Increase your organisation’s leadership capability: How to support your leadership teams.

Updated: May 3

In a 2021 report, 60% of the Australian leaders stated that they felt they were struggling as leaders.


What does this cost our business?


While not an item on the balance sheet, leadership has an impact of almost every line item. Leadership directly impacts a company’s performance, employee productivity & engagement, turnover, and customer satisfaction.

Poor leadership can cause team and employee moral to be disrupted resulting in a lack of innovation, ideas, creativity, and potentially great future leaders.


Research suggests up to 32% of staff turnover could be avoided with better leadership.

52% of voluntarily exiting employees say their manager or organisation could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

25% of staff resigned because they didn’t feel empowered by their leader.


Just like everyone in the organisation, our leaders and leadership teams need support, guidance, training, feedback, and recognition. In the current landscape and the war of talent, we can’t afford for our leaders to not be connecting with each other and their teams.


Here are 5 places to start in building an effective leadership framework for your leaders to set them up for success:


1. Align their role to the purpose


Alignment of mission, vision, values and goals is critical to leadership team success. As individuals, we naturally interpret noise (communication and messages) differently. We hear and believe things based on our own experience, values and understanding.


The leadership team is the first gatekeeper to ensuring everyone in the organisation has a consistent, aligned message around the business objectives. Build alignment through workshops, meetings, documented charters as well as linking targets to the bigger picture.

This isn’t a set and forget exercise, it is important to review alignment through the year as teams change, new leaders come onboard and especially if business priorities shift.


2. Teach them the rules of the game


Humans thrive with clarity. Clarity is the biggest gift you can give your leaders.

When people understand what is expected of them and the rules of the game, they know how to play it. There is generally less confusion and a greater chance that they will achieve the goals that have been set. Just like any team, we work better when we all know the rules and what we are trying to achieve.

Expectation setting for leaders falls across two areas:

  1. Behaviours - These are the ways in which we agree to behave. Usually aligned to the values, these outline the standards that we agree to communicate to, and how we work together.

  2. Actions - These are the details in the deliverables to the leadership team and employees and include things like; minimum coaching session requirements, team meetings and one on one meetings frequency, formal performance review processes, and reporting requirements.


3. Foster great communication

Communication is the cornerstone of all good relationships and the relationship between your employees and their leader is critical.


Effective communication is the foundation of trust, aligning goals, and inspiring change. Effective communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined.


We believe that effective communication starts with understanding yourself. By understanding yourself and why we do what we do, we are in a position to better understand the behaviour and actions of others.


Here are some leadership communication essentials:

  • Aligning intentions

  • Listening to understand

  • Adapting your style to each individual

  • Being open and honest

  • Asking questions

  • Demonstrating empathy

4. Let them know how they are doing


Just as an individual receives feedback to identify opportunities and areas for improvement, so should your leaders. Providing leaders with feedback will empower them to understand where there are growth and learning opportunities.


If you want your leaders to improve, they deserve feedback. If you haven’t previously been giving leadership feedback to your leaders, start with an open conversation to set the intention and gain buy in. Make it safe for leaders to receive feedback.


5. Invest in their growth


Leadership is a skill and like all skills, unless we are actively working to develop it, we won’t improve. Consider providing additional self paced resources for training and development. Establish a resource hub or library for leaders where they can access (and recommend) material. Remember to cater to different levels of experience and learning styles by ensuring you have a mix of material. Consider including journal articles, case studies, links to ted talks, access to internal online training, eBooks as well as other external reference material.

Research indicates that investing in leadership development enables organisations to:

  • Improve bottom-line financial performance.

  • Attract and retain talent.

  • Drive strategy execution.

  • Increase success in navigating change.


Internal or external programs that encourage growth, challenge leaders to think differently and keep leaders on a path of continuous learning are always a positive investment.


Conclusion

The success of your company, team and employees is dependent on the quality of leadership. A good leader will set an example for their followers by being passionate about what they do, inspiring others to be engaged in work with them and always striving to improve themselves. It’s not just about making sure you have great leaders at all levels but also that these leaders are well equipped with skills needed to progress in their careers.


If you would like support to set up a leadership development framework, audit your current leadership capability to help you to build and increase capability across your leadership teams, contact us. We partner with organisations to embed excellence in the day-to-day leadership operations.

7 views