The Consequences Of Weak Leadership On Your Team

In business, being a leader doesn’t just fill a job title. You must have the capacity to motivate your team in line with the overall goals of the company.

Leadership development is essential to the success of any company. Effective, well-trained leaders motivate employees, unite their teams under a common vision and manage change effectively to ensure the company is able to adapt to the demands of the future. 

Ineffective leaders can sink your company. They tend to pass bad habits on to their direct reports, which can impact the organization. Over time, the cycle of negativity continues, eroding the fabric of teams and ultimately eating away at performance throughout the organization. Without effective leadership development programs & strategies to reverse these impacts, these companies will soon face serious consequences that affect their bottom lines.

Here Are 4 Warning Signs of Poor Leadership Development:

1. High Turnover

Employees want to have the opportunity to learn new skills and take on new challenges that help advance their career goals. When they don’t get these opportunities, they naturally begin to look for alternatives.  Studies have found that career development, not financial compensation, is the top reason people cite for taking a new job. Companies that struggle with frequent turnover can usually trace their retention problems back to poor employee development.

When an organization invests in leadership development, it not only moves high-potential employees into key roles, it also begins to build a strong succession pipeline that helps minimizes the disruptive impact of turnover. Employees are more likely to remain with a company when they believe they can continue to grow professionally.

Weak leadership cannot help provide them with a sense of direction and purpose that keeps them engaged and committed to the organization.

2. Low Morale

When employees don’t feel like the organization is willing to invest in their development, they’re less likely to be highly engaged in their work. If they are repeatedly denied opportunities to learn new skills, they’ll become easily discouraged. Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of employees are considered engaged, which manifests into lower productivity and morale. Over time, this dynamic can produce a toxic work environment that impacts the entire organization.

By contrast, ongoing training keeps employees sharp and helps them stay inspired. Studies have shown that mastery—becoming proficient at something a person enjoys—is one of three key factors that contribute to high levels of motivation. 

Effective leaders find ways to inspire employees and keep them actively engaged, but many current and potential leaders lack the soft skills needed to inspire their teams. Development programs with a focus on building relationships, empathizing with employees, and finding what values motivate people can go a long way toward revitalizing the workplace.

3. Lack of Collaboration

Many leaders are promoted because they are high achievers, but only one-in-seven of them actually possess the characteristics of high-potential leaders. This makes it difficult for them to facilitate effective collaboration. They may take on more work themselves instead of holding team members accountable, or they may be unwilling to listen to the ideas of others. These bad habits can hinder a team’s ability to work together to achieve long-term goals. Over time, they can cause team members to become disengaged and isolated.

When teams spend more time criticizing one another, looking out for themselves, and deflecting accountability, it may be time to consider whether leadership is setting the wrong example for them to follow. With the right leadership development programs in place, it’s possible to turn these teams around, but it will take time for leaders to build the trust and credibility needed to facilitate productive collaboration.

4. Lack of Direction

Poor leaders are characterized by their lack of ability to provide direction to the team, which may stem from their own lack of vision.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to provide clear instructions to your team and also to help them see how their tasks contribute towards achieving the company’s overall objectives. Keeping them informed of how their efforts impact the organization can motivate them to perform at their best while considering their own obligations.

The constant growth of workers is more vital than simply completing tasks because, at the end of the day, they are still the main driving force towards the company’s success. In other words, an employee who does what’s required is good; but one who exceeds expectations and develops into an invaluable company asset is the best.

The importance of a well-designed development program 

While an organization with poor leadership development may suffer from high turnover, low morale, and a lack of direction, it doesn’t have to completely replace its workforce to get back on track. Well-designed development programs can help to identify the problem areas in leadership and begin the process of providing the support struggling leaders need to be successful.

Over time, these programs can rebuild a healthy and productive culture while revitalizing succession pipelines with high-potential candidates capable of leading the organization into the future.

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