Category Archives: L.E.A.D.

following-the-leaders_lead-whitepaper-nov-16-header

L.E.A.D Survey 2018

Following the Leaders or Leading the Followers

Developing Effective Leadership in the 21st Century

New information to help leaders understand what is expected of them in their roles and how best to identify and develop future leaders with confidence and success.

The Whitepaper delves into the most profound issues to emerge from this wave of the L.E.A.D. Survey, issues that implore leaders and managers to invest the necessary time and energy to understand and leverage the leadership potential that exists within their organisations.

Download the L.E.A.D. Whitepaper to view the issues, needs and expectations of over 4,000 employees, managers and business leaders.

Use the form above to download this handy resource, feel free to share it on social media.

Back to LMA library

Coping-with-Change-in-the-Workplace

Coping with Change in the Workplace

Change, and our ability to make it work for us rather than against us, has become a defining characteristic of successful individuals, teams, departments and organisations.

Our ability to cope with change has been forced to strengthen, as change has become the very essence of a thriving organisation. Despite knowing all this, change is still often greeted with fear and avoidance. Why? We fear change at work for a variety of valid reasons. Many of these fears are associated with a fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, but more often than not, fear of the unknown.

The existence of change is inevitable and necessary, and isn’t going to go away by simply ignoring the issues as they arise. Instead, by being prepared to take on the many changes that can present themselves along the way, everyone in the organisation can learn to overcome the fear and embrace the changes ahead with positivity and intention.

For the forward-thinking leader or manager who seeks to make the most of the future, change is the vital ingredient that must be present, welcomed and nurtured. Below are a few suggestions on how to help your team tackle change better, and how you can lead them through change with skill and prowess.

Recognise that change does happen and it has a purpose

The first thing to address is the attitude toward the presence of change. Renewal and growth through change has meant employees and leaders at all levels of organisations have become accustomed to change in the form of restructuring, reinvention, decentralisation, centralisation, the creation of multi-disciplinary teams, and forms of flexible work practices.

Whether it be a staff reshuffle, a merger or a budget dilemma, there is nothing to be gained in denying that the change is happening. Instead, by recognising the presence of the change, fear of the unknown is addressed in the early stages. By coming to terms with the situation, encouraging optimism around it and discussing the next step, change can be approached more positively, and in turn more productively.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

In a situation of organisational change, communication cannot be an afterthought. It has to be a core component of the steps toward incorporating the presence of change into future actions. Periods of change require an effort by everyone involved to be on the same page. Any communication gaps can immediately be filled by rumours and speculation, which create even more fear around the idea of change. If employees are given the opportunity to effectively communicate their fears to co-workers, leaders and managers within their organisation, their concerns can be better addressed and alleviated. Empathy can be the greatest communication tool you have.

Acknowledge that incorporating change happens in stages

Often change in the workplace can simulate the same stages as grief – shock, denial, anger and finally, acceptance. In order to reach the point of acceptance (and the end goal of moving forward) the previous stages will need to be progressed through, both individually and as a group. The progression from one stage to the next may not be a smooth one, nor may it happen at the same rate for everyone involved. Have an understanding of the stages that you and your team will need to progress through in order to reach the final positive position of acceptance. It will help you to have more empathy for those around you, and to be able to provide support when required.

Be flexible, be realistic

In essence change is about being flexible. By being inflexible with how you approach a changing situation, you are diminishing your chances of being able to cope with the end result of the change. Instead, your ingrained thinking patterns will be out of step with what the new situation requires and you will be left behind.

Take a good look at the requirements of the new situation. You may need to learn new skills, integrate different processes or redirect resources. Be honest with what is required and see the change as an opportunity to streamline and learn. Come up with a plan to deal with the change for yourself and for your team and begin executing it as soon as possible.

Remember that a change in organisational structure can also present a perfect opportunity to shake things up individually and at a team member level too. Incorporate feedback on individual staff members to encourage performance through the transition time, but keep your expectations within the parameters of what is possible.

See the bigger picture

Change is something that is definitely here to stay. The necessary approaches to tough times require new ways of thinking and an understanding of the importance of fluid thinking. Change can be frightening, disruptive and overwhelming. However, with the right attitude and a predetermined set of actions that can guide you and your team through, you can find the opportunity in any situation and learn to embrace change for what it is: possibility.

LMA Take LMA’s Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey to have your say about what changes most affect the modern workplace.

gen-y-leaders

Future Leaders: The Generation Y Workforce

We hear a lot about them in different sectors, from the social, through to the real estate market and especially in the workplace. The millennial generation, also referred to as Generation Y, is the latest emerging group of employees. Generally born between 1980 and 2000 (a disputed time line between some researchers), those belonging to this often contentious group are facing a workforce that is vastly different to their predecessors. Not only is it different because of the industries, technologies and fields that are advancing and retreating, it is different for its perception of what leadership is and how to best foster it within an upcoming workforce that is more mobile and looking for the same mobility in their work.

Within Deloitte’s latest Millennial Survey titled ‘Winning over the next generation of leaders’, the survey unearths information pivotal for anyone who is hiring millennials, working with millennials or promoting millennials.

One key element the report shines a light on is that, in general, millennials ‘express little loyalty to their current employers and many are planning near-term exits.’ Whereas previous generations followed a much more secure path from education through to long-term employment, millennials are more short-term focused, choosing their next move with what could be categorised as a ‘one foot in the door, one foot out’ type of attitude. But is it as simple as looking at millennials and categorising them as short-term workers? Or alternatively, do we all need to take a step back to look at how the workplace is geared to support the growth of the next generation of potential leaders and innovators?

In a fast approaching future where millennials will represent the largest segment of the workforce, the challenge of attracting and maintaining a solid workforce has perhaps never been more difficult. As Deloitte’s survey revealed, of the nearly 7,700 millennials surveyed in 29 countries around the world, nearly a quarter of them would be looking to leave their position in a year. That figure increases to 44% when the timeframe is extended out to two years.

In terms of fostering leadership paths and leaders, these figures leave much to be desired in terms of strong retention of millennial staff. If Gen Y are to be the future leaders of both existing and not yet conceived industries, forward thinking organisations need to be strategizing now about how to gain their attention and maintain it beyond the pivotal two year mark indicated by Deloitte’s research.

So, how do employers start to look at this ‘loyalty challenge’ as an opportunity to best utilise their millennial staff instead of a short coming of an entire generation of skills workers?

The report points to some confronting numbers regarding millennials, even if they have reached leadership positions. Of those surveyed, millennials in senior positions express their intention to leave their organisations relatively soon. In the current survey, approximately 1 in 5 respondents were either the head of a department or division, or have a position within the senior management team. This tells us that the issue with retention isn’t necessarily that the opportunities for advancement aren’t there, but must lie at a different origin for many millennials who are leaders in their industries.

Within our annual L.E.A.D Survey, we find that salary is still a fairly strong retention point of difference for many employers, managers and employees. However, is this translating at the same level for the upcoming millennial workforce? According to Deloitte’s research, millennials are less impressed by a business’ scale, age or its ‘buzz’ achievements. Instead, millennials are focusing more on ‘positive energy’ around a business – what does it contribute to the world, how does it align with their values, and what are they aspiring to achieve.

In short, the report points to the fact that millennials are less likely to wish to stay or lead in an organisation that doesn’t support their values or doesn’t make active choices to support them as an individual within the organisation.

Millennials want to contribute to the positive impact they believe business has on a society, but in doing so they wish to hold onto their own beliefs while achieving those of the organisation. Knowing this, current leaders can start to initiate change in their organisation to support these desires of their millennial team members and leaders. Further proof of this is shown here regarding millennials and the beliefs they hold.

So, how can employer’s best facilitate the right environment for Gen Y to be leaders themselves? A few key suggestions may be:

  • Focus on team building to foster greater loyalty

While many millennials will still feel loyalty towards an organisation, increasingly more are reporting loyalty as a result of being in a team that is productive and like-minded. There is a greater responsibility than ever for team leaders and department heads to consciously and proactively develop and maintain team cohesion. By using this to your advantage and focusing on building strong teams with enhanced interdepartmental interaction, you will be encouraging bonds to be made that are focused on group achievement and team directed innovation.

  • Encourage a mentoring program amongst millennial staff

Mentoring doesn’t have to necessarily be between staff of different generations, it also has a place between millennial team members. For the mentor, the opportunity to demonstrate their values as they see them operate within the organisation will solidify their own position and reasons for remaining loyal to their team and mentee. For the mentee, they will have a light of influence to look to who can directly relate to their perspective and ideals, but can also facilitate the alignment of these values alongside those of the organisation.

  • Demonstrate the organisation’s values in action

Millennials, particular those in more senior positions, are no longer just looking for that foot in the door. They are looking for purpose in their work and in the organisation they work for. Authenticity and the demonstration of this from their organisation is perhaps the greatest retention strategy for millennials in any industry. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk wherever and whenever you get the opportunity to.

Graduates-of-2015

Congratulations to the 2016 LMA Graduates!

As 2016 draws to a close we would like to celebrate the thousands of people who have participated and graduated from an LMA course this year.
As high achievers, we hope that you continue to practice LMA’s teaching, utilise the tools within the workplace and set goals in both your personal and professional lives.

Remember that high achievers:

  • Think positively (Above the Line)
  • Are willing to pay the price for success
  • Are willing to accept personal responsibility
  • Expect to succeed
  • Set goals in all areas of life
  • Are on a journey of self discovery and self improvement

Congratulations to the 2016 Graduates of Leadership Management Australia!

Click a thumbnail to a photo or scroll through the gallery.

 

 

following-the-leaders_lead-whitepaper-nov-16-header

New L.E.A.D. Survey Whitepaper

Following the Leaders or Leading the Followers

Developing Effective Leadership in the 21st Century

New information to help leaders understand what is expected of them in their roles and how best to identify and develop future leaders with confidence and success.

The Whitepaper delves into the most profound issues to emerge from this wave of the L.E.A.D. Survey, issues that implore leaders and managers to invest the necessary time and energy to understand and leverage the leadership potential that exists within their organisations.

Download the L.E.A.D. Whitepaper to view the issues, needs and expectations of over 4,000 employees, managers and business leaders.

Use the form above to download this handy resource, feel free to share it on social media.

Back to LMA library

 

Business team enjoying victory

Diversity – Buzzword or Bonus Play?

A lot of airtime has been devoted to the topic of diversity lately – particularly cultural or ethnic diversity.

On the world stage, the US Presidential election front-runners trade blows daily about building walls (physical and emotional) to protect ‘our values’ from those who would threaten ‘our way of life’. In response, leading global recording artists have just joined forces to send a clear message through song about the need to work together more effectively as a diverse world community.

In Australia (and to some extent in New Zealand), diversity in workplaces, communities, family structures and personal relationships has been at the forefront of societal debate of late through, for example:

  • The emotionally-charged discussion around legalising same sex-marriage in Australia
  • The prospect of a referendum to formally recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution
  • The introduction of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the subsequent snail’s pace in enabling eligible claimants access to services under the scheme
  • Discussions around gender ratios in high-profile organisations and their perceived negative impact (e.g. Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade)

It seems every time you turn on the TV or radio someone is questioning the merits and value of diversity and amplifying the negative impact they believe it is having on our way of life – like it’s a Yes/No decision as to whether diversity ‘should be permitted’.

Are we too diverse or not diverse enough? Are we too accepting of different world-views or are we becoming increasingly intolerant or even xenophobic? Are we suffering because we’re too pluralistic, or are we failing to truly capitalise on the many benefits of the diversity that surrounds us?

Diversity is used as shorthand or code for ethnic/cultural diversity – when clearly it is so much more than the shade of one’s skin or shape of one’s eyes. By limiting the discussion in this way, organisations are seriously missing golden opportunities to tap into and leverage the richness, the colour and movement of their workforce.

Results from the Leadership Management Australia (LMA’s) current Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey highlight that diversity is very much part of our organisational cultures and, by definition, is a part of our lives that will increasingly need to feature in the thoughts and plans of modern leader and managers.

However, there is plenty of scope to harness, leverage and benefit from diversity to an even greater extent than is currently evident – it just takes courage and commitment from all of us.

Capitalising on workforce diversity

Looking at the extent to which organisations are currently capitalising on the diversity in their workforce, we see that all segments (employees, managers, leaders) believe their organisations are capitalising on the diversity of skills and experience of their workforce to a far greater degree than other diversity categories:

diversity-graph-1Q. To what extent do you believe your organisation is capitalising on the following aspects of diversity in your workforce?

Overall, 80% of employees, 76% of managers and 83% of leaders believe their organisations capitalise on diversity in skills and experience to a great or moderate extent.

Contrast this with just 61% of employees, 53% of managers and 57% of leaders who believe their organisations capitalise on cultural or ethnic diversity in their workforces. Only marginally better ratings are reported for organisations capitalising on age and gender diversity in the workforce:

Age Gender Ethnic/cultural Skills/experience
EMP

%

MGR

%

LDR

%

EMP

%

MGR

%

LDR

%

EMP

%

MGR

%

LDR

%

EMP

%

MGR

%

LDR

%

Great/moderate 68 57 64 63 58 58 61 53 57 80 76 83
Small/Not at all 26 39 30 30 36 30 31 41 33 18 23 13

(EMP – Non-managerial/supervisory employees, MGR – Middle managers/supervisors, LDR – Executives/senior managers)

Q. To what extent do you believe your organisation is capitalising on the following aspects of diversity in your workforce?

So what does all this mean for today’s leaders and managers?

Clearly, there is a great deal of room for improvement for organisations to make better use of the rich tapestry that exists on these and other dimensions of diversity – such as religious, sexual, ability/disability, work history, working conditions and so on.

So here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I doing to identify, understand, harness and leverage the diversity of my workforce?
  • When was the last time I focused some energy on better understanding what lies within each of my team members?
  • And perhaps most importantly, how can I embrace, celebrate and amplify the positive impacts and benefits that a diverse workforce brings to my organisation?

We’re sure you’d agree – this is a far more productive use of the airwaves than to simply shut down the diversity conversation because it’s all too hard or threatens our ‘local village’. Bottom line – this is the new way of life for the village – you’d better get used to it!

About the L.E.A.D. Survey

The data presented in this article were drawn from Wave 1 of 2, 2016 of Leadership Management Australia’s (LMA’s) Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D. Survey) and are based on the responses of:

  • 127 Leaders
  • 292 Managers
  • 2,037 Employees
  • 2,456 TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Drowning in emails | LMA

Drowning in emails? Here’s how to survive

Workers spend on average 2.6 hours of their work day reading and answering more than 100 emails which largely should not be read or sent in the first place.

Email is one of the most common forms of communication yet also one of the most misused by workers who use it for everything from avoiding conversations in person to  distributing business critical information.

While other technologies such as social media, video chat and instant messaging have been introduced, emails continue to be the main source of electronic communication. It leads to workers spending 28 per cent of their workday caught up reading and typing responses to email, the McKinsey Global Institute finds. Email use is no longer limited to office workers, with it increasingly becoming a staple for organisations to communicate with trades workers and contractors out in the field.

Leadership Management Australia’s Leadership, Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey director Adrian Goldsmith says email use is more widespread today than a decade ago but for some has become all-consuming. “It’s a net positive – but you’ve just got to control it,” he says.

31% OF PEOPLE CHECK EMAIL ON THEIR MOBILE PHONE AT LEAST FIVE TIMES A DAY

Statistics from technology market research firm The Radicati Group show 108.7 billion emails were sent and received for business reasons each day in 2014. It equals an average of 121 emails for each worker. By 2018, it will increase to more than 139.4 billion emails in total, or an average of 140 emails for each worker. Yet most employees believe they can only comfortably deal with about 50 emails a day, a survey by Harris Interactive reveals.

LEARN HOW TO USE IT
Most workers use less than 10 per cent of the capability of their email system because they have not got around to learning how to use the features, Goldsmith says. Sorting emails into fields, task lists, filters, level of importance and other settings can dramatically affect inbox organisation and therefore productivity. “It helps people go
through their day in a more systematic way,” he says.

HAVE A PLAN
Email doesn’t always have to be the first task of the day. Goldsmith says doing so immediately feeds unproductive behaviour that flows through the day. He suggests not opening emails until 10am – if possible – and using the first part of the day to get essential work done. “A lot of people don’t plan their days, then get busy and strung out and unproductive because they don’t have a plan for the day,” he says. “Start out with a plan (and if you get knocked off it) you’ve got something to fall back to.”

WRITE IT RIGHT
Workers can get frustrated when others don’t respond to their emails, while others get stuck reading those that aren’t important. Goldsmith says whether a worker’s name is in the To or CC field can and should affect whether they read it. “If you want me to act on it, put my name in the box marked for your attention, rather than for your interest,” he says. “Send the signal to people that if you want them to reply, put their name in the read box.” But some are reading too much. “A lot of people read the CCs automatically and lose hours during the day,” he says. “For some people, they are getting 100 to 200 emails a day and a quarter or half of these they are CCed into rather than addressed to. They are reading other people’s stuff.”

When people communicate, only 10 per cent of what is understood comes from the words being said, with 30 per cent coming from tone and 60 per cent non-verbal language – meaning written communication can be easy to misconstrue, Goldsmith says. “It’s very hard to impart the full message. It needs to be short, sharp, have an action approach, and it should have a clear indication of what the email is about. It needs a reasonably punchy subject line , otherwise it’ll get into the whitewash,” he says.

USE IT WISELY
Many workers feel that if they’ve sent an email, they have communicated the message. “Some people think email is great because you don’t have to talk to people,” Goldsmith says. “If they can avoid having these conversations, email is a convenient way of doing it. But for a lot of organisations, it’s a handbrake (that stops productivity). An all-staff email may have little thought why some people shouldn’t receive it.” If there’s a need to communicate a personal or confidential matter, or one that needs a human touch, face-to-face or over the phone is better.

TURN IT OFF
Turn off automatic alerts and limit how often the inbox is checked – unless it’s urgent.

USERS ADMIT BETWEEN 25% AND 50% OF TIME SPENT ON EMAIL IS UNPRODUCTIVE

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

GOOD

  • Email is effective to send documents, one message to many people and formal communication requiring a paper trail 
  • The best emails are short, concise and quickly read

BAD

  • Most senders can only assume the recipient has read it. A read receipt can only confirm email has been opened
  • Many senders do not know it has been read until what is outlined has been actioned

UGLY

  • Email is poorly used when an immediate response is required, confidential information discussed, and when the message can be misconstrued
  • If responses go back and forth two or three times, phone or discuss face to face
Making-a-stand

Leaders, Leaders, Wherefore Art Thou Leaders?

As we sit in the throes of one of the longest-ever Australian federal election campaigns with both major and minor parties trading insults and engaging in scare-mongering, the question that is begging to be asked is; “Where’s the leadership in all the froth and bubble?”

Each year, the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey highlights the importance of leadership development at all levels in our organisations and indicates where some of the more damaging misconceptions between leaders, managers and employees may stem from. While some political leaders may be demonstrating more of a ‘do what it takes’ approach to securing the leadership, the L.E.A.D. Survey results illuminate a few things about what we believe are ‘required or expected’ from leaders with whom we have regular contact in our own organisations.

As the presence of strong leadership comes up for debate again in Australian politics, the L.E.A.D. results clearly indicate that defined leadership in our own organisations is an overwhelming contributing factor to our overall success, both perceived and actual.

Strategic importance of leadership development

More than two-thirds of employees at all levels of organisations believe leadership development is either the most important or one of the top few strategic challenges facing their organisations:

Which of the following best describes how strategically important leadership development is for your organisation’s future?

Leaders

(Executives/ Senior Managers)

Managers

(Middle Managers and Supervisors)

Employees

(Non-Managerial/ Supervisory Employees)

The most important strategic challenge for my organisation 14 11 16
One of the top few strategic challenges for my organisation 64 57 58
Just below the top few strategic challenges for my organisation 16 20 15
Not an important strategic challenge for my organisation 3 8 4
Unable to rate 2 5 7

 

Satisfaction with current leadership development processes

Between 23% and 41% are dissatisfied with the current leadership development processes being used in their organisations – a sad situation given these very processes are where leaders of the future learn necessary skills and build their capabilities in leadership:

How satisfied are you with the leadership development processes currently used in your organisation?

Leaders

(Executives/ Senior Managers)

Managers

(Middle Managers and Supervisors)

Employees

(Non-Managerial/ Supervisory Employees)

Very satisfied 9 7 12
Quite satisfied 58 48 58
Quite dissatisfied 22 34 18
Very dissatisfied 7 7 5
Unable to rate 4 4 8

 

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 area of leadership competency expected of our leaders is communication, developing and coaching others and problem solving and decision-making.

Disappointingly, our leaders (both political and other) seem to limit the effectiveness of their communication and in doing so, they let down the people they seek to lead:

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.

Leadership competencies

Employees

2016

Managers

2016

Leaders

2016

Communication skills 1 1 =1
Developing and coaching others 2 2 =1
Problem solving and decision-making 3 3 5
Planning and organising 4 =5 8
Building relationships (external and internal) =5 7 4
Teamwork =5 =5 9
Strategic thinking 7 4 3

 

So how about it leaders?

How about working to fulfil the expectations people have about your leadership and ensuring it impacts on them positively? Thinking about and acting in accordance with the competencies expected of you will grow your leadership skills and develop quality leaders for the future.

Given the critical importance of leadership development, you owe it to the next generation of leaders to do it well, be the example they should follow and help them to learn how to do it better in future – not just do what it takes to retain the formal leader role or title.

Teamwork-or-Team-woe

Do you know the ABC’s of Teamwork?

Download LMA’s ABC’s of Teamwork eBook to see the top 26 keys to effective teamwork,  based on insights from companies throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Effective teamwork harnesses the collective knowledge, skills, power, creativity, insight and effort of everyone on the team to accomplish the team’s goals.

Everyone working together collaboratively also saves time, limits mistakes, improves workplace safety and reduces waste and stress.

Over 40 years of experience in developing people has equipped Leadership Management Australia (LMA) with a great understanding of what it takes to become a high performance team.

A large number of our clients from both large and small  organisations have highlighted that the development of effective teamwork continues to be a focus.

Throughout the ABC’s of Teamwork eBook there are insights from LMA clients who have invested in the development of their people and the nurturing of highly effective teams.

We hope that you find value in the insights and information throughout this eBook, if you have any questions or require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Download the ABC’s of Teamwork

6 qualities all top salespeople share

Being Brave in a Brave New Organisational World

The workplace is constantly evolving. Changes affect your people and the smooth operation of your organisation, so it’s imperative for any business concerned with long-term viability and success to keep abreast of workplace changes.

To help our clients understand, monitor and predict trends affecting their people and their performance in the workplace, Leadership Management Australia commission the annual Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey. Running since 2001, the L.E.A.D. Workplace Survey is Australia’s most authoritative survey of workplace issues and their effect on management and employees.

The latest L.E.A.D. Survey Whitepaper is now available for download, it contains new information to help leaders and managers understand,  communicate with, evolve and develop their people to deliver a motivated workforce and a successful future.

The Whitepaper delves into the most profound issues to emerge from this wave of the L.E.A.D. Survey and provides insights for leaders and managers to be brave in a new organisational world.

Download the L.E.A.D. Whitepaper to view the issues, needs and expectations of over 4,000 employees, managers and business leaders.