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Workplace teams report points finger at leaders

June 18, 2015 Corporate No Comments Email Email

CEOs and CFOs mulling over poor EFY results this month might well take a close look at the performance of their teams as a contributing factor to the bottom line, suggests a pioneer of the leadership training industry, Grant Sexton, executive chairman of Leadership Management Australasia.

New LMA Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey research on teams and teamwork released today reveals some “profound and disturbing gaps” between perceptions of leaders and the actual experiences of team members they lead.

“Essentially, about one in three employees are not confident in their leaders and don’t have faith in their leaders’ competency to lead their workplace teams,” said Mr Sexton.

“This major misalignment means teams are not achieving their potential and that impacts on the bottom line through cost, waste, loss of productivity and poor performance,” Mr Sexton said.

“This could be impacting potential performance and productivity in some areas by up to 20%,” he said. “The same people finalising their P&L statements this month — leaders and senior managers – should review and adjust their approach to teams and teamwork within their organisations.”

Key findings:

Competency ––  99% of Executive/Senior Managerial and 98% Middle-managerial/supervisory believe they are very or quite competent in leading their team, but only 69% of Non-managerial/non-supervisory respondents share this view about the competence of their leaders to lead the team.

Confidence – 97% of Executive/Senior Managerial and 95% of Middle-managerial/supervisory say they are very or quite confident in their ability to effectively lead their team to achieve its purpose, but just 71% of Non-managerial/non-supervisory respondents are very or quite confident in their leaders and their ability to lead the team.

Commitment — 96% of Executive/Senior Managerial and 94% of Middle-managerial/supervisory level believe they are totally or very committed to the team and its purpose. In contrast, only 62% on Non-managerial/non-supervisory respondents believe their more senior people are totally or very committed to the team and its purpose. More than one in three (38%) believe their leaders and managers are not as committed as they should or could be.

What needs to be done.

Mr Sexton said the extraordinary extent of difference between leader perceptions and team member experiences clearly illustrates there is a great deal of work to be done to enable better teamwork and ensure teams are able to perform to their potential.

The findings provide the ideal opportunity for leaders at all levels of organisations to take a much closer look at the teams they lead and work collaboratively with team members to close the gaps and deliver more effective team dynamics, he said.

“In essence, leaders need to invest in the development of better team communication, relationships and processes to provide improved clarity and direction. They must improve the support and encouragement so desperately sought by team members which can be achieved through the PACT process,” he said.

Leadership Management Australasia. Over 43 years, LMA has enhanced the leadership skills, performance and productivity of over 130,000 people from thousands of organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

The research. LMA has been running its LE.A.D. Survey  for 15 years. This new research was undertaken by Chase Research for LMA over the last two months, across 1300 respondents (covering Executive/Senior Manager, Mid-Manager/Supervisor and Non Manager/Supervisor categories).

The sample is qualified sample. It asked nine questions of three workplace levels. 27% of respondents were Executive/Senior Manager, 58% Mid-Manager/Supervisor and 15% Non-Manager/Supervisor. Respondents were from 16 different industry sectors, from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, regional NSW/Vic/QLD/SA, ACT and New Zealand. Respondents work in private companies (62%), publically-listed companies (13%), Non Government Organisations (8%), public sector (7%), franchise system (3%) and quasi-government authorities (3%).

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