Do we get the bosses we deserve? Certainly, many of those leading organisations have views of their achievements that are poles apart to that of their employees
For example, a recent report from Deloitte showed a massive difference between those executives who felt they had done a good job supporting their staff during the last two years and those workers who felt otherwise.
Whilst nine out of ten of those in executive management said that they had understood what their employees had gone through the pandemic and they have made the best leadership decisions for the company, only half of their workers agreed with that sentiment.
Perhaps the biggest problem, as this column as discussed previously, is that the style of leadership we see in an increasing number of organisations relies on individuals only being powerful because of their job or position, with this power acquired and maintained by a combination of patronage and fear rather than trust and respect.
By having that power transferred to them rather than being down to an actual ability to lead, such individuals will not be the agents for change that the modern organisation desperately needs in an increasingly turbulent business environment. Instead, they will be advocates for maintaining the status quo that got them to that position in the first place.
Unfortunately, there is a growing reluctance to appoint leaders with a vision that encourages and inspires others and releases the creativity within them to change organisations for the better.
Some may argue that this is down to the fact that good leaders are hard to find and, at a time when there is a pressure to cut costs, it is easier to appoint from within than to bring someone transformational into the organisation.
Yet, when everything is changing so quickly, what is needed more than anything else are leaders who are innovative, enthusiastic, and who empower others to make their contribution to developing the organisation.
When managing and developing talent is critical for organisations across the World, there is a need to have empathetic leaders who care deeply about the people who work for them which, as research has demonstrated, results in organisations become more efficient, effective and able to fully fulfil their potential.
In contrast, appointing the wrong leaders can have the opposite results with some surveys showing that as many as half of all employees have quit a job at some point because of a line manager who micromanages, steals credit and makes them unhappy which then affects productivity within the organisation
Indeed, the recent State of the Global Workforce report from Gallup found that the biggest reason for being in a “bad job” was unfair treatment at work, followed by an unmanageable workload, unclear communication from managers, lack of manager support and unreasonable time pressure.
Simply put, all of these are down to having a bad boss namely someone who ignores you, disrespects you and rarely supports you. Most importantly, this has a wider impact than just what happens within the organisation with employees who experience high levels of burnout at work also saying that their job affects their family life.
In contrast, those employees who are engaged and thriving at work experience significantly less stress, anger, and health problems, although only 9% are fortunate enough to be in this position. In fact, over half of the global workforce feel that they are neither engaged nor thriving in their organisation and, as a result, this is estimated to be costing the global economy £6.3 trillion annually.
Certainly, individuals, organisations and nations cannot afford to have a situation where bad management leads to such an impact especially when we are living at a time when the world of work is changing, businesses are trying to reinvent themselves and there are unexpected challenges every day.
In such circumstances, appointing leaders who can think strategically and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future is the holy grail for many organisations.
More importantly, if leadership is about getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it for you, then getting the right people to lead organisations will result in a group of happier, engaged, and productive employees who will go the extra mile to make a difference to their employer and, ultimately, the economy as a whole.