Here is my list of the “7 deadly sins of leadership”:
- Assuming your employees know the company’s objectives and purpose. So you and your management team have a great strategic plan in place. Who will implement that plan? Even the best plan is worthless unless it is understood and embraced at all levels. Your workforce is the engine that powers your plan. You should integrate your strategic workforce planning with your business planning.
- Approaching New Hire selection in a haphazard manner. Best case scenario – 14 percent of the time you will get a good employee. Worst case scenario — most of the time you will get a less-than-stellar worker and worse, you might get sued. Good hiring practices at all levels improve overall performance and help deter lawsuits. Rigorous interviews and background checks can help employers form an accurate picture of past behavior, but pre-employment assessment will screen for a potential employee’s attitudes toward integrity, substance abuse, reliability and work ethic is a better predictor of future behavior.
- Assuming your people are trained. Failing to develop your people’s talents through appropriate training is a massive waste of resources. Many companies spend more time and money negotiating and paying for maintenance contracts on their equipment than they do training their staff. And yet, they claim their employees are their number one asset.
- Failing to evaluate and measure. It is easy to fall into the habit of “business as usual;” performing tasks by rote or doing things the same way simply because that is the way they have always been done. You should continually assess your business’ activities AND employees roles and responsibilities. Are they necessary and relevant? If so, then these activities should be tracked to assess effectiveness as well as efficiency. If you can’t measure it — don’t do it.
- Failing to provide appropriate feedback. Fear of conflict can cause leaders to avoid mentioning unacceptable behavior or requiring accountability. Whether through performance reviews or conversations during the course of daily activities, meaningful, constructive feedback is necessary to produce good performance and to help employees’ career development. In a recent study conducted by Salary.com, of 2,000 employees and 330 HR professionals, two thirds of companies believe their performance reviews are effective, but only 39 percent of employees agree.
- Assuming you are doing a good job and your customers are happy. How do you know? Have you asked? Assuming your customers are satisfied simply because you have not received complaints is not necessarily an accurate barometer. Your business should have mechanisms in place to encourage customer feedback. You should listen to, and act on that feedback.
- Treating employees as a commodity. Any company who has experienced the high cost of employee turnover understands its toll: replacement costs, loss of productivity and decreased morale. Treat employees like a commodity and they will respond in kind — by leaving you as soon as possible for the next best offer.
If you would like learn more about how you can avoid these 7 Deadly Sins call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.