How do Kiwi employees rate their leaders’ performance?
You might think the answer to that question depends on the size or type of the organisation; but in fact we’re remarkably consistent in what we believe our leaders do best and what they don’t do so well.
We looked at data from 5,000 first-time respondents to the AskYourTeam baseline survey to understand how our leaders are doing in the areas that matter. The survey asks everyone - from entry-level through to C-suite - to rate their business’ performance across 64 assertions, covering the areas that research has shown have the greatest impact on business success. This includes everything from project planning, strategy and customer focus, through to personal development, culture and communication.
The top and bottom-ranking assertions give us a very clear insight into the strengths and weaknesses of Kiwi leaders.
What leaders are getting right
1. Building teams
Our leaders are succeeding in building teams that are closely aligned with the strategic objectives of the company. Employees responding to the survey regularly asserted that their individual targets closely matched those of the business and also expressed understanding of how their actions affect the wider organisation - this was the top-ranked assertion across the survey.
2. Vision and direction
Employees express confidence in their leader’s ability to take their people and the organisation in the right direction. Results show that they’re able to identify the vision and strategy for their organisation - this indicates that leadership is communicating company goals effectively with everyone involved. That people are expressing confidence in strategic direction from those in charge is no mean feat in today’s competitive and often uncertain global economy.
3. Customer-focussed leadership
Employees report feeling motivated to put their customers first because of the outward focus of their business. They believe that bosses give customer relationships the right amount of importance in their business and this shows that customer-focussed behaviour should come from the top. This is the third highest-ranked assertion showing that New Zealand leadership is doing well at developing customer-focussed business.
4. Strategic agility
New Zealand employees have faith in their leaders to keep pace with the competition and changes in the marketplace. They feel that leadership is effective in identifying and acting upon opportunities to grow and innovate in order to gain competitive advantage.
5. Open to bad news
Telling the truth at work can be tricky at times. This data shows that employees feel leaders are providing a working environment in which people are comfortable enough to speak up and tell the truth even if it means delivering not-so-great news. This shows leaders are building strong bonds with their staff and creating a workplace where people trust those in charge to respond rationally and constructively to any issue.
Where leaders are falling over
1. Lack of consultation
Employees want to contribute to the success of the company they work for. However, the number one impediment to their effectiveness and sense of satisfaction is being left in the dark when changes are made by those in charge. Not only do employees want to hear what is going on, they also want to the opportunity to provide regular input into how to improve the business.
2. Poor communication
Despite our leaders providing an environment in which bad news can be broken safely, results show that employees feel that their boss doesn’t provide the motivating communication they want. Bad communication by leadership leaves employees feeling uninspired and demotivated, particularly relating to deadline or plan changes.
3. Bullying safeguards
The effects of bullying and conflict within a workplace can be serious. However, the data shows that leadership teams do not have clear and effective systems in place for dealing with intimidating behaviour and workplace bullying. This can be a sensitive topic, so many leaders might be unaware it’s an issue in their organisation. It’s likely respondents feel more forthcoming about their concerns using AskYourTeam, due to the confidential nature of the system.
4. Failure to learn
Leaders are missing opportunities when it comes to reviewing the success of a project. Employees report that there is a serious lack of review process when it comes to seeing how well the actual outcomes of a project reflected the forecasted outcome. There is a lack of information and analysis, and so no actions are taken to try and improve next time round. Businesses easily fall into a cycle of underperformance when failing to learn from previous and ongoing work.
5. Poor project planning
Data shows that leaders are failing when it comes to managing ‘concept to project’. Early planning and organising of a project or initiative is key to motivating and involving the team to ensure a project’s success. Leaders are reported to be failing at the first hurdle with a lack of research and effective planning into a project. This is a critical weakness of New Zealand leadership, and will be seriously impacting the productivity of our businesses.
The results show there’s a massive opportunity for New Zealand’s leaders to lift the performance of their businesses. But to address their weaknesses, leaders need more than measurements - they need actionable solutions. AskYourTeam was designed specifically to address this critical need. To find out more, book a demo or a call with one of our expert team.