’re an experienced leader or aspiring to become one, there are steps you can take to grow your skills, knowledge and capacity to motivate and inspire. LMA offers a range of short courses and in-depth development programs that support your key people to excel in this arena, effectively unlocking the potential of your entire team.

Explore our Leadership & Management Courses today, and see our upcoming course dates and locations in our current course schedule.

Are you a manager or a leader

Are you a Manager or a Leader… What’s the difference?

Over recent years there’s been an abundance of articles highlighting the differences between Managers and Leaders.

Many of these articles compare the characteristics of Managers against those of Leaders, as if they were entirely different and separate roles, usually characterising them at totally opposite ends of the personality spectrum.

Managers

Managers are often portrayed as the Black Hats – focused on results and numbers-driven by processes and systems, whilst showing little empathy, care or consideration for their people.

Leaders

Leaders, on the other hand, are often portrayed as the White Hats – charismatic and innovative change agents who engage and inspire others through displaying care and consideration.

What’s the difference?

The reality is that these are not two distinct roles. Nor are they opposites.

Management and Leadership are inseparable in today’s organisations. Those in Management/Leadership positions must incorporate the qualities and characteristics of both Manager and Leader in their roles. They go hand in hand.

Nor is it a situation of just Black or white. It’s more like 50 Shades of Grey when it comes to the level and mix of Management capabilities with Leadership competencies and characteristics required today.

The traditional model of management, in which leadership was considered one of the 4 functions of management, has evolved over the last 50 year.

4 Functions Of Management

 

PLANNING, ORGANISING, LEADING & CONTROLLING

In the world, the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s most management structures were more hierarchical with more layers of command. Managers’ roles generally, concentrated on producing outputs according to standard processes as efficiently and effectively as possible. During this time, employees held greater respect for the authority vested in the position of a supervisor or manager (Positional Power). Generally, there was also a higher regard for a manager’s age and experience.

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

continuous improvement

In today’s fast-moving world, the “Status Quo” is extinct. Continuous improvement, innovation, agility are the focus and nature of our competitive business world today.

People now challenge the status quo of titles, authority, age and experience. A title or position is no longer sufficient to ensure they can achieve the best results out of people. Employees today judge their managers and leaders on their actions, attitudes, behaviours and leadership competencies. 

To perform effectively in a Management / Leadership role in organisations today, people require a much higher degree of leadership than in the past. But they must also have capabilities in the other 3 areas of management.

Where Your Authority Comes From

As a supervisor or manager, your authority is derived from your position in the organisation. This is your Positional Power. You have been appointed to represent management to those for whom you are responsible.

Your team’s knowledge of the organisation’s vision, values, goals and expectations come through you. Your position gives you the authority and the responsibility to make decisions and to allocate resources to reach the team’s quality and productivity objectives and goals.

Exercise Your Authority Effectively

Effective Management

How you exercise the authority of your position determines the results you are able to achieve. Those who take an authoritarian or command approach, purely using their Positional Power, achieve limited results from their people.

However, exercising true leadership is moving beyond the Positional Power of your title into developing your Personal Power through earning the respect and trust of those you manage.

Managers who understand that they must develop their Personal Power in order to more effectively exercise their Positional Power, are the successful leaders of today and the future.

Their ability to lead, direct, engage and influence the behaviour of others is based on their ability to earn the respect and trust of others. Yes, they still focus on outcomes and still demonstrate skill in planning, organizing and controlling.

Leadership goes beyond and enhances management. Genuine leadership involves gaining engagement and commitment from those you manage, so they, like you, understand and willingly play their part in the overall purpose and success of the organisation.

Leadership involves the ability to communicate, to enable and to empower people to take meaningful and productive actions. Leadership is creating exceptional results for and through people.

Summary

So, in summary, you are both a Manager and a Leader with the power to exercise and develop both your Management capabilities and Leadership competencies.

Become a highly effective and respected leader

Whether you’re an experienced leader or aspiring to become one, there are steps you can take to grow your skills, knowledge and capacity to motivate and inspire. LMA offers a range of short courses and in-depth development programs that support your key people to excel in this arena, effectively unlocking the potential of your entire team.

Explore our Leadership & Management Courses today, and see our upcoming course dates and locations in our current course schedule.

Effective-Communication-for-effective-coaching

Effective Communication for Effective Coaching

Communication is our first act of interaction when meeting people. Communication builds and maintains friendships and is the glue that binds relationships together. Communication is essential for us to achieve what we want out of life. In a coaching or mentoring relationship, open and effective communication is a must. It is the inherent foundation upon which the whole relationship grows and develops.

Successful communication is a two-way process, sending as well as receiving. You must first present your ideas in a form others can understand and then listen to others to understand how your message is being received. This mutual understanding is necessary if the purpose of any communication is to be achieved.

In other words, effective communication is a process that involves 5 basic steps:

The speaker must:

  1. Identify a meaning they want to express
  2. Code that meaning into words and non-verbal cues

The listener must:

  1. Accurately receive, or hear, the words and non-verbal cues
  2. Decode the meaning of the words.
  3. Respond to the speaker in a way that indicates accurate understanding of the message

In coaching conversations it is critical that both parties are on the same wavelength and understand each other because we don’t all feel, think or speak the same way. People have different values, views, expectations, opinions and prejudices based on their past experiences, education levels, political viewpoints and cultural or economic backgrounds. When you send information it won’t necessarily be heard the way you intend. People hear what you say through filters and will interpret your message in a way that is meaningful to them and makes sense from their perspective.

Always be aware and sensitive to possible filters that will influence your individual. Plan the message you want to convey, ask questions that aid clarity and understanding and provide feedback for reinforcement. Feedback achieved through effective questioning helps you check the listener’s level of understanding. Feedback given and received is the catalyst for making appropriate adjustments in the communication process to ensure you achieve mutual understanding as you strive to identify and reach important goals with your individual.

To progressively strengthen the coaching relationship and to achieve the greatest value and meaningful communication from coaching sessions, coaches must listen attentively and use empathy to understand the other person’s message. As a coach, making the effort to understand your individual’s feelings and beliefs doesn’t mean that you have to accept or agree with his or her point of view. Undoubtedly, you have heard empathy expressed in the saying, “Put yourself in the other person’s shoes”. Through exercising empathy we show others that we understand and appreciate them. Empathy is the ability to look at a situation from another’s viewpoint and understand that person’s feelings and beliefs.

Check out LMA’s Above the Line Coaching and Mentoring course to explore these concepts in more detail and to further develop the coaching and mentoring relationship.

How-to-create-a-positive-work-environment

How to Create a Positive Work Environment

An employee’s motivation to work is heavily influenced by his or her environment. The core underlying human need to feel safe, reassured and appreciated means leaders and managers must work to create safe and secure work environments for their people – not only physical safety but also personal and emotional safety, as well as a sense of being valued. Creating a positive work environment energises and enables people to perform at a higher level and will yield far better results for your company and employees.

ENGAGE AND SUPPORT YOUR EMPLOYEES

Today more and more organisations are developing and implementing formal programs for both coaching and mentoring to support their performance management and performance improvement endeavours as well as their talent attraction and retention activities.

Supporting your employees through interaction and encouragement in the form of coaching and mentoring aims to bring about some kind of positive change to your working environment. Acting as a role model for the individual and believing in their strength and abilities can have a strong positive influence on those around you and can change a person’s career and life for the better.

PROVIDE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The opportunity to learn, grow and develop professionally is a key factor for prospective and current employees and essential in the retention of top talent. Helping your employees to plan short and long- term goals focused on achieving results and professional development, will create positive actions and outcomes. Subsequently monitoring their progress can be particularly beneficial for the individual.

As the individual’s needs determine the goals and objectives of the coaching relationship, employers must ensure that they understand their individual’s needs. This enables them to assist in the establishment of realistic goals and objectives, supported by an effective plan of action for the relationship.

CELEBRATE WINS AND SET NEW GOALS

A great way to create a positive work environment is to acknowledge the work of your employees. Whenever your employee achieves an action step or focus goal, it is important to recognise their accomplishment. It also instills the notion that hard work is appreciated and encourages other employees to strive for the same recognition.

Remind your employees of all the hard work they have contributed to achieve their desired goals. However, it is also critical that you re-focus their attention towards the next action step or goal. Sometimes people lose focus and motivation shortly after the achievement of a significant goal.

SET THE TONE

Inspiring and reassuring your employees will motivate them to make the necessary changes and develop the required skills and qualities to achieve their goals. Developing your own understanding and awareness of human behaviour stimulates you to grow and utilise more of your own potential. As a result you will achieve your own personal and professional goals whilst helping the people you manage to grow and achieve their own goals and ultimately set up an ideal working environment.

Understanding and improving your team’s working environment is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging experience will help organisations succeed in attracting and retaining highly skilled, engaged employees. Similarly, a strong employee experience also drives a strong customer experience. It is a real win-win all around to be striving for a positive environment in the workplace.

What are you doing for your employees to create a positive working environment?

Importance-of-Effective-Communication-and-Relationship-Development

Importance of Effective Communication and Relationship Development

Leadership roles vary considerably, with variances in titles, organisational structure, industry type, working environment and a myriad of other differences that exist in our workplace today.  However, even though the titles and position descriptions may vary widely, in reality there is one common denominator and responsibility for all leaders.  They all depend upon the fundamental need to work with and through other people.

Generally, leadership involves gaining commitment from those you lead so that they understand their part in the overall vision of the organisation and are committed to achieving its success.  Leadership involves the ability to communicate, to persuade, to encourage and to inspire people to take meaningful and productive actions.  Leadership involves developing trust through positive and open relationships.

Peter Drucker said, “Leadership is not rank, privilege, title or money.  It is responsibility”.  To achieve the best results with and through others, all leaders must be willing to take on the responsibility of developing effective communication and relationship development skills.  Leaders who develop these skills and work effectively with and through others, produce the most outstanding results.

The importance of effective communication across all levels and organisations has never been as profound as in today’s fast changing diverse and multicultural workplace.  Effective communication and relationship development is the lifeblood that flows through the organisation’s arteries keeping it functioning, healthy and alive.  The pace of modern business means that people are sending and receiving more messages, instructions and other types of communication than ever before.  People are also under greater pressure to understand and implement new processes and changes whilst being expected to fulfil higher standards.  At the same time team structures are changing frequently, requiring new team member to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible and new relations developed for optimum performance. Customer relationships can also be made or broken by communication.

You and other members of your team and organisation share a unique relationship based upon common goals for the organisation.  Effective communication binds all of the members of these complex relationships together enabling everyone in the team to achieve the desired outcomes.

Constructive communication and persuasion saves time and effort, encourages co-operation and reduces stress.  Developing these kills enables you as a leader to prevent difficult situations, communicate team goals, foster self-esteem, generate mutual respect and enrich the relations that underpin a positive working environment conducive to high performance.  In other words, good communication and relationships improve the productivity and performance of the team.

On a personal level, communication is the first interaction when meeting new people.  It builds and maintains relationships.  In fact, the quality of communication is typically the underlying reason for all relationships succeeding or failing.  Communication is the glue that binds friendships together and fosters caring family relationships.

The fact that organisations require effective communication skills from all leaders and managers cannot be over emphasised. 

Everything they do involves effective written and verbal communication with others at all levels within the organisation to achieve a number of primary objectives:

  • To gather information
  • To impart information
  • To provide instruction
  • To provide data throughout the various levels of the organisation
  • To provide feedback
  • To praise and discipline
  • To train
  • To control
  • To enable emotional expression
  • To engage, empower and motivate

As a leader consider the impact your communication has on the relationships within your team.  Engaging and motivating your people to perform at their best requires meaningful communication.  However, the first step in developing effective meaningful communication is to understand that it is a two-way street and, as the leader, you must be sensitive to and aware of other’s needs and perspectives.  Too often, average leaders adopt the approach that “people need to do what I say as that’s my role”.  In today’s world, where employees are volunteers, they choose to work within organisations where they are both wanted and appreciated, that old school attitude barely achieves average results.

Successful leaders of today are sensitive to the needs of their people, understand what motivates them and use their communication skills to align the needs to their team member’s goals with the goals of the team.  They know the value of building respectful and positive relationships.

During the September to December 2018 quarter, The Leading Edge will provide tips and ideas on how our readers can develop their leadership through improved communication and relationship development.

I encourage all leaders to set a goal to commit themselves to improve their communication skills and build stronger and more positive relationships at all levels.      

Grant Sexton
Founder and Chairman

How-Important-is-Culture-for-Employee-Retention

How Important is Culture for Employee Retention?

Maintaining a healthy workplace culture can be a major factor in staff development and retention. A negative or toxic culture can lead to unhappy or unengaged staff members, substandard work, unhappy clients and high staff turnover. A bad workplace culture will likely push away the best people in your organisation.

Culture and values act as decision-making rules for employees. If clear and understood, employees know how they can be successful, how they can contribute and how they can move forward in their jobs. If employees know how they can be successful and are empowered to do so then they are more likely to be engaged and happy in their work.

Articulate company culture

Firstly an organisation needs to be able to clearly and succinctly articulate their company culture. What are the aligned values, beliefs, behaviours and experiences that make up the organisation’s environment?

Clearly communicating your company culture and ensuring its visibility makes it easier for employees to understand and embrace the values.

Communication is crucial

A workplace culture that prizes honest communication and the giving and receiving of feedback will do wonders for employee retention. Regular meetings, surveys and a leadership level that welcomes and acts on employee feedback are all key to creating an open two-way communication channel. Having this level of communication can shed light on why employees consider leaving. Taking the time to understand disaffected employees means that organisations can work to improve areas of dissatisfaction. By taking time to listen, companies build a culture of loyalty that reduces the risk of turnover.

Management style

The management style of your leadership team should be a reflection of your company culture. Through words and actions, the leadership team should embody the values and vision of the organisation. If management isn’t aligned with company values then you run the risk of creating a “double standard” culture. This will undermine trust in management and devalue the company culture.

Poor managers rule by fear and manipulation, creating a “yes man” culture that stifles good ideas. Good leadership creates a culture where employees believe their voices will be heard, even if management does not agree.

Understand the work-life balance

Balancing life and work is increasingly important for employees in deciding whether to stick with an employer. In a healthy organisational culture, managers provide ways to maintain that balance, including flexible schedules, on-site amenities and work-from-home options. Unfortunately, many companies pay little more than lip-service to this, offering these options as performance incentives or building rigid rules into the apparent flexibility. This can end up having the opposite effect, with employees feeling like the promised work-life balance is nothing more than a dangling carrot. 

To really retain and grow your employees organisational culture must be more than just a list of values in the employee handbook. It must be lived and breathed from the highest levels of the business. People must understand it and believe in it. They must see it acted out each day. And most importantly, they actually need to experience the tangible benefits of the company values – whether that’s financial benefits, work from home days or simply honest two-way communication with management.

Productivity-101-Communication

Productivity 101: Communication

Effective communication can be a powerful tool for improving productivity. Good communication practices cut down on wasted time, empower employees and improve workplace culture. Let’s have a quick look at how improving communication can have a positive effect on workplace productivity.

Give your staff what they need to succeed

When laying out a project, ensure your people have all the information they need right from the beginning by providing a detailed project brief or plan. It will help to avoid misunderstandings, ensure everyone knows who is responsible for what and set your team up for success.

Remember that information that may seem obvious or extraneous to you, may not be available to your team and could be invaluable. Don’t assume that everyone has the same view of the project that you do.

Provide a clear view of the business

Employees feel more empowered and are more likely to take ownership of their work when they feel involved in the entire business process. Regular executive level updates, communication across departments and involvement with and understanding of the overall business direction will all help your employees to feel more involved in the business. Regularly providing a clear view of the overall business direction and the employees’ place in it means that your people will be more likely to understand the value of their work in the larger context of the business.

Listen to your team

Communication isn’t just talking; it’s also listening. Communicating with your team means listening to them, which will help you identify what issues they have that might be affecting their productivity.

Don’t forget that your employees are people. Good communication will foster better relationships between management and employees and will bolster team morale and develop company culture.