e’ve identified four major symptoms of bad leadership, which if observed should be tackled immediately. No amount of new leads or innovative initiatives will make as big an impact if the leadership in a business stifles it's success. If your business suffers from any of these four symptoms, it's time to look inwards.
High Staff Turnover
This one might seem pretty obvious, but it’s the clearest indicator that your business is suffering from poor leadership. It’s been said before, and we will repeat it – generally, people leave managers, not companies. What’s worse, businesses with high staff turnover are hurting their bottom-line through knowledge loss and the costs associated with hiring and training new staff. Those businesses with bad reputations will carry even higher hiring costs as the pool of talent available to them will be limited.
Stagnant Wage Growth
If you have employees who are working for the same or similar wage as they were two or more years ago, then you’re suffering from stagnation. Not only are your employees not motivated to improve their performance, but they will leave as soon as a more competitive offer presents itself. Your business is also demonstrating an apparent lack of respect for its employees and disrespect will almost always be reciprocated.
Low L&D Spend
Businesses must continuously improve to grow. In the same way that efficiencies can be found in processes and other operational activities, so too should businesses seek to improve the performance of their employees. This is done by teaching them new skills or ensuring their skills are current. If an employee’s skills fall behind industry standards, they will either leave the business so as not to damage their career or become a liability to the company.
Warnings and Terminations
The longer the list of warnings and terminations associated with your business, the more it becomes a reflection of internal issues over those of individuals. A bad leader lacks the capability to resolve issues or conflicts skilfully and as such will often blame problems on other people. This is usually a form of gaslighting and can be an indicator that bad leadership is less of a worry than having a workplace psychopath at the helm.
We believe that businesses need to become better at prioritising skills such as empathy and motivation when hiring. We also believe that systems and processes for constructive feedback and assessment of teams and managers are critical in the early stages of a business’ lifecycle and should be established as a priority.
For those readers who are interested in learning more about improving upon leadership, we recommend researching the SCARF methodology which leverages data in neuroscience to formulate an approach to dealing with people – from giving feedback to conflict resolution.